Council has been strongly advocating for a regional universities centre in the Pilbara for a number of years now and has financially supported the committee of volunteers, led by Kylah Morrison, who have worked very hard doing the research and grant applications for it.

So we were all very pleased to be advised last week that Karratha was successful in obtaining a grant from the Commonwealth for this much anticipated facility.

The Pilbara Universities Centre will receive $3m under the Federal Government’s Regional Study Hubs Program to establish a campus in Karratha and a study hub in Port Hedland.

A regional study hub provides the offices, computers, internet access, video conferencing, study spaces and tutorial rooms, which enable local students to undertake a range of university courses in their home towns.  

Students will have access to tutors, pastoral care and academic support for their studies, which will be done through both on-line learning and local practical classes and tutorials.

The PUC will partner with a number of universities, including CQU – which established itself here three years ago – and will be able to offer a wide range of courses, from nursing to engineering, business to education. 

The PUC will be modelled on the successful Geraldton Universities Centre, and while there is a substantial amount of work ahead to get the facility up and running, enrolments could begin as early as the second semester of next year.

This will be a game-changer for our region and will offer aspiring students access to nationally recognised and accredited university courses without having to leave their hometowns to study on campus at a university in Perth or elsewhere. I would like to thank the PUC committee, the City of Karratha, local Federal member Melissa Price and the GUC for their assistance in getting this terrific result.