Release type: Joint Media Release


University of Ballarat students to benefit from $24.8 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 the University of Ballarat will benefit from a $24.8 million Gillard Government grant for its Victorian Regional Dual-Sector University Partnership 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 University of Ballarat project is $32.7 million.

Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said the University of Ballarat would introduce a new platform for higher education delivery in regional Victoria.

“The University will partner with six regional Victorian TAFE institutes located in Bendigo, Bairnsdale, Mildura, Morwell, Shepparton and Wodonga to teach industry relevant degrees in underserviced markets,” she said.

“The University will recognise work experience, diplomas and advanced diplomas as pre-requisites for entry into the final years of degrees to be delivered at TAFE based higher education centres, creating a new pathway into higher education.

“The project will enable the roll out of five new applied degree programs in business management, hospitality, public administration, IT and children’s services and will significantly increase the choice of programs available in regional areas."

The focus on practical skills, and providing students with ‘real life’ project work, will build strong employment outcomes for students and address local workforce needs.

The quality of teaching and learning will be improved by blended teaching and learning methodologies combining traditional face-to-face classroom methods with web-based learning technologies.

The size and scale of the partnership agreements will boost access and participation opportunities for regional Victorian students and generate positive effects on local communities and economies.

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.”