A 20- year collaboration brought together by the Spencer Gulf cities has seen its victory with the Uni Hub Spencer Gulf officially opening its doors on Monday.
Students from Port Pirie and surrounding areas will now be able to complete tertiary courses through Flinders University, CQUniversity and the University of Adelaide.
This provides students in the country the ability to remain in their home town; keeping family, friend, work and sporting commitments whilst pursuing a higher education.
The community-owned tertiary education centre has about 50 pioneer students across their programs including a preparatory studies program.
The deputy chair of the Uni Hub Spencer Gulf Brenton Vanstone praises the centre that now provides residents the ability to develop their career without leaving the region.
"We want local industry to have a pipeline of skilled workforce to meet their needs. Our goal is to grow our own solutions and lift our overall capability in the region to attract future industry," Mr Vanstone said.
Federal member for Grey Rowan Ramsey was instrumental in supporting a $1.1 million Commonwealth grant which saw the Uni Hub completed in time for opening.
As an advocate for keeping students in the country and not losing them to the city, he was delighted to see the facility open and hopes it will be prosperous for years to come.
"Our kids and mature students don't have to go to Adelaide to get that tertiary level of education. It is a great concern to me, over the period of years why we have more people with tertiary education in the country, we are still not catching the city. In fact we are getting a little bit further away from it," Mr Ramsey said.
"It is taking students away from the five to six year country life absence, where they can set up personal relationships, a love for the city and lose the feel for the country. If we can keep them here, I think our rates for success will be higher. We are going to need these people, we have a great string of possibilities north of Gepps Cross and they are popping up daily."
"It is the first step, the plan that we are going to run this out to Port Augusta next year. That is a really exciting thing.
Leon Stephens the mayor of Port Pirie has enjoyed watching the project unfold, both as mayor and chair of the Spencer Gulf Cities.
"There was a time when we realised that we were certainly missing out in the brains department and were losing all our children to Adelaide. It was at that time that we looked forward to bringing home education to this region. For the vision for this uni hub, that foresight was actually realised when they started to talk to Anita Crisp who will make stuff happen, then put Rowan into the mix and it is a recipe for success."