Australia’s leading research-intensive universities have backed a push by the Independent Member for Indi, Ms. Cathy McGowan for the establishment of a National Regional Higher Education Strategy.
The Group of Eight (Go8) is supportive of this initiative that seeks to ensure regional Australia has a comprehensive and coherent higher education strategy, recognising that long-term government policy in higher education is crucial for regional sustainability and growth.
“Go8 universities make a significant contribution to the regions. While our main campuses may be metropolitan, our outreach and support for regional Australia is strong. We are committed to providing the very best in education and research to regional and rural centres,” said Vicki Thomson, Go8 Chief Executive.
“Raising the aspirations of school age students is at the forefront of our many highly successful outreach programs. We have an enviable equity platform for regional and rural students wishing to access a world-class education. Of course, while equity is of critical importance, Go8 support for the regions is far broader.
“Go8 universities provide doctors, health professionals, engineers, vets, business leaders, technology professionals, scientists, teachers, entrepreneurs and other professionals needed to create prosperity and well-being in regional communities throughout Australia.
“We have over 50 regional campuses, clinical presences and facilities around the country. These are vibrant centres that actively engage with their local communities making valuable contributions to local economies and enriching regional life. We also have over 550 medical and health placements scattered throughout regional and remote Australia that provide on the ground training that give students practical skills and invaluable experience of rural life,” Ms Thomson said.
Go8 universities are dominant in research fields that are of great importance to regional and remote Australia. Our world class research greatly improves farming, agricultural and livestock methods and practices, while also resulting in numerous ongoing partnerships with rural and regional industry and business that contribute greatly to regional economies.
“While other university networks do an invaluable job as higher education providers in rural areas, the fact remains that they do not shoulder that care, nor geographical space on their own.
“This Bill provides an important opportunity for collective action to enhance the lives of regional and rural communities while ensuring the sustainability of local communities through economic growth and development over the long-term.”
Contact: Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472