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Regional universities offer key to growth

Posted April 15, 2013, by Molly Wiltshire-Bridle

The Regional Universities Network (RUN) has issued a statement affirming the critical role of Australia’s regional universities in unlocking national potential.

With two-thirds of the nation’s economic assets concentrated in areas outside of capital cities, as well as one-third of its population, a considered approach to higher education is vital to ongoing growth, says RUN chair professor, David Battersby.

‘RUN believes that the economic, social, cultural and environmental development of Australia will be enhanced by further building human, social and cultural capital, employment, entrepreneurship, productivity and industry diversification within Australia’s regions. This will contribute towards an Australia which is healthy and safe, socially, culturally and economically prosperous, with increased productivity and innovation’.

Comprised of six of Australia’s leading regional universities, including the University of New England, RUN operates on the principle that regional strength fosters ongoing national success.

‘By improving opportunities for people to access higher education, RUN universities already help unlock this human potential’, says Battersby.

The key to sustained development, he claims, lies in stimulating discussion about the integral role of regional universities within the higher education sphere.

‘Adopting the policies we’ve articulated would contribute to Australia achieving the level of graduate skills needed to ensure its international competitiveness and help strengthen communities across the nation’.

RUN provides over 34 per cent of Australia’s distance education, and is responsible for teaching more than 100,000 students throughout the country.

Find out more on the RUN website: run.edu.au

Molly Wiltshire-Bridle

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