Empowering education: Southern Downs secures study hub funding

03 Apr 2024 |
3 April 2024

Local tertiary students will soon be able to pursue their academic aspirations closer to home with Commonwealth Government funding secured for a new satellite educational facility on the Southern Downs.

Following Council’s collaboration with key educational and community organisations, the Hon Jason Clare MP, Commonwealth Minister for Education, announced that the region’s bid was successful for a university study hub to provide students with administrative and academic support.

Council’s Chief Executive Officer Dave Burges said that creating the right pathways for accessible education would greatly boost the region’s long-term sustainability.

“University study hubs deliver infrastructure that provides academic support so that students can live and study locally without relocating,” Mr Burges said.

“There are currently 34 hubs located across regional Australia which support locally-based students to complete studies remotely and they have proved remarkably successful in addressing the attrition rate of students.

“The funding announcement for a dedicated study hub on the Southern Downs is a major win for the region and addresses an important gap in supporting our students.

“It will open options for students and provide quality learning spaces, meeting rooms, technology and, very importantly, an engaging learning environment with pastoral care for students making the transition from school or other activities to tertiary education.”

The new university study hub will be established in the Southern Downs Industry Education Association’s (SDIEA) building located at 163 Palmerin Street, Warwick and will have significant outreach activities across the region. It is anticipated that the new centre will be open during 2024.

“This Commonwealth funding is very competitive and it is a credit to all involved that the Development Committee secured this important investment into our region,” Mr Burges added.

“This initiative is based on the remarkable efforts of a range of organisations including Council, SDIEA, TAFE, our high schools, nearby universities and our Chambers of Commerce. The support and enthusiasm for the project from across the community has been commendable throughout the process.”

The hub will be linked to a range of others through affiliation with the Country Universities Centre network.

With the agreement of the Commonwealth Government in place, a representative working group will continue to develop the project over the next few months and more announcements will follow.

Last edited date 03 Apr 2024