Country Universities Centre partnership with La Trobe University to enhance the future of regional study.

18 Sep 2023

A new strategic partnership between La Trobe University and the Country Universities Centre will enhance support for rural higher education students choosing to stay in their local community.

This unique partnership is a testament to the shared vision of improving low participation rates in higher education outside of metropolitan areas through a community-led approach.

La Trobe Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional), Associate Professor Melanie Bish, said this memorandum of understanding signifies the University’s commitment to leading access to higher education across rural Victoria.

“This partnership allows us to work collaboratively and achieve the shared vision of increasing participation in higher education in rural communities. By combining our resources and expertise, we can empower rural students, facilitate access to higher education and ultimately, make a lasting impact on their lives,” Associate Professor Bish said.

The Country Universities Centre CEO, Chris Ronan, is excited about how this partnership can support Victorian regional communities to create their own place-based approach to higher education.

“Evidence shows that community-led higher education widens access to university and supports students to study and graduate in regional Australia. The partnership between the CUC and La Trobe will empower rural communities across Victoria to establish their own place-based initiatives like the CUC and have strong connections with the university,” Mr Ronan said.

Noting the Hon Jason Clare MP, Minister for Education recently announced $66.9 million to establish up to 20 new Regional University Study Hubs, La Trobe University and Country Universities Centre look forward to working with any Victorian rural or regional community as they work through a process to determine if they seek to establish a Centre.

For more than 50 years, La Trobe University has been transforming people and societies. The University works collaboratively across disciplines and with partners to develop fresh ways of thinking and conducting research – constantly seeking new ways to engage with and better serve its partners and communities, to build relationships and develop solutions for the issues facing society.

La Trobe University is ranked in the top 300 universities globally by the major university ranking organisations (Academic Ranking of World Universities, Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings).

For the second year running, La Trobe University is the top improver among Australia’s top 20 universities in the QS World University Rankings, rising 74 places to claim its new spot at 242 of the 1,500 universities evaluated.

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