$5 million for Murdoch to help young people attend university

May 15, 2012

Murdoch Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Higgott

Murdoch University has received $5 million over five years to increase the number of students attending university in the Rockingham, Kwinana and Mandurah areas.

The funding, awarded in the Federal Government budget through WA Senator Chris Evans’ office, will support projects designed to build the aspirations of young people and create new pathways to university.

Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Higgott said Murdoch’s campuses at Peel and Rockingham would be central to the initiative.

“We will initiate projects and changes at our regional campuses to meet the students’ needs, skills and interests. These campuses must grow,” Professor Higgott said.

“Our campuses will offer courses that resonate with prospective university students in the southern corridor.”

The projects will see individuals, vocational education training providers, schools and their communities work together to help more young people attend university.

Pro Vice Chancellor for Peel and Rockingham, Professor Andrew Taggart said the money would be used to strengthen existing programs and build new ones.

“Innovative programs and partnerships with local high schools, already underway in Rockingham and Kwinana, will be strengthened and we now have the opportunity to introduce new ones in Mandurah,” Professor Taggart said.

The $5 million funding will be used to increase the number of students gaining an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and English competence. Another project will develop alternative year 11 and 12 curriculum with principals and teachers to better connect with students who disconnect with traditional study programs.

Professor Taggart said Western Australia currently has a low high school to university transition rate compared with the eastern states.

“Almost all of the prospective students that are attracted to university through the projects will be the first in their families to enter higher education,” he said.

“The outcomes of this funding will see WA address some of its future workforce planning and state development needs.”

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