Riverina MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has welcomed the announcement of the establishment of a Country Universities Centre (CUC) in Parkes.
CUC provides regional Australians with opportunities for higher education study without having to relocate to the city.
This is achieved by creating learning spaces in regional locations which have access to the technology and academic support to allow students to thrive in their studies.
Mr McCormack said the new centre would boost local opportunities for students to gain skills and qualifications, particularly as regions look to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I have always had the firm belief that your postcode should not determine your potential and that everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue their passion and receive a quality education," Mr McCormack said.
"I am proud to have advocated for the establishment of a Country Universities Centre in Parkes and I am pleased to see the town included in the list of Regional University Centres across the country.
"This new facility will maximise opportunities for existing residents as well as for the expected influx of people to the growing regional centre and will enable students of all ages to further their education without having to leave the area."
Minister for Regional Education Andrew Gee said the Parkes Centre is one of nine new Centres being established across Australia, bolstering the 16 already embedded in all states and the Northern Territory under the Government's $53.2 million Regional University Centre's program.
"We know that students from regional and rural Australia are considerably less likely to go to university and gain important tertiary qualifications than their metropolitan counterparts," Minister Gee said.
"That is why our Government is putting regional and rural students at the centre of our focus and why we are delivering on our commitment to create more opportunities within regional communities to address this imbalance."
For more information about Regional University Centres, go to: www.dese.gov.au/regional-university-centres