The Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) has joined forces with WIN Television to launch the 2019 University Survival Guide — a one-stop resource helping tens of thousands of new university students and their families navigate campus life.
The regional TV network joins Southern Cross University as a major partner on the Guide, which is in its fifth year of publication.
WIN Corporation Chairman Andrew Gordon said WIN was proud to partner with CEF to get the Guide’s messages out to rural and regional students.
“For over 50 years WIN has been committed to highlighting the issues facing our viewers in regional Australia where education and opportunities for our youth are significant and worthwhile challenges that WIN are uniquely placed to take on,” Mr Gordon said.
“Having already established The Bruce Gordon Scholarship for Journalism in honour of the founder of WIN Television, we see this as a natural extension of our commitment, and we look forward to working closely with the CEF to achieve our shared goals.”
The 2019 University Survival Guide is a free online resource with advice on all aspects of uni life. Written for all first-year students regardless of where they live, the Guide is particularly relevant for country students and offers advice from the real experts — university students themselves
“CEF is thrilled to have WIN TV on board as a media partner,” said CEF chief executive Wendy Cohen. “It’s wonderful to be able to work together for young people across rural and regional Australia and give them as much information as possible during this life-changing period of their lives.”
“With university orientation weeks beginning in February, thousands of country students are preparing to move to the major cities and regional centres. For some it will be the first time they will live away from their families and support networks and they will need some extra help,” Ms Cohen said.
“The University Survival Guide is free, it’s easy to use and it’s practical. It includes stacks of advice about making the most of O week; how to live and eat healthily; balance work, study and a social life; safety tips; and reassurance for parents worried about sending their kids out into the world.
For the first time, the Guide dedicates a section to International Students.
“Country students and international students are groups who face greater barriers to higher education, often for the same reasons—the large distances they travel, added expense, cultural differences, and being separated from support networks. We hope the University Survival Guide gives them that extra leg-up they need to succeed,” Ms Cohen said.
The University Survival Guide and companion document the Scholarships Guide 2019, sponsored by the University of Sydney, are central components of CEF’s program to assist rural, regional and remote students. Since its inception 25 years ago, the charity has helped more than 5000 young country people achieve their post-secondary education ambitions. In 2019, CEF will offer a record 500+ grants and scholarships.
Ms Cohen said it was vital for country students to feel supported and encouraged during a period of life-changing transition.
“It’s an exciting time for young people who are embarking on life as an adult and are committed to achieving their career dreams. But many are disheartened by the prohibitive cost and long distances associated with relocating for study. Given these barriers, and the added emotional and financial pressures from the drought, it really is no wonder that country youth are less likely to pursue a further education. We are committed to help close this gap.”
CEF has welcomed the federal government’s formation of an Expert Advisory Group to look at practical ways to implement the 11 recommendations of last year’s Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education (IRRRRE) and work toward a National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy.
The Review confirmed data from the most recent Census that showed that while around 54% of people in major cities have a Certificate IV or above qualification, this drops to 33% in regional areas and 26% in remote areas. In major cities, around 40% of people have a bachelor degree or higher, compared to 20% in regional areas and less than 17% in remote areas.
“We know from this comprehensive review into rural and regional education that country students are missing out, so this is the year to do something about it and make access to education equal for everyone no matter what their postcode is,” Ms Cohen urged.
Ms Cohen said CEF and its 44 local foundations—as well as its donors, supporters and partners—wished all students and their families the best for their studies in 2019.
“To rural and regional students, especially, we want you to know that your local communities believe in you and your ambitions. You are just as capable as your city cousins. We have your back and we know you will make us proud.”
For more information about the University Survival Guide and other Country Education Foundation programs, visit cef.org.au
Media contact: Sharlene King 0429 661 349 or firstname.lastname@example.org