Successful bid for funding to boost higher education participation in the local region

GippsTAFE in conjunction with the University of Ballarat was successful in an application for $24.8 million of collaborative funding from the Federal government to help boost higher education participation in the local region.

GippsTAFE will receive funding as a member of a regional Victorian consortium involving other TAFE Institutes and the University of Ballarat.

“Access to undergraduate degree pathways is difficult for Victorian regional students, and this project and funding will aim to make a difference”, said GippsTAFE CEO, Dr Peter Whitley.

“With the assistance of this funding, GippsTAFE will continue to develop its capacity to assist with the delivery of undergraduate degree programs. This will provide local students with further opportunities for their tertiary education”, said Dr Whitley.

The funding has been made available through the Federal government’s $400 million structural adjustment fund. The aim of the fund is to give those living in regional and outer metropolitan areas enhanced opportunities to obtain degree qualifications.

“In regional communities it is imperative that we train and then retain a skilled workforce and GippsTAFE plays a vital role in helping achieve this objective. This new funding from the Federal government will further assist GippsTAFE to provide access to undergraduate degree programs for its current students and those who have completed qualifications at GippsTAFE”, Dr Whitley said.

The funding will be used to assist with student support and resources, the purchase of new learning and software materials, staff training and development, and the provision of facilities, such as videoconferencing.

The President of the GippsTAFE Board David Gittins was delighted with the outcome and said "the funding is a real boost to our region and will enable GippsTAFE to continue to support jobs and the development of employment opportunities which supports Gippsland's economic growth."

The University of Ballarat in partnership with GippsTAFE are keen to develop programs of learning that have real and tangible outcomes aligned to industry and the community's requirement. Only in this way can we assist Gippsland to transform to the new economy said Dr Whitley.