Students across the Central West region will be empowered to reach their higher education potential thanks to a new dedicated learning centre earmarked for Cowra.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed the funding of $1.27 million for a new Country Universities Centre (CUC) in Cowra, which will provide a learning space for students to obtain their degrees without the need to move away from home.
“Where you live should not limit your opportunities for a good education and once operational, the Centre will enable students to engage in and successfully complete their studies in a safe and flexible learning environment,” Ms Cooke said.
“What a fantastic opportunity for people who wish to grow up in Cowra, this will allow them to study, work and have a wonderful life in this beautiful part of the world.”
“All of this could not be made possible without the support also from the CUC Cowra Regional Board and Chair Ms Linda Barron, along with Cowra Shire Council.”
Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the CUC model is designed and developed by regional people for regional people and their communities, to provide equitable access to higher education.
“CUC’s are encouraging graduates to stay and work in the regions while they complete their studies, which is future-proofing the workforce and helping boost local economies,” Mr Henskens said.
The state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to open its doors in early 2023 and will be equipped with modern technology, high bandwidth internet, space to study and access to video conferencing.
Country Universities Centre interim-CEO Duncan Taylor said the Cowra and broader community will benefit greatly from having a local CUC Centre.
“As we’ve seen in our other Centres, the combination of study spaces, technology, the student community and the human support will provide the needed environment for local students to thrive in their studies and will enrich opportunities across the Central West region,” Mr Taylor said.
Cowra Council’s Community Development Officer, Linda Barron, believes the establishment of a Country Universities Centre in Cowra will meet a strong demand for improved tertiary education supports in the local area.
“We know from the Cowra Youth Council’s research that our young people will benefit from improved access to study facilities. The CUC Cowra Region will provide a place where university students of all ages can connect with like-minded people, helping to break down the isolation many remote learners face,” Mrs Barron said.
The NSW Government committed $16 million to the CUC education model, which will help deliver 10 centres across the state by the end of 2023. More information on the Country Universities Centre network can be found https://www.cuc.edu.au/our-centres/