Coalition creates new Regional University Centre for Mount Isa

The Coalition Government will establish a new Regional University Centre in Mount Isa to offer local students the support and modern facilities they need to undertake tertiary education without needing to leave the area.

The Coalition Government’s Regional University Centres program removes barriers for regional and remote students to access quality education opportunities and is an important step towards changing the narrative for our students. We strongly believe that all Australians should have access to quality tertiary education, regardless of where they live.

Minister for Regional Education, Bridget McKenzie said the new centre was an exciting development for Mount Isa.

“This centre will significantly boost higher education outcomes for current and future students in Mount Isa and the surrounding region,” Minister McKenzie said.

“People in regional Australia are less than half as likely to complete a university degree compared with people in cities. Regional University Centres are helping communities across Australia to reverse this trend.

“It is wonderful that once this centre is up and running, local students won’t need to leave home and relocate to study. They will be able to enrol in a university course and complete a degree or another tertiary qualification and their skills could stay in the region and help the community.

“The new centre has the potential to change education outcomes in Mount Isa and surrounding regional areas for the benefit of future generations, which is part of the Coalition Government’s plan for a stronger future.

“Our government is investing almost $20 billion in higher education in 2022 – this is 32 per cent higher than under Labor.

“Regional University Centres supported more than 2400 students across Australia in 2021 to undertake further education, many of them who would never have considered this if it wasn’t for these facilities.”

Special Envoy for Northern Australia and LNP Senator for Queensland, Susan McDonald welcomed the announcement and said the centre is a key component of the Coalition Government’s commitment to improving higher education participation and attainment in regional and remote Australia.

“Our local rural and regional students deserve the very best when it comes to their education, and it’s initiatives like this one that will ensure that whoever wants to live in the bush, can stay in the bush,” Senator McDonald said.

“The Mt Isa community has been lobbying for a tertiary education facility for some time and I’m pleased that the Morrison Government has acted to deliver such a practical and positive outcome.”

LNP Candidate for Kennedy, Bryce Macdonald also welcomed the announcement and said these resources are fundamental in regional towns to ensure regional kids can achieve their dreams.

“Regional University Centres provide study spaces, video conferencing, computer facilities and internet access, as well as administrative, academic and wellbeing support for students studying via distance at any Australian university or vocational education and training provider,” Mr MacDonald said.

The Centre is expected to be open by early 2023. It will be operated by Country Universities Centre and is one of eight new centres that will be established around Australia as part of an investment of up to $14.8 million.

The new centres will complement the existing 26 centres currently operating in all Australian states and the Northern Territory under the $102 million Regional University Centres program.

Only the Coalition has a plan to continue delivering a strong economy and a stronger future for Queensland.

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