McGowan takes a stand to make regional universities a national priority
Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan took a stand for regional universities in Parliament today, calling on the government to develop a national regional education strategy.
In tabling a motion proposing the national strategy, Ms McGowan affirmed her deep commitment to ensuring regional Australians have access to high quality tertiary education.
“My electorate has made it clear access to high quality tertiary education is a priority,” Ms McGowan said.
Acknowledging the establishment of the Regional Australia Ministerial Taskforce in March this year and work by Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie on higher education, Ms McGowan said there was “still something missing”.
“A National Strategy would support the role of regionally based higher education providers in creating diverse and resilient regional economies,” Ms McGowan said.
The Regional Universities Network (RUN) reports about three-quarters of those who study at regional universities stay in the regions to work. Conversely, students who leave their communities to take up university studies in major cities are much less likely to return after graduating.
“Central to good regional policy is the recognition of the workforce and economic development requirements of the community and this is underpinned by the TAFEs and Universities,” Ms McGowan said.
“Access to high quality tertiary education does more than educate the future workforce in regional communities, however.
“They play a central role in the economic, social and cultural development of their regions.”
Charles Sturt University, La Trobe University and RUN have been working closely with Ms McGowan to address their concerns around the government’s proposed higher education reforms.