THOUSANDS of Border TAFE students will soon have a guaranteed path to higher education after completing their courses.
As of next year, Riverina Institute electrical engineering and business students will have assured entry into corresponding Deakin University degrees.
The Deakin-Riverina Pathways Program will next be extended to include civil and mechanical engineering and early childhood education.
Each degree will be able to be completed at the Riverina Institute’s Albury campus, making higher education more affordable and accessible.
Deakin University vice-chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said rather than have to go through an application process, students with the required marks will automatically transfer to degrees.
“We know that people who learn in the regions will work in the regions and we believe that by doing that we’ll encourage the community to remain robust,” she said.
She said the program would hopefully address the high youth unemployment in the area by making young people more qualified.
“High employment means wealth generation, more cash in the economy and that families can fend for themselves,” she said.
Riverina Institute director Kerry Penton said Border industry leaders had told her they needed more skilled civil and mechanical engineers.
“The research shows that people who take a high level of education in a community tend to take a job in that community,” she said.
“From an economic point of view and a community point of view, it means we can keep more young people in our region.
“Students can stay with their loved ones, stay near their friends, remain an active part of their local community and still achieve a world-class education and secure their future careers.”
The women launched the new program at the TAFE NSW Riverina Institute yesterday after signing an agreement.