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East Arnhem university hub to boost higher education in the region

Giovanni Torre -

A new Regional University Study Hub in East Arnhem Land aims to bring university closer to students living in the region.

The new Garrthalala Bush University Study Hub, announced by the federal government on Monday, will allow students to stay on Country while they study.

The Hub is based on the Wuyagiba Study Hub model and will be operated by the Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation in partnership with Macquarie University.

The Wuyagiba Study Hub and Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation hub are already operating and have seen an increase in university participation and completion rates in the area.

The new East Arnhem Land Hub is one of ten new Study Hubs the federal government is establishing across the country.

There are currently 34 Regional University Study Hubs up and running across the country, including two others in the Northern Territory.

The current 34 Hubs support more than 3,400 students, studying more than 1,000 different courses, through more than 200 tertiary education providers. They provide spaces to support students, including First Nations students, students from low socio-economic backgrounds, and people with disability.

Member for Lingiari, Marion Scrymgour, said the announcement is "great news" for people living in East Arnhem Land.

"It means people can study on-country without the added cost and burden of travelling interstate. These can be real barriers for our people to getting a quality education," she said.

"Having a study hub in East Arnhem Land means more local people will get the qualifications to fill local jobs, which are otherwise filled by workers from interstate."

In response to the Universities Accord Interim Report, the federal government has vowed to double the number of University Study Hubs nationwide.

The government has pledged to invest $66.9 million to establish 20 more Regional University Study Hubs, and up to 14 new Suburban University Study Hubs in the outer suburbs of Austraia's major cities.

The East Arnhem hub is one of ten new Regional University Study Hubs announced Monday. Applications will open in coming months.

The new Garrthalala Bush University Study Hub is expected to be open to students later this year.

Assistant Minister for Education and Regional Development Senator Anthony Chisholm said that currently people from regional, rural and remote Australia are almost half as likely to obtain a university degree compared to their peers living in our cities.

"The expansion of the Regional University Study Hub network will remove barriers for more students so they can access a high-quality tertiary education," he said.

Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare said the Universities Accord "makes it clear that we need more people from the regions and outer suburbs to get a university qualification".

"I want more young people to get a crack at going to university and we know that postcode is a massive barrier for young people getting that chance," he said.

"The evidence is that where University Study Hubs are, university participation goes up that's why we're announcing 10 new Regional University Study Hubs and there's more to come."

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