Hervey Bay to be 'education city'
HERVEY Bay is set to become Queensland’s “education city” as moves to make the Fraser Coast a national and international education destination gain momentum.
An integrated USQ campus in Hervey Bay, incorporating a modern, diverse educational precinct, was a key target in the Fraser Coast council’s Economic Development Strategy launched this week.
So, too, was the university’s plan to cater for economic development and enterprise at its Pialba campus.
It follows the link established last month between Wide Bay TAFE and Leshan, Hervey Bay’s sister city in China.
The two-plus-one plan will bring vocational and technical students from China to the Fraser Coast, where TAFE and USQ courses will be available as part of an integrated program.
The Fraser Coast’s potential as an education destination has also been identified in Federal Government circles, with Jason Millward from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations saying funding for a co-ordinated education strategy would be considered.
“We want to attract students from across Queensland and expand opportunities for students here so they don’t have to leave to further their education,” Mr Millward said.
“We will be looking at diversity in courses and being able to promote the Wide Bay region as an education destination.
“I will be looking at tapping into that resource and putting the Wide Bay into the lounge rooms of mums and dads across Australia and around the world.”
Wide Bay TAFE director Trevor Schwenke said yesterday that key partnerships with the public and private schools sector were vital in getting the right courses in place.
“We need to strengthen and formalise the networks. It’s about creating a complete education pathway with exit and re-entry points for students.”
Mr Schwenke, who met with USQ delegates yesterday, said there were “great plans” to push Hervey Bay internationally and extend its education market.
The Fraser Coast Regional Council’s economic development strategy also includes a commitment to work with TAFE and Education Queensland to continue to develop a highly skilled workforce to meet the needs of the manufacturing industry.