Uni study hub in the works
A centralised university study hub is in the works for the Pilbara, with a specialist regional provider making moves to open a second campus in the Karratha CBD as another university model previously slated for the area remains on hold.
After being based at the North Regional TAFE complex since 2014, CQUniversity is in negotiations to expand into premises in central Karratha, with the Karratha Quarter one of the possible locations.
The university has assembled an advisory committee, including representatives from Karratha’s high schools, the Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Pilbara Development Commission, and could be operating its central campus by semester 1 next year with courses in engineering, nursing and tourism among those on offer.
CQUniversity study hub co-ordinator Sharyn Hearson said Karratha’s growing school leaver population would be the focus of a central campus, with facilities including video conferencing, tutorial rooms and in-person administrative and pastoral support designed to assist their study.
“CQU are currently looking to continue to expand their presence and student facilities to replicate a more traditional university atmosphere,” she said.
“(We) are strong supporters of the creation of a university centre in the Pilbara and have a commitment to being a fundamental constituent and provider in any future tertiary education development.”
The CQU hub would be similar to one proposed by Geraldton Universities Centre, for which a feasibility study was done last year but which is on hold after a change in its funding from the State to Federal Government.
CQU would be the lead provider for that centre if it was to go ahead.
Geraldton Universities Centre director Natalie Nelmes said the centre was still interested in establishing a facility in the Pilbara, but the plan was awaiting a Government decision on centre locations as well as firm community support.
Durack MHR Melissa Price said she supported the Pilbara as a good location for a university centre under Federal funding.
“The Pilbara seems well-placed to get a universities centre, but the community needs to come together now and start working towards it,” she said.