Model shows a new way to access uni
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.