It?s academic, but UNE eyes campus

By Juris Graney

The University of New England (UNE) is 'exploring' the possibility of expanding into the Clarence Valley.

At a meeting between Clarence Valley Council mayor Ian Tiley and UNE vice chancellor Ingrid Moses last week, both signalled their desires for a presence in the Valley.

Professor Moses said a satellite campus could be on the cards in the future.

"Of course it is early days but yes, we are exploring our options," Prof Moses said at Maclean High School.

"We are very interested in creating learning centres away from the university.

"We received significant Commonwealth funding to establish 10 centres in the New England area and have done so."

Prof Moses said the university had agreements with TAFE in other regions to utilise 'existing infrastructure' and could possibly do the same in the Lower Clarence or in Grafton.

Mayor Ian Tiley invited Prof Moses to the area to showcase the region and to indicate his own deep desire to have a university campus in the area.

"I want to get a university presence in the Clarence Valley," he said.

"UNE and the local schools have a strong relationship and we should be able to take that one step further.

"I will be sending Professor Moses a letter of intent outlining our desire for services in the region.

"It may just start out as a referral centre, but hopefully we can get something more substantial here."

Cr Tiley said he would also speak to Southern Cross University's new vice chancellor Paul Clarke to see if they would be interested in coming to the Clarence.

"We have about 5000 high school students in this area and if we can retain some of those in the future it would benefit the Valley as a whole," he said.

"Young people from here do leave the area and this is about stopping that drain.

"Keeping tertiary trained students here will only enhance the future of the Clarence Valley."

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