The Minerals Council welcomes expansion of Regional Study Hubs initiative

By offering spaces to collaborate, access to technology, and a range of support services, the hubs aim to reduce barriers to participation and increase university completion rates in regional areas.

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The Federal Government has announced a significant expansion of Regional University Study Hubs, aiming to bridge the gap in tertiary education accessibility between urban and regional areas.

The scaling up of the initiative fosters equitable access to education and enhanced opportunities for skills development in regional communities, with students in regional and outer suburban able to pursue higher education without the need to relocate.

There are currently 34 existing Regional University Study Hubs located across the country, including ten in NSW, and the evidence shows that where they are, university participation and completion goes up.

They provide spaces to support students, including those from low socio-economic backgrounds, First Nations students and people with disability.

This latest injection of funding will see the establishment of 20 additional Regional University Study Hubs, alongside up to 14 new Suburban University Study Hubs, through a substantial investment of $66.9 million.

Among the areas set to benefit from this expansion are the Riverina and Calare electorates, with a boost to Study Hubs slated for Cowra and Mudgee.

The Cowra and Mudgee Hubs were established with support from the NSW Government and today’s Federal funding announcement will ensure they can continue to operate long term.

The current 34 existing Hubs support more than 3,400 students, studying more than 1,000 different courses, through more than 200 tertiary education providers.

Senator Deborah O’Neill, Duty Senator for Calare and Riverina, emphasized the transformative potential of university education for individuals and communities, stating, “The opportunity to attend university can be transformational for individuals, families, and communities more broadly. People should not be denied that opportunity because of where they live."

Minister for Education Jason Clare highlighted the importance of addressing disparities in university participation, particularly in regional and outer suburban areas. He stressed, "Today, almost one in two young people in their 20s and their 30s have a university degree. Not everywhere. Not in the outer suburbs and not in regional Australia."

The government aims to increase opportunities for young people in these areas to pursue higher education by bringing universities closer to where they live.

The Minerals Council of Australia has welcomed this initiative, recognizing its potential to support regional communities and key sectors such as mining.

"The new hubs will enhance the accessibility of tertiary education for regional candidates, increasing opportunities, choice and pathways to employment in critical sectors such as mining," Tania Constable, CEO of the Minerals Council stated.

"Skills shortages remain an ongoing issue, posing a risk to uninterrupted operations within the mining sector."

"The Regional University Study Hubs play an important role in mitigating these challenges by providing opportunities for skills development and training in a supportive and conducive environment."

To read more about Regional University Study Hubs, go to the Department of Education website here.

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