Uni hub plan to curb regions’ brain drain
The Federal Government will pour $15 million into establishing up to eight new communityowned regional university hubs based on the Geraldton University Centre model being proposed for Karratha.
Durack MHR Melissa Price said the GUC model had proven effective at improving engagement in higher education.
“At the 2016 election, this Government made a commitment to reviewing how we deliver higher education in regional areas,” she said.
“I am hopeful we can see the model rolled out across regional Western Australia, including regions such as the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields. A boost in regional student numbers is a boost for the regions, and I welcome the news wholeheartedly.”
Deputy Nationals leader Fiona Nash said the hub model allowed regional students to keep the social support network and contribute to their community while studying.
“Regional study hubs provide face-to-face study support from adult tutors, computers, live streaming of lectures and teleconferencing no matter which course or at which university in Australia the student is studying,” she said.
“It allows the chance to mix with other students and reduces isolation.”
Country Universities Centre chief executive Duncan Taylor said the evidence showed students who studied in the regions stayed in the regions.
“It’s about bringing knowledge to the bush and keeping it there,” he said.
WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the GUC model had been successful in Geraldton.
“There is enormous capability in the Kimberley and Pilbara to massively expand the value of agriculture and horticulture products we produce but we are not going to get there without some very serious science and research along the way,” she said.
The model negates the costs of relocating to a major metro area.