Teaching and Learning

New Study Centre opens doors to participation in education

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Wangaratta Regional Study Centre is a collaboration between GOTAFE and CSU

Access to educational opportunities for people living in regional Australia has received a huge boost with the opening of the Wangaratta Regional Study Centre, a collaboration between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE (GOTAFE).

Construction of the $7.2 million centre was completed in late 2014 and funded by the Australian Government’s Education Investment Fund. The Centre features a state-of-the-art science laboratory, lecture theatres and tutorial rooms, interactive video teaching and information technology facilities and a teaching kitchen.

AARNet high-speed network infrastructure interconnects the Centre, CSU and GOTAFE campuses, enabling intra-campus collaborations, high-quality interactive teaching and learning experiences and access to global content and resources.

CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said the shared facility is designed to improve higher education outcomes in regional Australia.

“The Wangaratta Regional Study Centre aims to improve higher education participation and attainment by increasing students’ access to world class tertiary education infrastructure and teaching,” Professor Vann said.

GOTAFE’s CEO, Paul Culpan sees great potential in this development for the Hume region, which currently has a low tertiary education participation rate.

“The development of educational pathways for regional students is fundamental to supporting our local communities and industry,” Mr Culpan said. “This development in Wangaratta consolidates both our organisations’ commitment to improving skills and learning, and provides a real opportunity for our region to flourish.”

Academic collaboration and partnerships between CSU and GOTAFE have developed in recent years, aligned to the strengths of both institutions in regional education.

“A highlight of the partnership between CSU and GOTAFE is the successful development of the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology, an integrated course which had its first intake this year and has been very positively received by industry and students.”

The courses offered through the Wangaratta Regional Study Centre include CSU degrees in Agricultural Business Management, Agriculture, Horticulture, Wine Business, and Veterinary Technology. GOTAFE offers courses in Animal Sciences, Equine, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management, Competitive Manufacturing, Viticulture, Laboratory Technology, Agriculture and Food Science & Technology. These courses are delivered via distance education and blended learning, with the use of technology as a key element.

AARNet-connected universities and vocational education institutions are pioneers in the field of distance education and training. The development of the partnerships and collaborations between CSU and GOTAFE to improve access to education and training for regional Australians is great example of this.

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