Albany to get regional university centre

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Member for O Connor Rick Wilson and Regional Development Australia Great Southern director Simon Lyas.
Camera IconMember for O Connor Rick Wilson and Regional Development Australia Great Southern director Simon Lyas. Credit: West Regional/Kendall O Connor Picture: West Regional

An Albany-based Regional University Centre could be ready to welcome students by semester one next year.

Albany was yesterday named as one of nine new locations in the country — and the only one in WA — to receive a slice of $15 million in funding as part of the Federal Government’s Regional University Centres program.

The centres provide a learning hub for local students to pursue tertiary qualification courses remotely without having to leave their communities.

Students studying online can access the study space, computer facilities and pastoral, administrative and academic support while connecting with fellow distance education students.

Regional Development Australia Great Southern plans to establish the centre at the Albany Co-operative Society building on Frederick Street.

The centre would work with other tertiary education providers to support local students and provide course opportunities not currently available in the region.

RDA Great Southern director Simon Lyas said the organisation was finalising plans with Curtin University to deliver a registered nursing degree as the first undergraduate course offered through the centre.

Mr Lyas said the project had already received “tremendous support” from the community.

“We realised that no one was offering that level of support to students here,” he said.

“People in regional areas might not be able to afford or have the time to go and live in Perth to complete their studies, so the only option available to them is online.

“We will hopefully be able to facilitate their educational outcomes in a much stronger way.”

O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said the centre would lead to more local students gaining skills and qualifications.

“This centre opens up more opportunities for people in our region to study than ever before without having to leave our local community and their support networks,” he said.

“I believe every Australian, no matter where they live, should be able to attend university.”

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