Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton (centre) pictured at the CUC North West Narrabri with Fiona Tuckey McPherson (student), Vanessa Parish (student), Trudy Staines (CUC NW Director), Julia Petzl-Berney (CUC NW Learning Skills Advisor), Cathy Redding (CUC NW Chair), Cathy Walters (CUC North West Manager), Jenny Campbell (CUC North West Director) and Charlotte Joulian (student).
The Coalition Government will provide Country Universities Centre North West with a further four years funding to ensure it will continue to offer students in Narrabri and Moree the opportunity to participate and succeed in furthering their education.
Country Universities Centre North 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 more than 100 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 Centres in Narrabri and Moree to continue supporting students and the communities of the north west region until June 2026.
“I am delighted that over 300 students have studied at the centres since 2019,” Minister McKenzie said.
“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 further 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.