Study backs universities centre for region
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.