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$8 million to improve quality of higher education.



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Media Release

$8 million to improve quality of higher education

18 December 2006

The Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, has approved funding of more than $8 million for 13 new projects in universities, including the development of an Engineering in Schools initiative, improving university forestry studies and developing new computer engineering curriculum to help overcome local skills shortages.

The projects, which have been funded in the 2006 funding round for the Collaboration and Structural Reform Fund (CASR), will promote structural reform in higher education and encourage stronger links between universities and industry, business and the local community, and other education and training providers.

“Australia has a world-class higher education sector, and the Government, in partnership with the sector and business, is committed to looking at ways to improve the quality of such linkages,” Minister Bishop said.

“CASR will help ensure that courses offered at our universities remain world class and can effectively respond to the needs of industry and the broader Australian community.

“Australia’s strong economy has led to increasing demands for skilled workers in certain industries. A number of the projects I have approved from the 2006 funding round will assist further in addressing these skills issues.

“For example, the $680,000 Engineering Tomorrow’s Engineers project will look at ways of increasing the number of trained engineers through a range of activities including at an early stage through an Engineering in Schools initiative.”

Other successful projects focus on the collaborative development and delivery of courses in a range of disciplines, including mining and electronic engineering, geoscience and environmental studies, plant biosecurity and nursing. The projects also address issues such as the linkages between higher education and vocational education and training, and the rationalisation of university resources.

The CASR programme is part of the $1.5 billion allocated for reforms in Our Universities: Backing Australia’s Future. More than $46 million has been allocated to CASR for 2005-09.

More information on CASR, including details of this year’s successful projects, is available at http://www.dest.gov.au/casr

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