Model shows a new way to ac­cess uni

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Opinion - Peter Long Peter Long is the Mayor of the City of Kar­ratha.

It has long been pos­si­ble to study cer­tain cour­ses in Kar­ratha through WA uni­ver­si­ties but no univer­sity has ever com­mit­ted to es­tab­lish­ing a cam­pus here.

In fact, un­like Vic­to­ria, where sev­eral of the State uni­ver­si­ties have cam­puses scat­tered through­out re­gional cen­tres, this is rare in WA — the only one be­ing in Al­bany.

In 2015, Cen­tral Queens­land Univer­sity de­cided to es­tab­lish an of­fice at our lo­cal TAFE (then the Pil­bara In­sti­tute) and this year has placed a per­ma­nent staff mem­ber here to as­sist stu­dents.

CQU offers the full range of cour­ses, which can be stud­ied from Kar­ratha.

This is an ex­cel­lent ini­tia­tive and our thanks go to CQU, but cer­tain as­pects, such as prac­ti­cal ses­sions, will need to hap­pen at a cam­pus away from here.

The Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion re­cently en­gaged UWA to study the op­tions for ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion de­liv­ery to the Pil­bara and its draft re­port has just been re­leased to the steer­ing com­mit­tee.

The re­port pro­vides a num­ber of op­tions — and rec­om­mends none — but it is likely that a model de­vel­oped by the Ger­ald­ton Univer­sity Cen­tre is most ap­pro­pri­ate for us. In this model, a cen­tre would be es­tab­lished in Kar­ratha that co-or­di­nates course of­fer­ings from a num­ber of uni­ver­si­ties, pro­vides tu­to­rial services, study spa­ces and IT fa­cil­i­ties plus ad­min­is­tra­tive and pas­toral sup­port.

Such a model does re­quire ad­e­quate lo­cal pa­tron­age for the univer­sity fees to cover the lo­cal cen­tre costs, but GUC has sur­veyed the re­gion and con­sid­ers a “Pil­bara Univer­sity Cen­tre” in Kar­ratha is vi­able.

There is a fair amount of wa­ter yet to flow un­der the bridge, but we are hope­ful and will keep you posted.

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