Southern Downs uni hub bid gains momentum

15 Nov 2023 |
16 November 2023

Plans for a local university study hub are gaining momentum, with Southern Downs Regional Council continuing to work closely with leading industry stakeholders on a collective proposal to secure Commonwealth Government funding for a satellite educational facility.

As discussions progress with educational and community organisations across the region, Council is now finalising the proposal with the assistance of Country Universities Centre.

Chair of the initiative’s Development Committee, Mayor Vic Pennisi said Council is committed to establishing educational pathways which ensure the region’s tertiary students have access to the right resources to complete their studies locally.

“Distance should not be an obstacle to higher learning, and creating the right pathways for accessible education greatly enhances a community’s liveability and suitability,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“University study hubs deliver infrastructure that provides academic support so that students can live and study locally without relocating, and Council is strategically connecting with stakeholders to build a strong proposal to establish a dedicated and suitably set-up space to keep students local.

“We are confident that a successful bid will bridge the gap for our promising students as they transition to university and other advanced education.

“Council is encouraged to have the support of all of the region’s high schools, industry and community groups and major employers.

“The enthusiasm of our community to support this bid has been fantastic as we share the united vision to support our students and offers local educational solutions.

“With input from key stakeholders, we are building a strong proposal, and the involvement and the continued support of our whole community will be essential to our proposal’s success.”

University study hubs provide support to those entering or enrolled in tertiary education from any institution. Typically, such centres provide study and meeting places and a wide range of student support and pastoral care.

The program has been running since 2018 and has been successful with 34 centres already established across Australia.

The latest call for applications will see 20 new sites funded by the Commonwealth Department of Education for 2024 and 2025, and competition for funding for new centres will be very competitive.

Last edited date 16 Nov 2023