Two University of Newcastle programs designed to drive greater participation in higher education would receive a combined $750,000 from federal Labor if it is elected on Saturday.
Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon made the pledge at the university's Callaghan campus on Tuesday.
Ms Claydon said $500,000 would allow the university to develop a self-paced online program designed to provide prospective students with a taste of enabling programs.
More than 60,000 students have been involved with existing enabling programs, and Ms Claydon said the proposed online program would allow more students make the leap to higher education.
"This four-week online navigator resource will be available nationally to give prospective students from a diverse range of backgrounds information about these alternate pathways to university," she said.
"It will allow people considering higher education to understand the pathways available in order to improve the access, retention and educational outcomes of diverse cohorts of people."
Ms Claydon said $250,000 would go towards a pilot program that offered regional students time with staff and support services at community centres in the Upper Hunter, Central Coast and Mid-North Coast regions.
"It can be hard for students in rural and regional communities to manage the challenges of study, work and family life when they live so far from campus," she said. "This funding will boost student outcomes by allowing them to engage face-to-face with university staff."
UON deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Darrell Evans, said the funding would create lasting opportunities.
"The more we can do to improve access to higher education and provide the right support to students when they do go to university, the better the impact on our communities," he said.
"We need to ensure that we continue to provide opportunities and support all people to develop their capabilities, beyond schooling. These initiatives will help give those who may otherwise have thought university was not for them the knowledge to further their education.
"Additionally, this funding will also ensure that when people do enrol at our university, they are given the support they need to fulfil their potential."