Funding could double for university under big budget win
A PLEA to see more funding for regional universities seems to have been answered in the Federal Budget.
At least 50,000 new higher education places for short courses will be offered, as well as 12,000 Commonwealth supported places for higher education in 2021 and an extra $1 billion for research.
University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett said they were pleased with the outcome of the budget.
“We think it will benefit regional campuses like the Fraser Coast,” she said.
Prof Bartlett said the big winner for the region could be the additional funds for research.
“We hope that can go towards supporting some of the potential research programs that are relevant to the Fraser Coast such as marine science, animal ecology, health and ageing, disability,” she said.
“Our early estimate suggests that the funding will double for University of the Sunshine Coast.”
She said the new short courses would be aimed at mature aged workers looking to upskill or re-skill.
“Once we know what the guidance is in accessing funding for additional short courses we will be looking at how they can be developed to suit the needs of the regions,” she said.
“The short courses will be predominantly online but our smaller campus like Fraser Coast are important study hubs.
“What we intend to do is ensure that the Fraser Coast Campus can become even more of a hub for students who are studying online.
“So while have reduced the number of face-to-face courses we have actually broadened the opportunity to study a wider range of courses online.
“The students will be able to come and get their peer support, academic skills support, library resources and so on from the campus.”
This new direction, she said, would allow online students to feel more connected to the university and less like they were studying at home in isolation.