Release type: Media Release

Date:

University of New England students to benefit from $36.6 million Gillard Government investment

Ministers:

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 New England will benefit from a $36.6 million Gillard Government grant under the Australian Government’s Structural Adjustment Fund (SAF) for its ‘UNE Transformation’ 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.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said the estimated total project value for the University of New England was $47.5 million.

“This funding will allow UNE to develop and revitalise its courses in consultation with industry to better align the education that the university is offering with regional workforce requirements,” Senator Evans said.

“This will enhance employment prospects for graduates and help address regional skills shortages.

“It’s good news for students and good news for the local economy.”

The funding will allow the University of New England to engineer faster and more innovative delivery of online courses to reach a greater number of students.

It will also support the UNE Future Campus in Parramatta to deliver distance education via state of the art digital technologies incorporating high definition video conferencing and a combination of online, voice, video and face-to-face media.

The introduction of telepresence technology will provide students with real-time access to lectures, tutorials and academic staff.

The location of the Future Campus facility, coupled with strategic partnerships with the University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney and NSW TAFEs will improve student access to quality higher education, especially in the western Sydney area.

Student participation and inclusion in western Sydney will also be boosted by the extension of the University’s Early Entry Scheme and the Pathways Enabling Program, facilitating access to higher education.

Senator 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.”