2021 Top 10 Highlights across the Network

15 Dec 2021

The CUC mission to empower regional, rural and remote communities by enabling increased accessibility and support to higher education remained the core of the CUC network over the past year. The network has had some major wins during this period. We want to look back over some of our favourite highlights from 2021. 

1. CUC Network Wide Impact 

The CUC Network is impacting more and more regional, rural and remote communities every year. An early evaluation shows these centres in regional and remote Australia are highly effective in supporting students who have been historically under-represented at university and are at high risk of not completing courses.   

Here is a snapshot of the impact of the network:

Although it is great to measure our impact in numbers, nothing means more to us that hearing feedback directly from our students.  

Steve Pickering, CUC Clarence Valley Student studying Post Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security says, “I love have the CUC in the Clarence Valley. Thanks for all you do to make it such a success, I rave about the CUC to anyone thinking about further study.” 

 2. New Centre Grand Openings  

The CUC Network has celebrated Grand Openings across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland in 2021. All exciting additions as the Network draws more talent into the fold while expanding beyond New South Wales.  

The Bass Coast Centre Held its grand opening on 26 March 2021, in their Centre located in Wonthaggi, VIC. The event was attended by several guests, including the federal Member for Monash, Russell Broadbent, and Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, who joined the local CUC Board and community members 

The Macleay Valley grand opening was on April 30 in their Centre Located in Kempsey, NSW. The event was headlined by several guests, including the Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan MP, the Kempsey Shire Council Mayor, Liz Campbell, and the CUC Board, who joined with community members to celebrate the opening of the Centre. 

Maranoa Centre’s grand opening was on 8 June at their Centre located in Roma, QldThe occasion was celebrated the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, the Member for Maranoa, the Hon David Littleproud MP, and Roma community leaders.  

3. Key Milestones for New Centres 

We also have made some great progress at Centre’s that haven’t yet been officially launched but are at different stages in their establishment across the network. The network is excited to be able to support more regional students. Here are just a few highlights across our new Centres: 

4. Country Universities Centre announces Monica Davis as new CEO 

 The Country Universities Centre announced that Monica Davis has been appointed as its Chief Executive Officer. Monica led Student Support and University Partnerships for the CUC since 2018. In this role she has worked with Australia’s leading online and regional universities to develop partnerships and programs for regional students, collaborated on research, as well as established the highly successful Learning Skills Advisors program. Monica has been an incredible CEO for the network with her strong understanding of Regional Australia and the barriers that location can create. Monica will continue to take the CUC forward as a leader in this unique space within Higher Education.

5. Our Students  

It has been a great year to celebrate the most important part of the CUC Network – Our Students! We have featured many students and their inspiring stories during 2021. We have been privileged with the opportunity to talk to students about all sorts of achievements including their graduations, completing placements, supporting other students and just inspiring tales of  overcoming adversity.    

Here are a just a couple of the many featured stories from across the network: 

6. Celebrating Student Scholarship Success 

We have been fortunate to see many students across the network receive scholarships to support them in their studies. There are significant costs associated with going to University which is why it is worth celebrating when students have put in the effort to apply and receive that extra help from a scholarship or bursary. We have been lucky enough to witness a number of students from across the network receive this support.  

Just a few examples across the network include: 


 7. Brand new space for existing Centre

CUC Western Riverina have just moved into their newly constructed Centre in Griffith. This has been a very exciting move as the popularity of the Centre meant it outgrew its existing site. Such a wonderful outcome for the town to be able to receive some additional support from the NSW government to have a purpose-built facility that can help their students flourish while studying locally.  

Link to YouTube video: Regional Community Development Fund – Griffith Community Centre project – YouTube 

8. Welcoming LSA’s to our team 

This year we have had expanded our Learning Skills Advisor team with many fresh faces across our network! These amazing people understand the challenges of studying remotely and are here to share their tips and techniques for academic success. Please welcome our new Learning Skills Advisors, Ella (CUC Macleay Valley LSA), Aidan (CUC Bass Coast LSA) Amy and Shiron (CUC Western Riverina LSAs). The Learning Skills Program is a free service designed to support students through their studies. 

 9. CUC Degrees Closer Podcast Launched 

During the many lockdowns faced across the county in 2021 our CUC Far West Centre set out to discover new ways to connect with students and the community.

As a result, they have successfully launched a student focused podcast. This has been a first for the network using this medium which offers the opportunity to listen to relatable students that are studying in the Far West. As a network it is an excellent way to showcase the talent and diversity of our students.  

Listen to the podcast today by login into Spotify using the link here: Degrees Closer | Podcast on Spotify 

10.Uni for Life program successfully launched 

Congratulations to CUC Snowy Monaro, and Centre Manager Nadine Holland, for winning a 2021 Australian Rural Education Award for its Uni4Life collaboration with the University of Canberra. 

The Award was presented at the 2021 National Conference for Regional, Rural, and Remote Education on 24 May 2021. 

Uni4Life is a pilot program aimed to provide consistent, uninterrupted study time across the school holiday period for parents studying at the CUC Snowy Monaro. Simultaneously, the program nurtured the aspirations and understanding of university for the children of students who attended. 

Make 2022 an even better year! Join the network and start building your own success story. If you are looking for a change or career, need to talk to someone about getting started with study or you just want to join a local learning community reach out to your local Centre Manager.

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