The NSW Government will provide $8 million to expand a network of Country Universities Centres (CUC) to enable regional and rural university students to study in collaborative and supportive environments closer to home.
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said the CUC centres will be modelled on an already successful pilot centre in Cooma with at least five other centres to be established over the next three years.
“The first Country Universities Centre was established in Cooma in 2013 to allow local students who are doing distance or online university courses to study together in a centre that offers facilities, technology and support staff,” Ms Goward said.
“I want students from our area to have the option to live in their local communities close to their family and friends while undertaking their university education, rather than having to relocate to Canberra or Sydney for study which can be disruptive to their personal lives, not to mention expensive.
“That’s why the NSW Liberals and Nationals are investing $8 million in at least five new CUC hubs to provide local study spaces for university students who are studying by distance.
“I’m pleased to see the Goulburn Mulwaree Council working on a proposal behind the scenes to attract funding to establish a site in Goulburn, and I hope other Councils in the Goulburn Electorate follow suit.”
Facilities are expected to include high speed internet, video-conferencing and computer and print facilities as well as workshops delivered by qualified local instructors.
“There may also be opportunities to employ qualified local people to help students acquire the skills required to complete university courses such as research and essay writing,” Ms Goward said.
“As well as personal benefits for students, this can help reduce the loss of talent from country to city areas and allow local businesses to access local people with the qualifications to meet their needs.”
The CUC Board is currently assessing locations for further regional hubs which will be established in conjunction with local communities.