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University of the Sunshine Coast students to benefit from $24 million Gillard Government investment

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Ministers' Media Centre Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

University of the Sunshine Coast students to benefit from $24 million Gillard Government investment

Wednesday 7 December 2011 Media Release

Senator the Hon Chris Evans [link:]

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations • Leader of the Government in the Senate •

Students at the University of the Sunshine Coast will benefit from a $24 million Gillard Government grant for its Collaborative Futures Project.

The Gillard Government today announced it will invest $377 million in new state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities at university campuses across the nation.

With funding from State and Territory Governments as well as successful universities, this investment will deliver an $873 million upgrade for higher education institutions in regional and outer metropolitan areas.

The investment is part of the Government’s commitment to removing the barriers to higher education and opening the doors of Australia’s universities to all students, no matter where they live.

The estimated total cost of the University of the Sunshine Coast project is $33 million.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said the University of the Sunshine Coast project involved two major capital infrastructure projects in Queensland, including the first higher education facility in Gympie.

“The Gympie Learning Hub, to be co-located on the campus of Wide Bay Institute of TAFE, will support delivery of the University’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway program, along with arts, business and nursing science bachelor degree programs,” he said.

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“The Sippy Downs Learning Hub will be built on the University’s campus and shared with Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE. It will deliver a wide range of nursing and allied health degree programs including nutrition, paramedic science, mental health nursing, midwifery

and occupational therapy.”

Senator Evans said the new buildings would be supported by innovative collaborations with the local TAFEs to create new pathways into higher education.

“The emphasis on industry relevant degree programs will result in positive student employment outcomes given the growing Sunshine Coast economy and population,” he said.

“That is good news for students and good news for the Queensland economy.”

The new eLearning and Flexible Delivery Advancement Project (eLEAP) will support delivery of the new course offerings by combining traditional face-to-face classroom methods with web-based learning technologies.

Senator Evans said the Gillard Government’s investment will help thousands more students who have studied vocational or trade qualifications take the extra step to get a university degree.

“We are committed to removing the barriers for Australians who aspire to gain a university education,” Senator Evans said.

“Next year, under the student-demand driven funding system, caps on student places will be removed, opening up opportunities for more Australians to participate in higher education.

“We are determined to build a highly skilled workforce, ready to meet the challenges of a modern, diverse economy.

“A university education is a ticket to greater career choice and to high skilled and high paid jobs.”

For more information

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