Closing the city/country higher education divide on World Access to Higher Education Day

15 Nov 2021

The percentage of regional Australians with a university degree is half that of metropolitan areas, according to federal government figures. Country Universities Centre (CUC) is working to close that gap with its network of free learning centres in rural and regional Australia.

Wednesday November 17th 2021 is World Access To Higher Education Day and Department of Education and Training figures show that while 44.6% of people in Australia’s major cities have a Bachelor degree, that figure falls to 22.7% in regional and rural communities.

“We know people in rural and regional Australia face many barriers when it comes to higher education including the cost of relocating to university, the isolation of remote study and poor internet connectivity,” CUC Ovens Murray Centre Manager Mark Van Bergen said.

“Country Universities Centre’s network of dedicated study centres help students overcome those barriers by providing free access to reliable high-speed internet, computers, printing and videoconferencing facilities.”

“Plus, our on-site Learning Skills Advisors make sure students’ learning is supported every step of the way,” he added.

There’s strong evidence for the benefit of higher education to individuals and the broader community. The 2019 Napthine Review found that if the gap between city and country was halved there would be an estimated $11 billion increase to the GDP.

“The difference between a Year 12 qualification and a Bachelor degree is on average an extra $1 million in earnings over a lifetime,” Mr Van Bergen noted.

Country Universities Centre sites are open 7am-midnight, seven days a week in locations across regional NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

Are you a regional student? Register with your closest Centre!

Register for your nearest Country Universities Centre at

Add Comment



The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


There are currently no comments, be the first to leave one