Students at the University of Canberra will benefit from a $25.9 million Gillard Government grant for a project to make significant structural changes that will ensure its financial term sustainability and the quality of its teaching and learning.
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 Canberra project is $25.9 million.
Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, said the grant would assist the University to operate more effectively in a demand driven higher education funding system.
“This funding will assist the University to meet the significant financial, operational and structural challenges it faces and to emerge as a thriving higher education provider in the region”, Mr Leigh said.
Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, said the introduction of a demand driven funding system in 2012 is a fundamental reform that will change the face of Australian higher education.
“We’re working with both levels of government to ensure that the University of Canberra is well positioned for an exciting future that meets the needs of students and employers in the ACT and the surrounding region,” Ms Brodtmann said.
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.”
The ACT Government is currently reviewing options for the future collaborations between the University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology. A strategy group has been formed by the ACT Government to progress consideration of these options.
The $25.9 million grant is subject to finalisation between the University of Canberra and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations of an approved project plan, once the outcomes of the ACT Government’s review have been considered.