Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured with CUC Far West Centre Manager Danielle Keenan.
The Coalition Government will provide Country Universities Centre Far West with a further four years funding to ensure it will continue to offer students in Broken Hill the opportunity to participate and succeed in furthering their education.
Country Universities Centre Far West is one of 16 Regional University Centres, covering 24 sites around Australia, that will receive a share of up to $27.9 million over four years.
People in regional Australia are less than half as likely to complete a university degree compared with people in cities. Regional University Centres are helping communities across Australia to reverse this trend.
The centre supported 140 students to pursue a tertiary education at institutions across Australia in 2021.
Minister for Regional Education, Bridget McKenzie said extending funding for a further four years would enable the Country Universities Centre in Broken Hill to continue supporting its students and the broader community until June 2026.
“The establishment of CUC Far West has brought a significant and highly visible higher education presence to Broken Hill,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Graduates have gone on to rewarding careers in health care, education and the service industries, and importantly their skills are being put to use to help their local community.
“In fact, 96 per cent of graduates from the class of 2020 are now employed in Broken Hill.
“We are extremely proud of the Regional University Centres program, which enables aspiring students from regional Australia to be supported while undertaking study by distance with any Australian tertiary provider.
“These centres make a real difference to our students, as they no longer have to leave their friends and families to pursue higher education and can remain at home while studying, where their skills can boost local communities and economies, which is part of our plan for a strong economy and a stronger future.
“Our government is investing almost $20 billion in higher education in 2022 – this is 32 per cent higher than under Labor.”
Nationals Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton welcomed the announcement and said Regional University Centres offer students access to high-speed internet, dedicated study spaces, computer facilities and importantly, administrative and academic skills, as well as supporting their wellbeing.
“All Australians, no matter where they live, deserve access to high-quality education and these centres offer the facilities and support local students need to access a tertiary education, which helps to level the playing field with their city counterparts,” Mr Coulton said.
Only a Coalition Government can be trusted to keep the economy strong and secure a stronger future for regional Australia.