CUC Maranoa Open for Roma Higher Education Students

08 Jun 2021

Today the CUC Maranoa was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, the Member for Maranoa, the Hon David Littleproud MP, and Roma community leaders.

Local students have benefited from access to the Centre since mid-March. The Centre is located at 57 Bungil St, Roma in the refurbished Community Centre.

The Centre provides a vibrant environment where students have space, technology and support to focus on and succeed with their studies.

The Australian Government has continued to invest in the Regional University Centres model. The CUC Maranoa is part of the second round of project funding. The Centre received $1,317,500 for establishment and operations, which will bring degrees closer to regional students pursuing their higher education studies in and around Roma.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said CUC Maranoa was providing a crucial service to regional, rural and remote students.

“The CUC Maranoa will provide a study sanctuary where students from any Australian university can access high-speed internet, state-of-the-art computing and wraparound student support,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Studying online via distance can be isolating. Students who use the CUC Maranoa belong to a community of like-minded individuals who can support each other throughout their study journeys.

“Regional students deserve access to the same opportunities as their metropolitan counterparts which is why the Australian Government has invested $74.2 million in the Regional University Centres program to date.

“This investment will assist higher education students, such as those in Roma, stay in their communities and ultimately lead to the growth of local economies in regional, rural and remote Australia.

“The RUC model is delivering real results. This fantastic facility will serve the local students of Roma for many years to come.”

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the CUC Maranoa is a radical change for local students studying higher education.

“Young Australians who live in our major cities are twice as likely to be university educated as regional students,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The Australian Government is focused on changing this. The Country Universities Centres help level the playing field to address that disparity.

“The CUC Maranoa has been open for a few months are already has 39 registered students. We want more people in and around Roma to remain in their local area, study successfully and develop the skills and qualifications that will help them secure local jobs.”

CUC Maranoa Chair Cameron O’Neil expressed his appreciation to the Federal Government and the Centre’s foundation sponsors for their significant funding contributions.

As a local Councillor, Cr O’Neil said “I have seen first-hand the importance of diversification and equity of access to education in rural, regional and remote Queensland, enabling people to have a real choice about where and how they study”.

“CUC Maranoa is a game-changer for keeping our youth in our communities while also giving anyone, of any age, the opportunity to further their studies from the place they call home in a professional, purpose fit and technology-advanced Country Universities Centre” Cr O’Neil said.

“I am thrilled with the support from our four foundation sponsors as it truly illustrates the strong local backing our centre has in the community”

CUC CEO, Monica Davis, thanked the community and the Australian Government Commonwealth for the significant contributions towards the establishment and operations of the CUC Maranoa.

“CUC Maranoa is community-driven. The people of Roma want to ensure its students of today can succeed in the jobs of tomorrow. Without this community’s passion, drive and support, we wouldn’t be here today,” Ms Davis said.

“We also recognise the Maranoa Regional Council and acknowledge its significant contribution and commitment to help foster lifelong learning.

“Without our community champions, the volunteer board members, our amazing Centre Manager, we wouldn’t be here celebrating today.”

With the announcement of Regional University Centres funding in June 2020, the CUC is opening six new Centres across seven new locations. The CUC’s network will expand to 12 Centres, across 15 locations, in regional New South Wales, regional Queensland and regional Victoria. This semester there are more than 1,000 students who are using Centres across the CUC’s network.

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