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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Improving Access To University In Regional Communities

Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips MP has welcomed the announcement that the Albanese Government plans to make it easier for people in regional and communities like the South Coast to go to university.

The Government has announced it will double the number of university study hubs by establishing 20 new Regional University Study Hubs (formerly Regional University Centres) and 14 new Suburban University Study Hubs.

This announcement builds on the success of 34 existing Regional University Study Hubs – including the very successful Country Universities Centre in Ulladulla.

This delivers on the first immediate action of the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report released on Wednesday.

Fiona Phillips said this will make it easier for young people living in our region to get a degree without having to relocate.

“Like so many people in our community, I had to leave my home and family to study at university. Sadly we know this is often the first step away for young people, who all too often don’t come back,” Fiona said.

“Many of those who stay in our region are often left without a university education. This is a choice young people in cities don’t have to make,”

“It is so important that young people can study whilst still living and working where they grew up. I’d like to see our younger generation have the option of studying while continuing to work in the family business, on the family farm, or simply get help with the cost of living by staying in the family home.

“Local universities mean our kids don’t have to leave the South Coast if they don’t want to. That’s why I want to help remove the barriers of entry to university faced by people living on in our community,” Fiona said.

“In the next ten years, more and more jobs will require a university or TAFE qualification, and making sure that can happen right here is a big priority,” Fiona said.

“The postcode you live in shouldn’t be a barrier to getting a degree, and this opportunity can be lifechanging,” Fiona said.

“Just like the fabulous Ulladulla Country University Centre we already have, these hubs will provide support close to home for students that would otherwise need to travel long distances to get to and from a university campus.” Fiona said.

The Government will invest $66.9 million to establish the 34 new Hubs in areas without a physical university campus and where the percentage of the population with university qualifications is low.

This delivers on the first recommendation of the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report.

Locations will be determined through a competitive application process run by the Department of Education.

For further information on the accord see Australian Universities Accord.

Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP and Member for South Coast, Liza Butler MP at the Country Universities Centre in Ulladulla for a NAIDOC week celebration.

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