Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

$500 million Education Investment Fund to transform regional universities

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Regional universities and TAFEs will be able to share in $500 million of infrastructure funding which will support the construction of state-of-the-art education facilities across regional Australia.

Guidelines for the $500 million Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund were today released at the Regional Universities Campus Heads Conference at the University of Tasmania’s Cradle Coast Campus.

“This new infrastructure funding round will support regional higher education and vocational education and training institutions to improve their infrastructure, and help improve the quality of training and education regional students receive,” said Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education.

“This is a major new investment in our regional campuses will lift the quality of the educational offering for regional students.

“It shows our determination to ensure that regional Australians should have access to quality education opportunities regardless of where they choose to live and study.”

“The Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund is part of the Australian Government’s goal to strategically transform Australia’s tertiary education and research infrastructure,” said Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Research.

“It will contribute to regional economic growth and development, help build sustainable regional institutions and communities, support regional skills needs and build connections between regions.”

Speaking at the Regional Universities Campus Heads Conference, Senator Evans said that creating opportunities for students in regional areas was central to the Government’s objectives to open up the benefits of higher education for more Australians.

“Regional universities and campuses have strong relationships with their communities and an unmatched ability to build human capital to support regional, social and economic development,” Senator Evans said.

“That’s why we acted in this year’s Budget to deliver an increase of $110 million in regional loading payments to help regional campuses overcome the higher costs that they face.”

The draft guidelines for the Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund can be found at: http://www.deewr.gov.au/HigherEducation/Programs/EIF/Pages/EIFRegPrioRound.aspx

Interested parties are asked to provide written comments on the draft guidelines to: by 3 August 2011