Regional universities pool resources to unlock powerful opportunities

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In an Australian first, a group of regional universities will collaborate in a range of new ways, greatly expanding the choices available to students and staff.

Regional Universities Network (RUN) Vice-Chancellors will sign a multilateral Accord formalising the collaboration in a ceremony at the University of Ballarat on November 19.

The network’s members are CQUniversity, Southern Cross University, University of Ballarat, University of New England, University of Southern Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast.

The Chair of RUN, Professor David Battersby, said the Accord would enable the universities to partner in a range of activities.

“The Accord is the framework for our universities to collaborate in teaching and learning, regional policy development, research and research training, and international activities,” Professor Battersby said.

“It also covers joint appointments, multi-badged degrees, credit transfer arrangements for students, internal staff vacancies and professional development activities, and the consolidation of appropriate support functions.

“RUN recognises the competitive and changing world educational environment. The Accord gives us a streamlined way to respond to it.

“One of the Accord’s aims is to boost the range of courses available to regional students by pooling teaching resources. Course units available at one university can be offered via distance education to others, broadening the scope of offerings available in a cost-effective manner,” Professor Battersby said.

“It will enable us to enhance the role we play in our communities, raise the aspiration of regional students for tertiary education, build human capital in the regions, and further contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of our communities.”

The full text of the Accord is available at www.run.edu.au/resources/run_accord_19nov2012.pdf. More information about the progress being made with RUN collaborations is available at www.run.edu.au/resources/run_accord_progress.pdf

Contact: Dr Caroline Perkins

Executive Director, Regional Universities Network, 0408 482 736

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