Work begins on new regional university study hub

07 Jun 2024 |
7 June 2024

Building modifications and fit-out work will commence shortly on the Southern Downs regional university study hub, located at 163 Palmerin Street, Warwick. When completed, the centre will include quality learning spaces, meeting rooms, technology and pastoral care to provide local students with greater access to tertiary studies and improved academic opportunities while continuing to live and study locally.

Southern Downs Mayor Melissa Hamilton said Council had worked closely with leading educational and community organisations on the funding submission to the Australian Government’s Department of Education for a centre that was suitably equipped to keep students local.

“We need more key workers in areas including health, education and engineering. Often the cost in moving away from home is not affordable for everyone, and this initiative will give so many more people an accessible pathway to higher education,” Mayor Hamilton said.

“The funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Education will ensure that our students have access to the right resources to complete tertiary studies locally.

“What ensured our success in obtaining funding was a collaborative effort of a number of stakeholders, including Council, who shared a united vision and understanding of the importance of this centre to our community.

“The funding process was highly competitive and I would like to thank everyone who was involved in securing this important investment for our region.”

The success of the Southern Downs submission was announced in late March. With the completion of a range of grant agreements, actual funding is now available for use.

SCOTS PGC College Principal Kyle Thompson who is also a member of the centre’s development committee said the centre would bridge the gap for students as they transition to university and other advanced education.

“The centre will create a much stronger pathway and improved support for region’s students as they move into the tertiary education sector,” Mr Thompson said.

“This gives our region’s students, both school-leavers and mature-aged, a whole new option for higher education that does not necessarily involve leaving home.”

Council partnered with SDIEA, TAFE, local high schools, the Chambers of Commerce and the not-for-profit Country University Centre group on funding submission.

The regional university study hub is expected to be fully operational for the start of the 2025 academic year and the recruitment process for a Centre Manager is currently underway.

As required under the funding agreement, the centre has now been established as a community-owned, not-for-profit, incorporated body.

This project is financially supported by the Australian Government’s Regional University Study Hubs Program and by donations from Southern Downs Regional Council and other local organisations.

Last edited date 07 Jun 2024