ALL SMILES: Professor Shoemaker is thrilled by the deal struck with the Federal Government.
ALL SMILES: Professor Shoemaker is thrilled by the deal struck with the Federal Government. Trevor Veale

Regions declared big winners in SCU funding deal

THE decision to provide Southern Cross University (SCU) with an additional $12.9 million funding over four years has been welcomed by the Vice Chancellor.

After weeks of discussions with the Federal Government, Professor Adam Shoemaker described the agreement as a critical first step in recalibrating policy.

Last Wednesday an email was sent to staff declaring the university would not be accepting the funding freeze imposed by the Federal Government in the MYEFO statement.

But less than 24 hours after that decision became public a new deal had been inked and moved Coffs Harbour's promised $12 million Allied Health Centre one step closer to fruition.

"The decision to reconsider its absolute cap on student places and award additional funding is welcome recognition of the value Southern Cross University delivers to regional Australia,” Professor Shoemaker said.

"This funding is an important breakthrough for the Coffs area and will help deliver not only improved education opportunities but also stronger health services for the region.

"This is a great start to our advocacy for a new regional deal with strong evidence showing just how important regional university campuses are to the 30 per cent of Australians who live outside capital cities.” 

Professor Shoemaker said SCU would continue to engage leaders across the Australian political, corporate and community spectrum to drive greater awareness of the impact of higher education caps in critical areas of regional need.

"We have developed courses that specifically address the needs and capabilities of regional Australia, delivering direct benefit through innovative education programs and research that stand to benefit millions both in Australia and overseas.

"Our specialised engineering course introduced just this year has capacity to train professionals who can help reduce flooding and improve water quality.

"Our marine scientists are playing a key role in protecting our fragile reefs and our organic and plant scientists are pioneering new ways to create a premium Australian food export market to cater to the world.

"We have worked hard to develop innovative new approaches that regional Australian communities need,and funding caps are severely restricting our ability to help drive change that will benefit all Australians.”



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