Regional Victoria to receive new Country Universities Centre
24 Jun 2021
Last week the Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge, announced establishment and operational funding for CUC Ovens Murray, which will provide support to Higher Education students in Wangaratta, Corryong, Mansfield and the surrounds.
The Country Universities Centre (CUC) warmly welcomes the Minister’s investment in the Regional Universities Centres (RUC) program.
CUC Ovens Murray will have multiple facilities. The central hub will be at Cusack House 16-18 Cusack St Wangaratta. The Corryong location is situated at 6 Boundary St Corryong and the Mansfield location at 45-147 High St Mansfield.
CUC Ovens Murray Chair, John Joyce, thanked the collection of leaders and education advocates of the communities involved for their dedication and motivation to progress the application from an idea to a fully funded project.
“Our communities have rallied together and put the needs of our students first,” Mr Joyce said.
“There is a strong sense of community ownership from across the CUC Ovens Murray board.
“We were able to put forward a compelling case for investment in Higher Education in our regions.
“There were 476 university students enrolled in Wangaratta and the surrounding regions (an additional 186 students in Towong, Mansfield and surrounding areas) in the 2016 ABS census.
“Bachelor attainment rates for the region sit at 13.3%, which is significantly less than the Victorian state average of 24.3%.
“CUC Ovens Murray will create an education precinct and provide access to higher education in two further communities where previously the only option was online study or relocation. It is a fantastic outcome for our regional higher education students.”
The Centre will deliver state-of-the-art study spaces, an informal area where students can gather and bond, including a student kitchen, an outdoor courtyard, space for tutorials and meetings. Students will have access to campus-level technology, facilities, tutors, supportive administrative and academic staff, and a network of fellow students.
CUC CEO Monica Davis said that in 2019 the Australian Government announced funding to establish additional Regional University Centres, including provision for a Centre in Wangaratta. Today that promise has been delivered upon.
“The CUC’s purpose is to build highly connected learning communities and opportunities for regional students to build a more vibrant and prosperous future,” Ms Davis said.
“Our Centres are driven by their local communities. We have been working alongside the communities of Wangaratta, Corryong and Mansfield to build a community-led proposal that would put regional students at the heart of the state-of-the-art facilities which will support them in their studies.
“The students of CUC Ovens Murray will not have to leave their communities and can remain connected with family, friends and community. It’s a fantastic outcome.”
Currently, the CUC network includes twelve Centres across fifteen locations in NSW, QLD and Victoria.
The development of the CUC Ovens Murray proposal was a collaboration with Wangaratta City Council, Towong Shire Council, and Mansfield Shire Council.
The CUC thanked the Australian Government for its ongoing support and continued focus on improving outcomes for higher education in rural, regional and remote Australia.
A Regional University Centre is a facility that regional students can use to study tertiary courses locally delivered by distance from any Australian institution. To find out more about the CUC and our Centres, please visit: www.cuc.edu.au