More students from Wangaratta and the North East will have the opportunity to participate in higher education in their local community thanks to a $6.8 million Australian Government investment.
The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment, today opened the new Wangaratta Regional Study Centre, which was the beneficiary of the Government’s multi-million investment.
The Wangaratta Regional Study Centre is a shared facility between Charles Sturt University and GOTAFE, and includes:
· A 40 student science laboratory with attached preparation room;
· A state-of-the-art teaching kitchen;
· Two 40 student seminar rooms with videoconferencing capabilities;
· A 20 student information technology laboratory;
· A student learning common space;
· Multiple student tutorial rooms, including one with videoconferencing capabilities; and,
· A new staff office space for Charles Sturt University and GOTAFE staff.
Senator McKenzie said the development of the Wangaratta Regional Study Centre was a significant win for vocational and higher education in the North East and would deliver improved educational outcomes for local students.
“As a former teacher and university lecturer, I understand how important it is for students and teachers to have access to high quality education facilities such as this,” Senator McKenzie said.
“CSU’s courses are known for providing students with the skills and knowledge local employers need. The new Centre, in collaboration with GOTAFE, will only strengthen this record.
“The degree courses now on offer through the Centre such as Agriculture, Agricultural Business Management, Nursing, Wine Business, Horticulture and Education, and a new degree in Veterinary Technology, are geared for the region’s key industries and will help to keep graduates here in the North East.
“This is a great investment that will pay dividends for the North East for many years to come.”
Senator McKenzie said the Centre’s co-location on GOTAFE ‘s Wangaratta campus would also assist students to make the transition from vocational education to higher education.
“This is an opportunity that was not previously available in the region, but now, thanks to the Government’s significant investment, we will see doors opened to students who may not have previously participated in higher education,” Senator McKenzie said.
Senator McKenzie said local student Jake Frecklington was a great example of how pathways from TAFE to university were making a real difference for students.
“Jake didn’t have an ATAR score to gain entry to university, so commenced an Advanced Diploma of Agriculture with GOTAFE, graduating in 2010. He is now working on a local dairy farm and has recently enrolled in a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management with CSU,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The collaboration between GOTAFE and CSU enabled Jake to obtain credit for his previous studies at GOTAFE, and with this new Centre now open, he doesn’t have to travel far to receive support with his studies.
“Jake’s story is a great example of the opportunities this Government is committed to providing to students in regional communities.”
Senator McKenzie paid tribute to Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne for this significant investment as well as The Nationals State Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy, who has been a strong and vocal supporter of this project for many years.
Media release: Ben Bulmer 0488 747 770 firstname.lastname@example.org