Victoria Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall
New Drive For Regional Education And Training Opportunities
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall today said Victoria must increase participation in Higher Education in Regional areas in order to drive economic growth and meet the needs of industry.
Speaking at the launch of a Government-funded research report, Deferring a University Offer in Regional Victoria, Mr. Hall said it was clear more needed to be done to make it easier for regional Victorians to participate in education and to develop their skills.
“This report allows us to better understand the particular barriers to participation in educational opportunities in regional areas and how we can best respond to these.” Mr. Hall said.
Mr. Hall said the report showed a disproportionate number of people in Regional areas deferred skills development.
“The Coalition Government is determined to address regional imbalances in education and training opportunities with development of a full range of education options within those areas.” Mr. Hall said.
Mr. Hall said the Government had already begun work on initiatives aimed at addressing regional deferral rates and increasing the number of Regional Victorians accessing higher education.
“One of the biggest barriers to regional students accessing higher education is the cost of living away from home while studying or training.” Mr. Hall said.
“The Coalition Government’s Regional Partnerships Facilitation Fund aims to address this issue and provide regional students with greater flexibility, options and choice.” Mr. Hall said.
The initiative aims to increase alliances between TAFE institutes and universities to deliver a greater range of higher education programs in regional centres, giving more students the option to study in their hometown.
Today’s report launched by the Minister was led by John Polesel, for the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria. Funded by the Victorian Government, it involved contributions from 14 Victorian Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs).
Funding for the research into the deferral of university offers will continue until 2013.