Government announces new regional study hubs

More funding has been announced to support the establishment of new Regional University Study Hubs, in response to the Universities Accord recommendations

The Federal Government has announced the locations of 10 new Regional University Study Hubs, aiming at making university more accessible to students living in the regions.

The new University Study Hubs are part of the Government’s response to the Universities Accord Interim Report. In total, the Government will invest $66.9 million to establish 20 more Regional University Study Hubs, and up to 14 new Suburban University Study Hubs in the outer suburbs of major cities.

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In announcing the funding, Federal Education Minister Jason Clare said he wanted more Australian young people to have a chance at going to university.

“Today, almost one in two young people in their 20s and their 30s have a university degree. But not everywhere. Not in the outer suburbs and not in regional Australia. 

“The Universities Accord makes it clear that we need more people from the regions and outer suburbs to get a university qualification,” Mr Clare said.

The hubs are in addition to the 34 existing Regional University Study Hubs located across the country. The government said evidence shows that where they are, university participation and completion increases.

The hubs provide a facility for regional students to use to study tertiary courses locally, delivered by distance from any Australian institution. Hubs provide high speed internet access, computer spaces, video conferencing, study spaces and break out areas. Student support services like pastoral care and study advice, as well as administrative and academic support services including developing writing and research skills, and managing administrative processes are also provided.

These first 10 study 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 (Tom Price and Onslow), Western Australia
  • Central Western Queensland (Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Winton, Boulia, Bedourie, Birdsville and Jundah)
  • East Gippsland (Mallacoota, Orbost, Omeo, Heyfield and Yarram), Victoria

Funding will also be provided to two existing hubs, located at Cowra and Mudgee, both in New South Wales.

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

“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.

The original cohort of 16 Regional University Study Hubs were announced in 2018, and were located in all states and and the Northern Territory. Additional hubs were added in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The current 34 Hubs support nearly 4000 students, studying more than 1000 different courses, through more than 200 tertiary education providers.

The new Regional University Study Hubs are expected to be available to students over the next 12 months. Applications for the next 10 and for the 14 Suburban University Study Hubs (SUSHs) will open in the coming months.

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