Monday, January 12, 2009

Opportunities for universities

CHARLES Sturt University vice-chancellor Professor Ian Goulter is urging universities to grasp an opportunity for positive change.

Prof Goulter said the release of the Bradley Review into the future of higher education in Australia, and CSU and Southern Cross University ’s plan to conduct a feasibility study into the establishment of a new national university based in regional Australia, marked a chance for change.

"I would encourage all universities to carefully read the final report of the Review of Australian Higher Education and examine its implications for their universities and regional communities," he said.

A proper analysis will take time, but will better prepare us for the discussions that need to occur in the future." Among the many observations and recommendations in the more than 300-page report, Professor Denise Bradley called for the creation of a new wellfunded national university through collaboration between existing regional universities to ensure the long-term growth of higher education in regional Australia.

Prior to the release of the Bradley Review, CSU and Sd announced they would apply for funding from the Commonwealth Government to jointly explore options for the creation of a new national university based in regional Australia. The Bradley Review has been largely viewed in the sector and the media as an endorsement of this approach.

"One of the main drivers for Charles Sturt University and Southern Cross University to undertake a feasibility study is to explore more deeply the sustainable provision of high quality university education and relevant research for regional communities across all parts of the country," Prof Goulter said.

"Our institutions have developed a very successful and sustainable model for regional higher education across multiple campuses, including the use of distance education to extend access to communities without a campus.

"What we want to explore is how we can build upon, and extend, our success in regional multi-campus delivery to other parts of the country through a new type of national university.

Western Advocate,
New South Wales,Australia

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