The opening of a new Country Universities Centre (CUC) in the Clarence Valley is just the latest step in the spread of higher education for Australians in more remote regions of the country.
Being able to head to university campus and go to traditional classes is not always an option. Maybe you live too far away. Or perhaps other familial or professional obligations keep you from attending meetings on a set schedule. These are major issues for thousands of Australians, especially those who live in more rural parts of the country.
Bright ideas outside the bright lights
While calling regional parts of the country home comes with a whole heap of phenomenal benefits, one of them is not always proximity to traditional learning institutions. But that doesn't mean those living outside major metropolitan areas are stuck when it comes to furthering their university education. Taking online courses has become a fantastic option for thousands of Australians, providing next-level opportunities for those who want to learn on their own schedule.
But taking courses online is not your only source of assistance if you're looking to broaden your scholastic horizons. CUCs are there to lend a helping hand for those trying to improve their educational standing.
What is a CUC?
A CUC is a shared space in which you, regardless of what you're studying or if you're taking courses at a traditional brick-and-mortar uni or online, can go and find a welcoming learning environment in which to get stuff done.
In a CUC you'll find tutoring, computer terminals and other students that all combine to create a strong educational environment. Any Australian university student is welcome to use a CUC to help further his or her education.
Where are CUCs located?
Right now there are three CUCs located in New South Wales. The locations are Snowy Monaro, Goulburn and Far West (Broken Will).
In September 2018, the NSW Government approved funding to open a new CUC in the Clarence Valley. The centre, which will be the fourth of its kind, will be located in Grafton and is expected to be ready in February 2019.
Studies have repeatedly shown that populations living in regional areas of New South Wales earn a fraction of the university degrees as counterparts living in bigger cities. But those numbers are sure to change with the availability of online learning resources and CUCs. Hopefully the growing ease with which people can study online in Australia and CUC facilities are steps in the right direction.