It’s only a few months into the 2023 university year, but 26 students have already registered with the Uni Hub’s Port Lincoln University Centre.
This milestone was celebrated at the centre’s official opening, held last week, with the Uni Hub’s Chief Executive Officer Anita Kuss describing the local community response to the Port Lincoln University Centre as “absolutely phenomenal”.
“Most of the 26 students are those are enrolled with our partner universities in our workforce degrees or in bridging or school-based pathways courses into these qualifications,” she said.
“We have students studying at diploma level, right through to Masters degrees.”
Ms Kuss explained that the Port Lincoln University Centre was part of a national network of regional university centres funded by the Australian Government to help students in regional and remote areas access higher education without having to leave their communities.
“The program funds study centres like this, which are available free of charge to any student studying with any university,” she said.
“Students have access to Wi-Fi, study spaces, IT support and our campus tutor.
“Port Lincoln is the newest of our five Uni Hub Spencer Gulf sites which we operate in partnership with the Commonwealth and our local council partners in Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Copper Coast, Port Lincoln and Roxby Downs.”
In addition to providing the study centre facilities, the Uni Hub also partners with universities to support the local delivery of degrees that help with skilled workforce needs. Academic lectures are delivered online by the partner universities with local face-to-face support provided by the Uni Hub.
“We are the human connection that often makes all the difference as whether a student sticks with and completes their higher education or they drop out,” Ms Kuss said.
“We have long-standing partnerships with CQUniversity, offering undergraduate and post graduate qualifications in nursing, teaching, and engineering and with Flinders University supporting business, accounting and social work. We are also really pleased to work with The University of Adelaide to facilitate local delivery of a range of professional development short courses across the region to support the training and upskilling needs of local employers.
“Well over 70 per cent of regional students who study regionally will stay in the region and take up those much-needed professional careers locally – so it’s an investment that pays off.
“While there will always be students who want to go to the city and have their university experience on campus in the metropolitan setting, the Uni Hub now provides a safety net for those students if it doesn’t work out.
“But importantly we are also growing the pie, of people who never thought university was even an option for them because they couldn’t or didn’t want to leave.
“This includes people in this community who are already in the workforce locally and who are looking to upskill or retrain into a new career – and school leavers, who now have a choice and know they don’t have to go it alone.”
Pictured: Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey cuts the ribbon, assisted by Port Lincoln City Council mayor Diana Mislov and Uni Hub Spencer Gulf board chair Brenton Vanstone.