Keeping the Regions Connected - NSW Nationals

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Keeping the Regions Connected

Last week I was back in cotton and grain country in Moree to be part of the 2017 Young Nationals Conference.

Congratulations to Jess Price-Purnell who was elected to her second term as leader of the NSW Young Nationals. As always, Jess will bring a lot of energy and direction to the position.  

It was great privilege to sit with and listen to our future leaders describe their vision for the NSW Nationals and for Regional NSW.

The Young Nats conference in Moree was a fitting place for the NSW Liberals and Nationals Coalition to show our ongoing support for our young people in Regional NSW.

I am delighted to announce $8 million to expand a network of Country Universities Centres (CUC) to enable regional and rural university students to study in collaborative and supportive environments closer to home.

CUC centres will be modelled on an already successful pilot centre in Cooma with at least five other centres to be established over the next three years.

The first Country Universities Centre was established in Cooma in 2013 to allow local students who are doing distance or online university courses to study together in a centre that offers facilities, technology and support staff.

Since it opened in 2013 the CUC has provided facilities and services for 150 students undertaking tertiary studies at 28 universities across 34 undergraduate and 23 postgraduate courses.

Regional students should have the option to live in their local areas close to their family and friends while undertaking their education rather than having to relocate for study which can be disruptive to their personal lives and expensive.

This great idea has since been expanded to Young with the establishment of the Hilltops Universities Centre so i’m $8 million will be provided by the government to expand the CUC to offer facilities and services in even more regional locations across NSW.

The CUC is currently assessing locations for further regional hubs which will be established in conjunction with local communities.

With government assistance, at least five new CUC hubs will be established to provide local study spaces and facilities for university students who are studying by distance.

Facilities will include high-speed internet, video-conferencing and computer and print facilities as well as workshops delivered by qualified local instructors.

As well as personal benefits for students, this can help reduce the loss of talent from country to city areas and allow local businesses to access local people with the qualifications to meet their needs.

Interested parties can contact Duncan Taylor CUC CEO on 0418 675 041 or duncan.taylor@cuc.org.au

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