Uni centre to offer remote study help

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
The PUC will be located at The Quarter in Karratha.
Camera IconThe PUC will be located at The Quarter in Karratha. Credit: Pilbara News, Tom Zaunmayr.

The Pilbara Universities Centre will offer its first face-to-face courses in Karratha and Port Hedland in semester one next year, depending on student numbers.

The PUC supports the delivery of distance courses in partnership with select Australian universities to provide options and access to tertiary education for Pilbara residents.

CQUniversity’s STEPS bridging program is set to be the first course offered by the PUC, aiming to providean alternative pathway to university.

PUC chief executive Susan Grylls said STEPS qualified students for entry to programs supported at PUC as well as some Perth universities.

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“It’s offered through mixed-mode delivery, with online resources and two hours of face-to-face tutorials per unit studied,” she said. In semester two, the PUC hopes to start offering the opportunity to study Commerce/Business, Education (Early Childhood and Primary), Engineering, Nursing, Psychology, Social Work, Coastal and Marine Science, and an Indigenous Tertiary Enabling Course.

At a meeting last week, City of Karratha councillors passed a motion to provide $450,000 in funding to the PUC over three years.

Mayor Peter Long said the funding in 2019-20 would directly contribute to fit-out costs at The Quarter, where PUC’s head office and Karratha facilities will be based. “Subsequent funding, where applicable, will go towards scholarships for students and the establishment (of) new mixed-mode courses to be run at the PUC,” he said. “The Pilbara Universities Centre’s model of mixed mode delivery has been successful in other regional locations in Western Australia, including Geraldton and this model has the greatest chance of success in the Pilbara.”

Mr Long said the establishment of a universities centre in Karratha would help address the impediments for residents to undertake higher education.

“The PUC will assist with the growth of the population through retention of students, and other residents, seeking tertiary education,” he said.

Applications for the STEPS bridging program being offered in semester one close on January 31, while expressions of interest are being accepted for other courses.

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