19 August 2013
Funding for higher education in Gosford welcomed by the University of Newcastle
The University of Newcastle today welcomed the commitment of $7 million, announced by the Federal Minister for Families and Community Services, Ms Jenny Macklin, and Member for Robertson Ms Deborah O'Neill for a new state-of-the-art community facility, 'Kibbleplex', including library, learning and innovation spaces in the centre of Gosford.
The new facility, named Kibbleplex because of its proximity to Gosford's Kibble Park, will house University of Newcastle pathway programs to support students entering university. It will also be the headquarters for a new Research and Innovation Hub focused on partnerships between the University of Newcastle and the business community.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said that funding for this Regional Development Australia project was great news for Gosford, and would support the city's renewal as a thriving regional centre.
"A strong future for the Central Coast goes hand in hand with greater access to educational opportunities, and a vibrant and innovative business community," Professor McMillen said.
The University is delighted to be in a partnership led by Gosford City Council and the Central Coast Regional Development Corporation to provide a next-generation flexible teaching, learning and engagement environment in the heart of Gosford. The University of Newcastle's presence at Kibbleplex will complement its campus at Ourimbah, strengthening the impact of world-class higher education on the Central Coast, where educational participation is below national and state averages.
"Pathway programs, such as our enabling programs, support students from all walks of life and at different stages of their learning to transition successfully into a university education. Through delivery of our sector-leading enabling programs in Gosford, we look forward to helping people across the Central Coast fulfil their potential," Professor McMillen said.
"We also look forward to discussing with the Commonwealth how to support funding for enabling programs to ensure their continued growth and achievement of the federal participation targets."
The University of Newcastle's Research and Innovation Hub will also be based in the new Kibbleplex development, providing a focal point for collaboration between the University's researchers and business and industry on the Central Coast.
"Innovation is key to the health of any regional economy. Through this initiative industry leaders and business owners in Gosford will have greater access to the University of Newcastle's capacity to solve real-world problems and develop productive collaborations with some of the leading researchers in their fields," Professor McMillen said.
"This translation of research can really make a difference to people's lives, and it will foster growth and diversity in Gosford's economy, supporting graduates on the Central Coast to find skilled jobs locally.
"We are delighted that today's funding commitment by the Government for Gosford's Kibbleplex will help to provide a next-generation university experience in the heart of the Central Coast region, where the University of Newcastle has been part of the community for more than 20 years."
Contact: Sheena Martin
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