Breakthrough for learning

WORKING TOGETHER: The Country Universities Centre has been a breakthrough for regional learners and continues to see an increase in demand. Photo: Supplied.

WORKING TOGETHER: The Country Universities Centre has been a breakthrough for regional learners and continues to see an increase in demand. Photo: Supplied.

Parkes Country Universities Centre (CUC) opened in November 2020 and has since seen 36 students enrol to study with the Centre and become part of the local learning community. Students enrolled at the CUC study across varied fields, including Applied Information Technology, Agribusiness, Psychology, Foreign Language, Project Management, Engineering and Art Curation. The community at the CUC come from all walks of life, from those just finishing year 12 in 2020 to experienced students studying at 75 years of age.

The CUC provides a place for all students in the Parkes, Forbes and Condobolin areas to come together and share in the experience of studying online in Higher Education. Semester One has already seen many students find success in their studies.

Centre Manager, Jacob Cass, said since opening, they have had 36 students enrol with Semester One seeing an average of 8 students per day studying at the Centre, with some staying as long as six hours.

"The student community at the Parkes CUC is so diverse and varies from students commencing studies in higher education right through to experienced students who have completed previous studies," he said.

"It has been rewarding to work with these students, to see them getting back solid results in their assessments and to watch as they help each other from basic computing to discussing their assessments and brainstorming."

Mr Cass said outside of student study, the Centre was also proud of its other achievements in its short time of operation. "The Centre was able to run an ATAR information session for year 12 students in December last year when results from the HSC were released, helped several students find pathways into their study despite their results, and has been involved in career days with Parkes High School providing students considering staying closer to home an opportunity to study away from the kitchen table," he said.

Students also hosted Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, as she spoke with them about their experience with regional study in higher education.

"I am looking forward to what we can achieve as a learning community in semester two and call on any student studying online in the area to come and see the Centre, meet the other students and register with the CUC," Mr Cass said.

Ankush Dogra, or "Addy" as he is known at the CUC, is a daily contributor to the student body and started utilising the Centre while finishing his Certificate IV in IT before taking on a Bachelor of Applied IT with La Trobe University. He said CUC provided an amazing opportunity. "I would not have been able to study at such a high level and stay in Parkes if it wasn't for the support of the CUC, the people here are helpful and friendly and I love studying at the Centre," he said.

Parkes Country Universities Centre connects regional and remote students to higher education in the Parkes, Forbes and Condobolin areas and all places in between.

Contact the Centre Manager, Jacob Cass, to discuss how the CUC can help you achieve your goals in higher education by calling 0437 125 712 or emailing jacob.cass@cucparkes.edu.au. You can also find CUC on social media.

The CUC Parkes was opened by the Australian Government's Department of Education, Skills and Employment through the Regional University Centres Program with ongoing support from the NSW Government.

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