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Boost for education as Uni expands into Port Augusta

The University of Adelaide will expand its presence at Port Augusta, providing a boost in education and training to South Australia's Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North region.

The University of Adelaide will expand its presence at Port Augusta, providing a boost in education and training to South Australia's Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North region.
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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

South Australia's Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North region is set to receive a boost in education and training, with the University of Adelaide today announcing that it will expand its presence at Port Augusta.

The University plans to offer a range of teaching, training, research and community engagement programs in Port Augusta, which is one of the state's largest regional towns.

University of Adelaide initiatives to be run at Port Augusta include:

  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation Program - helping to prepare indigenous students for successful study in humanities and social sciences at university level;
  • the new Preparatory Program - offering an extra pathway to tertiary study for students who aspire to attend university;
  • specialised courses for industry, in particular the mining industry;
  • facilities and support for research with a focus on the region;
  • community engagement programs through the University's Professional and Continuing Education unit; and
  • a coordinating centre for its expanding activities in the region in medicine, nursing, dentistry and education.
The University is also exploring the potential to offer several of its bachelor degree programs in Port Augusta.

"The University of Adelaide is committed to improving access to and participation in quality higher education," says the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Academic), Professor Fred McDougall.

"Staff based at our new Port Augusta facility will liaise with schools, students and their parents, and also with indigenous and other community organisations, with the aim of broadening the educational experience of students from the Upper Spencer Gulf area and Far North."

Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch has welcomed the University's plans. "We're excited that the University of Adelaide has chosen our city to be the focal point of this new push for higher education, and we hope it will make a lasting and positive impact on Port Augusta," Mayor Baluch says. "This will bring more educational opportunities into the Port Augusta region, which means our residents and industry will stand to benefit."

The Hon. Grace Portolesi, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, says the initiative will strengthen higher education opportunities for indigenous students in the region.

"Indigenous students are making great achievements including the recent example of University of Adelaide graduate Rebecca Richards becoming a Rhodes Scholar," Ms Portolesi says. "The extension of this range of programs by the University into Port Augusta will inspire more indigenous students to see higher education as a realistic goal that is within their reach and which can enrich their lives."

The initiative builds on the University of Adelaide's current engagement in the region through the Spencer Gulf Rural Health School, which has hubs in Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Port Augusta. The University is currently sourcing a suitable central location for its activities in Port Augusta.

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