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$5 million funding for Coffs Harbour campus


Zoe Satherley
16 October 2009
Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard yesterday announced a $5 million funding boost for Southern Cross University’s Coffs Harbour campus.

“I am pleased to advise that your project ‘Extending Education Capability for Nursing, Teacher Education and Allied Health Courses’ will receive funding of $1.38 million in 2010 and $3.62 million in 2011,” Ms Gillard said.

The grant was part of the government’s $71.5 million Capital Development Pool infrastructure funding allocation to 21 Australian universities to improve vital teaching and learning facilities over the two-year period. Southern Cross University was one of only seven universities to receive the maximum grant allocation of $5 million.

The funding will help expand courses in areas of national importance such as psychology and nursing and improve vital teaching and learning facilities and student amenities.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said the Coffs Harbour project will have a significant and positive impact on the University’s ability to deliver quality teaching and learning to its undergraduate programs and enhance its capability to undertake research responsive to local needs.

“This will provide us with an expanded capability to deliver high quality undergraduate education in psychology, nursing, aged care and teaching, health research – including cognitive neuroscience research, and research education,” he said.

The planned new $10 million Coffs Harbour building will also provide a focus for the ‘student hub’ concept of a one-stop shop for services, plus shared informal group learning spaces. Southern Cross University will contribute the second $5 million for its construction.

“The project will enable us to upgrade and increase specialist teaching spaces for use by both University and North Coast TAFE students,” Professor Lee said.

“It will feature simulated learning laboratories to improve nurse education and enable coordinated growth in a variety of health practitioner, health education and training areas within the vocational education and training, and higher education sectors.

“Southern Cross University’s vision is to be the best regional University in Australia, recognised for our student-centred approach, flexible delivery, and distinctive achievements in teaching and research and this grant will contribute to our achievement of that goal.

“The University’s commitment to the Coffs Harbour Education Campus (CHEC) is a key element of its strategic direction. In particular, both the concept of shared facilities with TAFE and a strong ethos of collaboration and partnerships are vital to the relationships that benefit the institutions, the students and ultimately the region.”

Photo: Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee is delighted with the new $5 million Federal Government grant for the Coffs Harbour campus.