Federal Labor has pledged increased access to university education, if it wins the next election.
Labor has promised to spend $174 million over a decade towards mentoring, support and specialised programs aimed at boosting study opportunities in communities where graduation rates are low.
Labor's education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek says a young person in Moreton Bay in Queensland is about five times less likely to get a degree than someone on Sydney's north shore.
"We know that the capacity for hard work, we know that brains, are spread evenly right across our country" Ms Plibersek told reporters in Caboolture on Tuesday.
"What's not spread evenly is opportunity, so we want to spread opportunity."
The funding will also be used to encourage universities to collaborate with TAFEs, not-for-profit and community organisations in mentoring and outreach programs.
Ms Plibersek said universities should attract more students from outer suburbs and country areas, as well as indigenous people and those with a disability.
She said regional areas should consider foreseeable demand in their communities to shape study options.
The deputy Labor leader pointed to an increased future need for local healthcare services.
"Why aren't we training locals to do the jobs emerging in this local community?" she said.
Labor is also promising $10 billion over a decade to abolish the cap on university places, which it says will boost student numbers by 200,000 over 12 years.
Universities are in the midst of a two-year funding freeze under a federal government move to save about $2 billion from the budget.
Government funding will be kept at 2017 levels until 2020.
In welcoming the pledge, the Group of Eight elite universities said poverty and disadvantage should not be a barrier for Australians to attend university.
The Group of Eight, including ANU, Monash University and the universities of Sydney, NSW, Melbourne, Queensland, Western Australia and Adelaide, praised the promise of funding being available for universities to partner with not-for-profit community groups to target students most in need.
Universities Australia has also given Labor's announcement a nod of approval for seeking to reduce the opportunity gap.
Australian Associated Press