The Great Southern Universities Centre in Albany was officially opened today, providing opportunities for more students from the region to access a tertiary education.
The Liberal and Nationals Government is providing $1.4 million in funding to establish the Great Southern Universities Centre (GSUC) in Western Australia, one of 26 centres announced under the Government’s Regional University Centres program.
Minister for Regional Communications Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said these centres are vital to supporting regional students to access a tertiary education.
“These centres provide Australians, no matter where they live, with greater opportunities to pursue a university degree or other tertiary education qualifications,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The Regional University Centre program is supporting more than 1900 students this year to stay in their communities while they study. This centre in particular is currently supporting 108 students from the Great Southern Region of WA to study close to home, helping to keep skills in the region rather than seeing students relocate.
“Students from regional areas are half as likely to obtain a higher education degree compared to their peers living in cities, and centres like GSUC are helping to bridge that gap.”
“Providing educational opportunities for students in the Great Southern will lead to more students studying and working in the community, and therefore creating a stronger region,” Assistant Minister Marino said.
“This means keeping more of our best and brightest students in Southern WA and providing an important boost to both the local and state economy.”
Federal Member for O’Connor Mr Rick Wilson MP said he was pleased GSUC was now open in Albany and that the Centre would be a point of pride and accomplishment for the people of Albany and Western Australia’s Great Southern region.
“I have taken a keen interest in the Centre’s development, and was very impressed by progress on this forward-looking project when I visited recently,” Mr Wilson said.
“By all accounts, demand for the centre has met all expectations. It will greatly assist tertiary students who wish to stay with their families and friends in the Great Southern to study in the region rather than leaving for Perth.”
GSUC director Mike Eastman said the centre provides local students with a supported study environment and campus-style facilities to support their studies.
“We’re working with all Australian universities who have students in the region that wish to access our centre to help those students achieve academic success,” Mr Eastman said.
“While our facilities and support are available to all higher education students, regardless of their degree or university, we have also undertaken a further step towards supporting local nursing students through Curtin University, which will ensure the Great Southern region can train and retain the highest quality nurses for our hospitals within the region.”
GSUC Albany opened to students in April to enable support to be provided to local students during Semester 1 2021.
More information about Regional University Centres program can be found at: https://www.dese.gov.au/regional-university-centres