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Rudd Government secures future of Batchelor Institute.

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP 

Deputy Prime Minister 

Minister for Education 

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations 

Minister for Social Inclusion  8 June, 2010  

Joint Media release

Rudd Government Secures Future of Batchelor Institute

Joint Media Release with The Hon Warren Snowdon MP and The Hon Dr Chris Burns

Minister for Education Julia Gillard today announced that the Australian Government would provide funding to ensure the sustainability of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE).

Today’s announcement will guarantee the institute’s future as a high quality tertiary education provider.

Ms Gillard said the investment would support the partnership that has been negotiated between BIITE and Charles Darwin University (CDU) to provide Indigenous Australians with greater access to tertiary education.

The partnership will allow the two institutions to share expertise and overhead costs inherent in running a quality institution including student administration, IT and human resources, supported by up to $8.9 million in funding.

Ms Gillard thanked the hard work and input from the two institutes, the Northern Territory Government and her parliamentary colleagues representing the Territory including Federal Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon, Federal Member for Solomon Damian Hale and Senator Crossin whose efforts have ensured the sustainability of BIITE.

Dr Chris Burns said that while BIITE would retain its status as an independent provider, the partnership with Charles Darwin University would help it improve the quality of the education taught at the institute.

Operational aspects of the model are currently being finalised by BIITE and CDU to make sure the institute provides courses that address existing and emerging skills shortages in the Northern Territory.

The new operating arrangements are expected to be in place for the 2011 academic year and will follow the finalisation of an organisational restructure at BIITE which began in August 2009.

BIITE and CDU will continue to deliver vocational education and training (VET) courses independently and existing students will have the option to complete their courses of study through transition arrangements.

BIITE’s future was in doubt in August last year when it went into financial administration. At the time, the Australian and Northern Territory Governments stepped in to provide funding to prevent BIITE from going into insolvency.

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