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Rural and regional university education strategy welcomed

USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie commended the National Regional, Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy released by Federal education minister Dan Tehan yesterday.

Professor Mackenzie said investing in education is investing in Australia’s future.

“Regional universities and their graduates are the lifeblood of our economies and communities,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“I welcome the Federal Government’s new 10 year Strategy which contains seven key recommendations to increase access to tertiary education for rural and remote students.

These recommendations focus on improving access to tertiary study options and increasing support for regional, rural and remote students, including financial support. Other recommendations include building aspiration and school-based preparation for tertiary education, and improving access and outcomes for students from equity groups.

Crucially, enhancing the role of tertiary education providers such as USQ in the growth and development of regional Australia is singled out as a stand-alone strategy, with a focus on increasing research capacity, exploring strategies to attract domestic and international students, and increasing opportunities for work-integrated learning.

“We need local students to stay here, and other students to come here, to build a stronger region.”

The Federal minister’s recommendations follows USQ’s scholarship offers announced last week, aimed at keeping students in the regions, and attracting metropolitan students.

“We hope these initiatives will greatly assist in bridging the gap between city and country,” Professor Mackenzie said.

Woman standing outside
Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie