Moree Plains Shire Council General Manager Lester Rodgers, left, Councillor Mike Montgomery, Narrabri Shire Council Mayor Cathy Redding, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Moree Plains Shire Council’s Governance Project Officer Alice Coburn and Barwon MP Kevin Humphries at the Country Universities centre announcement today.
Monday, 28 May 2018
NORTHERN Tablelands MP and Assistant Minister for Skills Adam Marshall joined Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries today to announce the establishment of the Country Universities Centre Northwest, which will see campuses located in Moree and Narrabri next year.
Mr Marshall said the arrangement, unique among the Country University Centre model and supported by the NSW Government, would see a supported learning network spread across two local government areas (LGAs), allowing greater access by students to a university education from a broader geographical reach.
“The Country Universities model allows mature students with families or those who work full time, the flexibility to study when it suits them in a supportive university-type environment,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is great news for everyone across the Moree and Narrabri regions.
“Finally, we will get the additional facilities needed to keep and continue to develop talent in our community, eliminating a tough choice students have to face when it comes to having to relocate to complete a university degree.”
Mr Marshall said the North West was booming with opportunities for graduates, especially in areas like agriculture and plant science and the Country Universities Centre Northwest Campus will keep tertiary students in the region to help meet demand.
“This is a win-win for local students already toiling away on tertiary studies, for future students wanting to stay at home and study via distance and for our industries wanting to employ local, skilled workers,” Mr Marshall said.
“Now, our local students can get their degree with the backing they need from family and friends while continuing to enjoy the lifestyle of the Moree and Narrabri communities.”
“The NSW Government is committed to making tertiary education as accessible, rewarding and successful as possible for every student in NSW.”
Moree Plains Shire Council Mayor Katrina Humphries said that by both councils coming together to make a submission for a campus, a great result had been achieved.
“Had we gone in separately, one or both of our Shires would have missed out and improved tertiary education is critical to the economic and community development of both communities,” Cr Humphries said.
“Our joint proposal recognises that both regions have high level industry expertise and community assets that can be leveraged to establish a two-campus model that provides students with access to hands-on real world experience and a respected tertiary qualification, in their home towns.”
Mr Marshall said the CUC would help to break the boundaries regional students too often faced in accessing and completing higher education courses.
“Recently opened Country University Centres in Cooma, Broken Hill and Goulburn have already exceeded our enrolment expectations and are giving students the opportunity to stay in their local communities while they study,” he said.
“Geography really is a key challenge faced by students when deciding whether to go to university or not. The Country Universities Centre North West Campus will fill a gap in the network we’re building to overcome this.”
The Centre will open in early 2019 with the sponsorship of Narrabri Shire Council and Moree Plains Shire Council. Locations in each town are yet to be determined.