The Australian Government has reacted remarkably quickly to the Interim Report of the Australian Universities Accord inquiry, with legislation: "Response to the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report) Bill 2023". This abolished the rule that said a student had to pass 50% of their courses to keep getting government funding. But Professor Andrew Norton has raised concern about the measures added to ensure universities help these at-risk students may be a burden. However, I suggest good course and assessment design can reduce the need to provide special help to students, & better target when needed. For example regular small assessment tasks can be used to identify students needing help, but with a flexible assessment scheme which doesn't penalize them. Also students can be routinely provided with an online option for their studies (failing to do that, I suggest may breach anti-discrimination law).
"Providers must have a support for students policy
(1) A higher education provider must have a policy (a support for students policy ) that deals with the support provided to the provider’s students to assist them to successfully complete the units of study in which they are enrolled.
(2) A higher education provider’s support for students policy must:
(a) include information on:
(i) the provider’s processes for identifying students that are at risk of not successfully completing their units of study; and
(ii) the supports available from or on behalf of the provider to assist students to successfully complete the units of study in which they are enrolled; and
(b) comply with any requirements specified in the Higher Education Provider Guidelines.
(3) Without limiting paragraph (2)(b), the requirements may relate to the following:
(a) requirements for the higher education provider’s support for students policy to include specified information;
(b) requirements about the presentation, format and availability of the policy.
Provider to comply with support for students policy
(4) A higher education provider must comply with its support for students policy.
Provider must report on compliance with support for students policy ..."
Offering help to studnts may be ineffective, if the studnts do not know it is available, don't know they are eligible for it, don't know they need it, or don't want to take it. As an example, it was only long after being a student I realized I fell into several of the disadvantaged categories. It would have never occurred to me to ask, or accept, help. I would have, and did, rather fail a course, than seek help. Later, with more maturity, I realized I could withdraw from a course before failing, but that was a very confronting, lonely experience.