23 November 2012
The Commonwealth government has announced $78 million in funding for three university projects under the regional funding round of the Education Investment Fund program.
The University of South Australia will receive $18 million for a new learning centre at its Mt Gambier campus and upgraded facilities at Whyalla, with both campuses linked over the high-speed fibre optic Australian Research and Education Network. New programs will be developed in Whyalla directed towards the expanding mining, minerals and aquaculture sectors. In Mount Gambier, the project will help deliver new programs in business, education, engineering, environment, health sciences, ICT and foundation studies.
The University of Wollongong will receive $31 million for an Early Start – Changing Children’s Futures project aimed at improving the quality of early childhood education and research. The project aims to improve the quality of early childhood education provided to children through a network of 38 not-for-profit childcare and community service centres across the Illawarra and New South Wales. The university will use video technology to mentor staff at the centres and share the best practices for supporting school readiness, physical activity and health.
The University of New England will receive $29 million for its Integrated Agricultural Education Project which the university says will “revolutionise the university experience for agriculture students.” A new three-storey Agricultural Education Building will be built in Armidale with specialised and flexible teaching laboratories, sound-proofed and temperature controlled work rooms, a multi-discipline zoology teaching museum and a learning resource centre.
In addition, the project will establish a Sustainable, Manageable and Assessable Rural Technologies – SMART – Farm Education Facility including a working farm, demonstration farmhouse and a visitor and teaching centre.
The Tamworth Regional Study Centre will be upgraded to become the Tamworth Future Campus and expanded to be able to offer interactive tutorials and e-teaching to new university and TAFE students studying agricultural and science across the region.
A new Animal Husbandry Facility will also be established with facilities to teach anatomy, pathology, animal handling, surgery and breeding.