Release type: Joint Media Release


Charles Sturt University students to benefit from $22.3 million Gillard Government grant


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

Students at Charles Sturt University will benefit from a receive $22.3 million Gillard Government grant for its Regional University Centres project.

The Gillard Government today announced it will invest $377 million in new state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities at university campuses across the nation.

With funding from State and Territory Governments as well as successful universities, this investment will deliver an $873 million upgrade for higher education institutions in regional and outer metropolitan areas.

The investment is part of the Government’s commitment to removing the barriers to higher education and opening the doors of Australia’s universities to all students, no matter where they live.

The estimated total value of the Charles Sturt University’s project is $26.4 million and will see a collaboration with North Coast Institute of TAFE in Port Macquarie and Goulburn-Ovens Institute of TAFE in Wangaratta.

Under each collaboration, the funding will enable a significant investment in capital infrastructure through the construction of Regional University Centres alongside the existing TAFE facilities.

The Port Macquarie Regional University Centre will offer degree programs in creative industries, accounting and business studies, health and rehabilitation science, teaching, education, early childhood and social work.

“This now finally says Charles Sturt University is coming to Port Macquarie in a big way and that they are here to stay,” said Member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott.

“This is a terrific outcome for potential students at Port Macquarie and throughout the Mid north Coast.

“This new funding allows Charles Sturt University to significantly expand its offering in Port Macquarie to give local students a broader range of choices in areas that they want to study.

“This provides more local options for local people who can’t move to another area but still want to participate in higher learning.”

Students at the Wangaratta Regional University Centre will be able to access degree-level programs in agricultural business management and agricultural science.

The Regional University Centres will incorporate specialist and general teaching spaces, student support facilities and interactive video teaching facilities.

With targeted programs that strongly align with workforce needs and employment outcomes, this project will play an important role in addressing local labour market shortfalls and the increasing demand in these regions for a range of professional services.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said the Gillard Government’s investment will help thousands more students who have studied vocational or trade qualifications take the extra step to get a university degree.

"We are committed to removing the barriers for Australians who aspire to gain a university education,” Senator Evans said.

“Next year, under the student-demand driven funding system, caps on student places will be removed, opening up opportunities for more Australians to participate in higher education.

“The learning environments for our students are being transformed and modernised as a result of the Government’s focus on skills and training.

“We are determined to build a highly skilled workforce, ready to meet the challenges of a modern, diverse economy.

“A university education is a ticket to greater career choice and to high skilled and high paid jobs.”