Albany Education Hub concept under discussion
Coordinated by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Great Southern, the City of Albany, UWA, South Regional TAFE and the Great Southern Development Commission attended a meeting in Albany to consider the future of Albany as an Education Hub, particularly for international students.
Key stakeholders learned about the success of the Muresk Institute, and their Brokerage Hub Model, from Prue Jenkins, General Manager where students undertake education and training in agricultural businesses and technology related studies.
Ms Jenkins said Muresk had operated as an industry skills centre, under the Department of Training and Workforce Development, and had been successful at working in partnership with industry, universities, registered training organisations and government organisations to attract more than 2000 students from Western Australia and around the world.
“While there are many differences between the Muresk experience and the Albany region, the Brokerage Hub Model could provide a business development framework to help create a unique and attractive regional education experience for international students,” Ms Jenkins said.
RDA Chair Greg Stocks said there was great potential in Albany and the region to pull together an educational package working with industry, community and key educational providers.
“Albany has a spectacular environment, a diverse range of infrastructure including student accommodation that is coming on line and many innovative agricultural producers in the region, which can provide a compelling and attractive alternative to Perth in the international education market,” he said.
RDA Executive Officer Simon Lyas, said the group had held several roundtable meetings over the last 18-months to look at a number of issues that impact on the education and VET sector in the regions.
“We are in a better position to work on a concept plan and consider business strategies that could help market Albany and the region to the substantial international education market,” he said.
“The opportunities to attract more international students and to retain more young people in Albany were achievable through a collaborative approach. We are understanding and identifying the region’s unique points of difference and being able to effectively promote our ability to provide bespoke education solutions.”
“We recognised a number of opportunities including agribusiness, health, aged services and other emerging sectors such as renewable energy, the creative industries, natural resource management and Indigenous culture.”