The Goulburn Valley’s young people choosing to study away from home will be better supported to settle into tertiary education under a Liberal Government.
For rural students who choose to study away from home, moving away from family and friends for university or TAFE study is a daunting experience many face alone.
Cheryl Hammer, the Liberal candidate for Shepparton, said a Liberal Government would provide $600,000 over four years to create the Rural Tertiary Network, a program to link new students with other students who have faced the challenge of settling into university or TAFE away from home.
“The Rural Tertiary Network will provide students with vital support at one of the most important times of their lives, helping them settle into new surroundings and life away from family and friends,” Ms Hammer said.
“We want to see more students choose to study locally, but for those who do have to move away from home, this additional support will make sure our local young people have the confidence to tackle university life.
“Only a Liberal Government will invest in a brighter future for our region’s next generation of leaders.”
A lack of transitional support for regional students who relocate for study was one of the key challenges identified in a 2013 report from the Regional Policy Advisory Committee.
Other challenges included isolation from friends and family, experiencing independent living for the first time, culture shock, and adjusting to an environment where they are one of many high-achieving students.
A pop-up hub would also be established as a base for rural students and their families as they start life at university.
“Young people from country Victoria deserve the same opportunities as city kids,” Ms Hammer said.
“The Liberals will help more students from rural and regional Victoria overcome the obstacles barring them from tertiary education, be it university or vocational education and training.
“Our Rural Tertiary Network will give them the support they need to tackle a tertiary education.”