The University of Newcastle's highly valued Open Foundation course is safe for the foreseeable future.
The course is one of the university's so-called "enabling programs", along with Newstep and Yapug.
The free courses enable students - who didn't get the required Higher School Certificate results - to gain qualifications to be admitted to study for an undergraduate degree.
The future of these courses had been unclear because of a federal government review into their funding.
A federal Department of Education spokesperson said the review was complete and "there has been no funding cut to enabling programs".
The enabling programs offer a second chance for people who didn't do well at school. They may have faced disadvantage or simply been unable to apply themselves at school.
A University of Newcastle spokesperson said its enabling programs are "a big part of who we are and very much part of our future".
It was proud to be a university where "excellence and equity go hand in hand".
"We will always champion the importance of students from all backgrounds being able to attend university and we will continue to make it possible.
"We plan to continue to offer places at current levels."
Since 1974, more than 60,000 students have enrolled in the university's enabling programs.
Last year, about 20 per cent of the university's undergraduate students came through an enabling pathway.
"We offer a range of support services to ensure everyone can achieve great success as students and graduates," the spokesperson said.
Many people who attend and complete enabling courses use them as a stepping stone towards a degree that enables them to progress to good, well-paying jobs. As such, these courses have significant social and economic benefits.
Jennifer Debenham said the Open Foundation course changed her life.
"I wasn't a very good student at school," Dr Debenham said.
"Not everybody gets it at school. I didn't understand how to be a student. I was just at school because I had to be."
As such, she didn't get good marks.
"When I had this second chance to go to Open Foundation, I went not with the expectation of really doing that well," she said.
"I thought if I don't get a certain mark, I wouldn't attempt to go to university. I thought it would be beyond me. But I aced it. And I thought, 'Oh OK, I can do this'."
She said Open Foundation taught her how to be a student and what university was really about.
"I'm the first in my family to go to university. It was one of those things that only rich people did," she said.
During her Open Foundation year, she took courses in Australian history and Celtic studies at the university's Ourimbah campus.
"When I learnt Australian history at school it was so boring. When I learnt it at uni, I thought 'Wow, there's a whole stack of Australian history that I had no idea about'. It was a revelation," she said.
She went on to gain a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a focus on anthropology and history. She then did an honours degree about the first contact between the Aztecs and the Spaniards in 1519.
"My lecturers were keen for me to keep going, so I was invited to do a PhD. I never expected that," she said.
Her doctorate was about the representation of Aboriginal people in documentaries in the 20th century.
More recently, she was part of the university's Colonial Frontier Massacre Map team, which won a Walkley award for coverage of Indigenous affairs with The Guardian Australia.
The project exposed the true extent of massacres on the colonial frontier of Australia.
About 97 per cent of people killed in these massacres were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The project put a spotlight on the truth, with the aim of fostering historical acceptance and contributing to a path towards reconciliation.
"The map is accessible to everybody," Dr Debenham said, adding that the "truth-telling component" was particularly important.
The map tells the story that when the British invaded Australia in 1788, they encountered "active resistance from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owners and custodians of the lands".
"In the frontier wars, which continued until the 1960s, massacres became a defining strategy to eradicate that resistance."