Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro, and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward today officially opened Goulburn’s new Country Universities Centre (CUC).
The new centre in Goulburn is the first of at least five Country Universities Centres to open in regional NSW thanks to $8 million in funding from the NSW Government.
“We are committed to making tertiary education as accessible, rewarding and successful as possible for every student in NSW, no matter where they are from,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“These new centres are all about improving the learning experience for distance education students from regional NSW, who can find themselves feeling unsupported.
“The new Country Universities Centre in Goulburn will give students from the region a place where they can access high-tech facilities, professional support, academic advice, and help with assessments, all close to home.”
The new CUC in Goulburn will provide students with access to computers, meetings rooms and video conferencing facilities, plus staff who will work with students in face-to-face tutorials and workshops.
Mr Barilaro said the Country Universities Centre program will stop the brain drain of students leaving the country to study in the city.
“This is an exciting time for students in Goulburn and regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We know that if we give students the opportunity to study at home in regional NSW they will bring those skills into the local workforce and continue to grow our regional communities and economies.
“These CUCs aim to create a more engaging and connected learning experience by creating spaces that allow students, educators and support staff to come together.
“I can’t wait to open and announce more centres like this one across regional NSW in 2018.”
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said she was proud to host the Premier and Deputy Premier in the local area for such an important announcement.
“This is an inventive way of delivering a much needed tertiary education campus to Goulburn and removing a touch choice our students face between living in regional NSW or relocating to another city to complete a University degree,” Ms Goward said
“Now, our local students can get their degree with a strong sense of connectedness and support, while continuing to enjoy the lifestyle that comes with living in a regional NSW community.”
The Goulburn Country Universities Centre will operate immediately ahead of the 2018 university year, while a second Country Universities Centre in Broken Hill is scheduled to open shortly.
CEO of Country Universities Centres Duncan Taylor said the support from the NSW Government to fund the regional campuses will break down the boundaries regional students often face in accessing and completing higher education courses.
“Geography is one of the biggest challenges regional students face when deciding on whether to go to University or not, and I commend the NSW Government for getting behind this program and expanding CUCs to Goulburn,” Mr Taylor said.