COLD hard statistics show just why a recent education funding announcement is important for students in the Ulladulla area.
The Country Universities Centre (CUC), which recently opened an educational space in Ulladulla, welcomed the announcement from Minister for Regional Education Bridget McKenzie on funding the Eastern Australia Regional University Centre Partnership to nurture the aspirations of young people in regional communities to go to university.
It means good news for students in the Ulladulla area.
The ABS census in 2016 showed the proportion of the Ulladulla population (aged 15+) who held a bachelor degree qualification or above was eight percent.
Ulladulla's CUC aims to address the statistic and the partnership will help.
The Eastern Australia Regional University Centre Partnership is a collaboration of 25 universities and 16 Regional University Centres across Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria led by the CUC and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
The project will utilise the Commonwealth funding to work on a coordinated, community-led approach to widening university participation and school outreach, partnering with local communities to co-design innovative programs that address their unique community challenges in nurturing local aspiration and supporting access to higher education.
The CUC Equity and Engagement Director, Chris Ronan, is excited to see the project come to life.
"Previous outreach and widening participation initiatives from universities were focused on delivering services to schools, without any understanding of the local context," he said.
"With the funding provided by the Commonwealth, this refreshing project will develop programs that are designed by the community for the community and respects their local knowledge, while still drawing on the existing experience and knowledge of universities."
Lead university UTS's Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Justice and Inclusion) Verity Firth welcomed the funding."
Young people growing up in rural and remote communities face far more barriers to getting a university education than those in the city or in large regional centres that have universities in their backyard," she sari.
"We want more of these talented rural and remote community members to go to university.
"However, that requires us as universities to listen to communities and understand what their challenges are so that we can work together to co-design outreach programs that are going to work."
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