Federal Government Funds Four New University Hubs in Regional Queensland

27 Mar 2024

The Federal Government has recently announced its commitment to funding four new Regional University Study Hubs in various locations across Queensland. These hubs, set to be established in Warwick, Chinchilla, Innisfail, and Central West Queensland, are the result of concerted advocacy efforts from councils and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ).

The Central West Study Hub, in particular, will encompass sites spread across Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Winton, Boulia, Bedourie, Birdsville, and Jundah. According to Alison Smith, CEO of LGAQ, the collaboration between the LGAQ and councils played a pivotal role in securing these additional hubs. Smith highlighted the significance of providing young individuals with the opportunity to pursue higher education within their own communities, emphasizing the positive impact on the overall livability and vitality of these regions.

Smith underscored the success of existing hubs in Roma, St George, Atherton, Cooktown, and the imminent opening of the hub in Mount Isa. These centers not only facilitate tertiary education but also enable students to remain within their hometowns, contributing to local economies while pursuing academic goals.

Queensland, being Australia's most decentralised state, faces unique challenges regarding workforce retention and skill development in regional areas. The establishment of these university hubs is seen as a crucial step in addressing these challenges, providing opportunities for individuals to access tertiary education without relocating to urban centers.

While the allocation of four hubs in the first round of funding is viewed positively, Smith stressed the need for additional hubs to cater to the diverse needs of Queensland's communities. The LGAQ remains committed to working with councils to secure further funding in subsequent rounds, with the aim of expanding access to education and employment opportunities across the state.

The Federal Government's commitment to doubling the number of University Study Hubs nationwide, as outlined in the Universities Accord Interim Report, presents an optimistic outlook for future funding prospects. Queensland's councils and communities eagerly anticipate the potential benefits these hubs will bring, both in terms of education accessibility and regional development.


Read the full article at Council Magazine