The Federal Government has unveiled its ‘Destination Australia Program’ as part of its decentralisation strategy to drive growth and development in regional Australia.
USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the announcement included boons for the higher education sector in the form of scholarships and visa changes.
“The Federal Government is introducing new tertiary scholarships to encourage domestic and international students to study in regional Australia - $15,000 to 4720 people over four years,” she said.
“Also, international students studying at regional universities will have access to an extra year on a post-study work visa.
“These are important steps in the right direction, helping to cement higher education’s place in broader regional development.”
Professor Mackenzie echoed the approval by the Regional Universities Network (RUN) for the changes.
RUN is a network of six universities, headed by Chair Professor Helen Bartlett and including USQ, with a shared commitment to playing a transformative role in their regions.
“As Professor Bartlett said, seven out of ten graduates from RUN universities already work in regional Australia,” Professor Mackenzie said.
“USQ is helping build future workforces of southern Queensland and beyond, in addition to undertaking key research to tackle national and global challenges in regional social and economic development.
“These scholarships and visa changes will enable students to gain an invaluable education in regional Queensland, and then have an ongoing contribution to our community.”