Students at the University of Western Sydney will benefit from a $29.8 million Gillard Government grant for its Collaborative Learning Network 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 project value of the University of Western Sydney project is $186 million.
The University of Western Sydney funding will allow for the expansion of UWSCollege, the University’s pathways arm, which offers foundation studies that enable students to access the University’s higher degree programs.
Federal Member for Lindsay, David Bradbury, said this is excellent news for local students and young people aspiring to attend university.
“This grant will help the University of Western Sydney take the next step in expanding its services and opening its doors up to a wider range of students,” Mr Bradbury said.
“UWSCollege offers programs designed to put more students on a pathway into university.
“The Gillard Government believes that every child, wherever they’re born, whatever their individual circumstances, should have the opportunity to get a great education.
“This funding will provide more students with access to the services offered by UWSCollege and help get more local students into higher education.”
Through this project new UWSCollege facilities will be established at existing campuses in Nirimba, Bankstown, and Werrington, as well as the refurbishment of existing spaces.
A new UWSCollege facility will also be established in Lithgow in partnership with the Lithgow City Council.
The project will also bring together partner universities Charles Sturt University, the University of New England and the University of Sydney, as well as local TAFE institutes in the creation of a Collaborative Learning Network.
The network will increase opportunities for TAFE students to progress to university and, through blended learning, enable the provision of distance learning subjects.
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.”