Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

More support for regional students

Ministers:

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education
The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment
Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education

The Coalition Government is delivering on an election commitment by announcing the location of nine new Regional University Centres that will support students to remain in regional Australia while they study for a tertiary qualification.

Our Government is providing $15 million to establish nine new centres across regional Australia, including $6 million to fund student places. The new Regional University Centres are:

  • Regional Development Australia Great Southern Western Australia Centre, Albany WA
  • Copper Coast Council Regional University Centre, Kadina SA
  • Country Universities Centre Maranoa, Roma QLD
  • Country Universities Centre Balonne, St George and Dirranbandi QLD
  • Bass Coast University Centre, Wonthaggi VIC
  • Country Universities Centre Southern Shoalhaven, Ulladulla NSW
  • Country Universities Centre Macleay Valley, Kempsey NSW
  • Country Universities Centre Parkes, Parkes NSW
  • Taree Universities Centre, Taree NSW

Regional University Centres provide study spaces, academic support, video conferencing and other support for students studying via distance at partner universities.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Coalition had promised to establish new Regional University Centres at the last election.

"We have kept that election promise," Mr Tehan said.

"We believe every Australian, no matter where they live, should be able to attend university.

"If you live in regional Australia you are half as likely to attend a tertiary institution as someone who lives in a capital city.

"Our Government is putting regional and rural students at the centre of our focus by advancing the recommendations made by Denis Napthine in the National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy.

"Since 2016, the Government has invested more than $600 million to improve support for regional and remote higher education.

"The Coalition Government has committed a total of $53.2 million to establish 25 Regional University Centres across regional Australia so that regional students can access tertiary study without leaving their local communities."

Minister for Regional Education Andrew Gee said the new centres will provide opportunities for students in country Australia to gain a tertiary qualification without leaving their community and support networks.

"This is another opportunity for our regional areas to share in the social, economic and cultural benefits of tertiary education and help them get back on their feet," Mr Gee said.

"This is about equality of opportunity for country people, and giving them the same access to education as their city cousins.

"By boosting our Regional University Centres funding, we will see a stronger regional Australia through more students studying locally, working locally and growing economies in country areas as a result."

More information about the Regional University Centres is at https://www.dese.gov.au/regional-university-centres.