1 April 2024

Ten more Regional University Study Hubs to be established

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Jason Clare

Education Minister Jason Clare says the 34 hubs currently in place support nearly 4000 students. Photo: Screenshot.

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare has announced the locations for 10 new Regional University Study Hubs.

The hubs are designed to increase participation in university education for students living in regional and remote areas by bringing universities closer to them.

They are designed to provide infrastructure including study spaces and breakout areas, video conferencing, computer facilities and high-speed internet access, as well as administrative and academic support services such as developing writing and research skills, and managing administrative processes.

They also provide student support services such as pastoral support, study advice, and assistance in accessing student services.

The government says the 34 hubs currently in place support nearly 4000 students studying more than 1000 different courses through more than 200 tertiary education providers.

The 10 new hubs will add to the existing hubs and are in response to the Universities Accord Interim Report which was tabled last July and updated in January.

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The new hubs will be located at:

  • East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory
  • Victor Harbor, South Australia
  • Warwick, Queensland
  • Chinchilla, Queensland
  • Innisfail, Queensland
  • King Island, Tasmania
  • Katanning, Western Australia
  • The Pilbara, Western Australia
  • Central Western Queensland
  • East Gippsland, Victoria

The government says 14 Suburban University Study Hubs (SUSHs) are scheduled to open this year, while it has also called for applications for the next 10 Regional University Study Hubs.

In total, it has committed to invest $66.9 million to establish the additional 20 Regional University Study Hubs and 14 new Suburban University Study Hubs.

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

Minister for Education Jason Clare said almost one in two young people in their 20s and their 30s had a university degree.

“But not everywhere. Not in the outer suburbs and not in regional Australia,” he said.

“The Universities Accord makes it clear that we need more people from the regions and outer suburbs to get a university qualification. I want more young people to get a crack at going to university and we know that postcode is a massive barrier for young people getting that chance.

“The evidence is that where university study hubs are, university participation goes up, that’s why we’re announcing 10 new Regional University Study Hubs and there’s more to come,” he added.

“Bringing university closer to where you live will encourage more people who otherwise might decide not to go to university at all to give it a crack.”

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Assistant Minister for Education and Regional Development Senator Anthony Chisholm said people from regional, rural and remote Australia were almost half as likely to obtain a university degree compared to their peers living in cities.

“The expansion of the Regional University Study Hubs program will remove barriers for more students so they can access a high-quality tertiary education,” he said.

“These hubs create a campus-like environment where students can access support, the latest technology and be part of an engaging learning environment to help them achieve their academic goals, without having to leave their community.

“Every student deserves to have access to a world-class education no matter who they are or where they live,” he added. “The Albanese Government is committed to ensuring access to Australia’s universities is fairer and more equitable.”

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