Tablelands University Centre Celebrates First Birthday

The Tablelands University Centre (TUC), an initiative of the Vocational Partnerships Group (VPG), celebrates its first birthday, marking a year of positive impact on the region’s educational landscape.

Exceeding enrolment expectations, the TUC welcomed 135 students in its inaugural year, indicating robust local support.

Maryanne Tranter, VPG Chief Executive Officer and TUC leader, reflected on the Centre’s achievements.

“It’s been an amazing first year. We’ve seen incredible growth, surpassing our enrolment goals and nurturing a strong sense of community among our remote students,” said Ms Tranter.

To celebrate, local council members, students, and staff convened, with students leading discussions to share experiences as regional learners at the TUC.

The common theme among students was the motivation and support they gain through the TUC, contributing to their educational success.

“It was wonderful to come together and celebrate this milestone with our students and our Founding Partner, Tablelands Regional Council,” said Ms. Tranter.

“As we look ahead, we intend to focus strongly on supporting local workforce development, connecting students early-on with local businesses and professionals, facilitating knowledge exchange, mentoring and partnerships,” she added.

TRC Mayor Rod Marti praised the initiative, calling it “a great achievement” and extending congratulations to Maryanne and the team for creating opportunities for higher education access within the local community.

Ms Tranter added, “The top areas our students are studying are health, social work/psychology, rural operations and education courses which is incredible to see – all in demand professions within our region, and the flow-on effect this will have as our students progress through their study will be profound”.

The TUC student cohort comprises 60% first in family students and 20% First Nations students, representing diverse backgrounds and supporting learners from 48 different areas of study across degrees and vocational pathways, engaged with 21 different education institutions.

Supported by the Australian Government through the Regional University Study Hubs Program, the TUC is one of 34 Regional University Study Hubs across Australia, collaborating to enhance tertiary education accessibility in regional areas.

VPG has secured funding to expand its success to the Cassowary Coast, widening higher education participation for more regional students, and is set open a new Regional University Study Hub in August 2024 in Innisfail.