CANBERRA, Feb 27 - Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek moved a motion in the House of Representatives on Monday asking the coalition to outline its intentions for higher education funding and fees from 2018 as the new academic year approaches.

"This year, in particular, there's a greater sense of anxiety because of the uncertainty created by the Liberals' absolute failure to declare what they declare to do with university funding in the future," she told MPs.

A record number of Australians - more than one million - are studying at universities and other higher education institutions.

Assistant minister Karen Andrews said the Turnbull government was investing $16.7 billion this financial year to provide more opportunities for students.

The focus was on supporting the "education highway" - from pre-school through to university or vocational education.

"Not looking in isolation at one part of education but looking at the totality," Andrews told parliament.

AAP