Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

University of Southern Queensland students to benefit from $48.9 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
Bernie Ripoll MP
Member for Blair

The University of Southern Queensland will benefit from a Gillard Government grant of $48.9 million for its Expanding and Enriching Student Participation project, a collaboration with a number of regional and metropolitan TAFE institutes in Queensland.

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 Southern Queensland project is $114.4 million.

Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann, said the University of Southern Queensland would use the funding to establish the Queensland Tertiary Education Participation network.

“The new network will enhance aspiration, progression and transition across the tertiary award spectrum by enabling TAFE and University awards that cater for local workforce demands,” he said.

“Students will benefit from improved access to higher education through the expansion of the University’s open and flexible learning model.

“In addition, all students, regardless of their location or study mode, will have enhanced access to student services and support underpinned by a new integrated digital environment.”

Member for Oxley, Bernie Ripoll, said the project also includes the construction of the Education Gateways (EDGY) Building at the University’s Springfield campus, a significant capital investment.

“This investment will herald a new era in e-learning for the community. Reducing the tyranny of distance between the class room and the actual working environment can only enhance the capability of the workforce of the future,” Mr Ripoll said.

“The building will support digitally connected learning environments, including simulated learning and laboratory spaces, enabling new offerings in Allied Health and Nursing, Engineering and Construction and Education.”

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.”