Council takes next step in UNE partnership

Tuesday 8 June, 2021

Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray has described Council’s decision tonight to enter a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of New England (UNE) as Councillors agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the tertiary education provider with the aim of “progressing the relationship” as their efforts continue towards establishing a university campus in Tamworth.

“We have been wanting to see a university in Tamworth for as long as I can remember,” Cr Murray said. “There has been real progress in recent years and a Memorandum of Understanding is a significant step to make sure we get this across the line.

“Data tells us that of the young people who leave our region to attend university, only 20 per cent come back home. We want our young people to be able to live and learn in their own community and put their learnings to use right here.”

The Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be to be enacted in the coming weeks by the UNE’s vice-chancellor Brigid Heywood and Cr Murray.

It identifies a number of proposed activities including obtaining uses of premises by the university for below market value rent for an initial period of a least two years and then consider commercial returns, jointly developing a scholarship fund, establishing English language training for the immigrant workforce in the Tamworth region and jointly promoting UNE course delivery and research opportunities.

Council and UNE will also work jointly on new programs and initiatives to advance UNE’s Future Fit strategy and Council’s Blueprint 100.

A report tabled at tonight’s meeting said some of the activities agreed to in the memorandum will have financial implications, however these will be reported back to Council for consideration where required or included in existing operational budgets.

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