About the program
The Regional University Centres program was initially funded as part of the 2018-19 Budget measure, with $16.7 million provided to support eight study Centres under the ‘Improved Support for Regional Universities’ initiative.
On 12 November 2018, as part of its $134.8 million Regional Education Package to increase support for regional students, the Australian Government increased funding for the University Centres program to a total of $24.2 million. The allocated funding supported the establishment and operation of 16 community‑owned study Centres across rural, regional and remote Australia.
On 29 April 2019, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education, announced further funding of $15 million to establish additional centres as part of the Australian Government's Plan for Regional Australia.
On 1 June 2020, Minister Tehan announced 9 new Regional University Centres under the Government’s $53.2 million Regional University Centres program.
On 19 June 2020 Minister Tehan announced the “More Opportunities for Regional Students” package that includes a further $21 million to increase access and opportunities for tertiary education in regional and remote areas by strengthening and expanding the Regional University Centres program.
What is a Regional University Centre?
A Regional University Centre is a facility that regional students can use to study tertiary courses locally delivered by distance from any Australian institution. Centres provide:
- Infrastructure including; Study spaces; break out areas, video conferencing, computing facilities and high-speed internet access.
- Administrative and academic support services such as developing writing and researching skills, managing administrative processes
- Student support services, including; pastoral support, study advice and assisting with accessing student services.
Regional University Centres objectives
The Regional University Centres program aims to:
- enable students in rural, regional and remote Australia to access and complete higher education without having to leave their community;
- meet a demonstrated gap in support for study in a regional, rural or remote community;
- support students who wish to stay in their community while they complete their course of study;
- enhance the experience of students studying within their own community;
- encourage strong links with between the Centres and other organisations in the area, including other support services that students may access and industry; and
- complement, rather than replace, existing and planned university investments and activities in regional areas, such as satellite campuses and study centres.
There are a range of different Centre models reflecting the communities they serve, such as:
- Geographic location of the study Centre in relation to the community;
- Population size, demographic and cultural needs of the local community;
- Local industry and businesses in the area, and the skills required by these organisations; and
- Location of local TAFE and VET providers.
Where are the Regional University Centres?
The first cohort of 16 Regional University Centres, located in all states and the Northern Territory, were announced on 12 November 2018. A further 9 Regional University Centres were announced on 1 June 2020.
Further information on the additional centres is available on the Additional Regional University Centres page.
A map of all the Regional University Centres is available below.
If you have any questions, please contact the Regional Policy Team: firstname.lastname@example.org