Study backs uni­ver­si­ties cen­tre for re­gion

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A cen­tralised uni­ver­si­ties cen­tre in the Pil­bara could be op­er­at­ing by next year af­ter a fea­si­bil­ity study re­vealed sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­nity sup­port.

Ger­ald­ton Uni­ver­si­ties Cen­tre last week re­leased the re­sults of a study into bring­ing its suc­cess­ful sup­ported-dis­tance univer­sity study model to the Pil­bara, af­ter can­vass­ing stake­holder in­ter­est in May.

The study found Kar­ratha would be the most vi­able lo­ca­tion, op­er­at­ing out of a CBD-based build­ing such as the Kar­ratha Quar­ter, while Port Hed­land and New­man could be­come elec­tronic sup­port hubs in the fu­ture,

Most of the 168 re­spon­dents said they would be in­ter­ested in study­ing at a univer­sity level lo­cally and with the on-cam­pus ad­min­is­tra­tive and pas­toral sup­port GUC of­fered in­stead of through pure dis­tance ed­u­ca­tion.

Cour­ses in health, man­age­ment/com­merce and so­ci­ety/ cul­ture had the high­est de­mand and stu­dent en­rol­ments were pro­jected to reach 128 af­ter the first five years.

Ger­ald­ton Uni­ver­si­ties Cen­tre chair­man Steve Dou­glas said the sur­vey feed­back was en­cour­ag­ing.

“From our in­ves­ti­ga­tions and pro­jec­tions, there is some con­fi­dence that a PUC, based on the GUC model, could suc­ceed in the Pil­bara if ad­e­quately sup­ported,” he said.

“We would like to thank the com­mu­nity for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ... Pil­bara sur­vey.

“It is with the com­mu­nity’s re­sponses and co-op­er­a­tion that we have been able to de­ter­mine clear sup­port for a GUC-like model in the Pil­bara.”

The study stated GUC’s ex­ist­ing part­ner uni­ver­si­ties would ex­tend their agree­ments to the Pil­bara cen­tre, which would be guided by a Kar­ratha-based ad­vi­sory com­mitte.

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