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Former Geraldton Universities Centre Director part of expert regional education advisory group

Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of the National Regional, Rural and Remote Higher Education Strategy, and is thrilled the Advisory Group will include a well-credentialled Durack resident.

“I’m thrilled that Ms Meredith Wills, former Geraldton Universities Centre Director has been included in the expert regional education advisory group; it is a testament to her commitment to education and her past leadership,” Minister Price said.

Former Victorian Premier the Hon Dr Denis Napthine will chair the group, which along with Ms Wills includes Emeritus Professor Peter Lee, former Vice Chancellor, Southern Cross University; and Ms Caroline Graham, Regional Skills Training CEO.

“More regional and remote Australians will get a post-secondary education as a result of this strategy,” said Minister Price.

The advisory group is part of the Federal Government’s recent $134.8 million additional investment in regional higher education.

“I have long been focused on keeping our regions strong by advocating and supporting the operation of regional universities and vocational education providers, as well as enhancing the role of education providers in the economic development of regional centres,” said Minister Price.

“This has been demonstrated with $3 million in Federal funding for the establishment of the Pilbara Universities Centre and $1.8 million to expand the Geraldton Universities Centre.”

The Expert Regional Education Advisory Group will report to Government by the middle of next year.

Terms of Reference for the Expert Advisory Group are:

  • build on the work of Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education and investigate the need for a commissioner to oversee the implementation of the strategy;
  • identify strategies and policies for the Australian Government to put in place to bring the attainment rate of regional, rural and remote students to parity with students from metropolitan areas;
  • examine the literature and research on aspiration, access and success for regional students and the barriers to access to tertiary education facing people in regional Australia;
  • leverage research undertaken on the provision of tertiary education in regional Australia
    and the support services provided to regional, rural and remote students at university;
  • consider the current policy options supported by the Government, including student income
    support, as well as the opportunities presented by the Regional Study Hubs Program;
  • recommend how current and potential new approaches should be best combined as a
    coherent suite of policy responses to address issues particular to a region, to deliver
    improved higher education outcomes to students in regional, rural and remote Australia;
  • recommend a target for regional, rural and remote education outcomes.
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