SEVERAL regional universities have welcomed a funding boost from federal education minister Dan Tehan.
The $134 million shot in the arm for regional campuses includes $34 million for an extra 2000 regional and remote students scholarships – more than doubling the current number.
Mr Tehan’s announcement on Monday ends the freeze on university funding which was announced by his predecessor, now minister for trade and tourism senator Simon Birmingham, in 2017.
Regional Universities Network chair, professor Greg Hill, said the funding boost was good recognition of the gap between regional and metropolitan universities.
“A one-size-fits all policy for higher education does not meet the needs of regional Australia or the nation,” he said.
“Place-based initiatives, such as those announced, are needed to make a difference.
“As anchor institutions for their regions, regional universities have a pivotal role to play in addressing some of the big issues facing Australia.”
Part of the package includes the development of a national regional, rural and remote higher education strategy, which will be led by an expert committee chaired by former Victorian premier Denis Napthine.
The strategy rose from the recommendation of emeritus professor John Halsey’s review of regional, rural and remote education.
“We’re delighted the package includes the development of a National Regional, Rural and Remote Higher Education Strategy, to be led by an expert advisory committee,” professor Hill said.
“Higher education changes lives, not only for the people involved, but for their families and communities.”