Making it easier to get a university education without having to leave your community.

The Nationals in Government believe that no matter where you live in NSW, everyone should have the right to top-quality further education.

To date, access to university education in regional and remote areas has been heavily reliant on distance education, resulting in dominant economic migration and a ‘brain drain’ from our regions.

One of the biggest challenges faced by regional and remote students is the absence of a campus environment and its associated support and benefits.
Labor forced regional students to choose between staying at home or moving from the regions to complete their university degree.

The Nationals in Government has already invested $8 million into seven Country University Centres across regional NSW.

Since the first centre opened in Cooma in 2013, more than 430 students have been supported as they study 135 different degrees at 35 universities.

Since the Far West Country University Centre opened in Broken Hill in May 2018, more than 100 students have benefitted from the Centre – 60 per cent of whom were the first in their family to go to university.

With a further $8 million in funding from the Nationals in Government, five more Country University Centres will be established, taking the total to 13 across regional and remote NSW.

These centres deliver supported learning to students, providing them with access to campus level technology, facilities, tutors, supportive administrative and academic staff, and a network of fellow students and local industry.

The Nationals in Government will ensure even more regional students are given the option to live at home close to their family and friends whilst also undertaking the further education of their choice, rather than having to relocate for study.

As well as the personal benefits for students, these new centres will reduce the number of young people needing to leave regions to city areas and allow local businesses to access local people with appropriate qualifications to meet their needs.

The Nationals in Government will:

• Construct five more Country University Centres across regional NSW, taking the number of regional centres to 13 across the state, allowing more regional and rural students to study close to home.

• Provide students at Country University Centres access to specialised services and support currently unavailable via traditional distance education – resulting in better outcomes.

• Build new university centres in regional locations where currently there are no tertiary facilities.