Wannon MP Dan Tehan says he will have a strong focus on regional tertiary education in his new role as education minister.
Mr Tehan worked along side south-west business and education advocates to save Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus from closing in 2016.
The campus is slowly regaining students after it came close to shutting in 2016 due to declining enrolments.
2018 enrolment figures revealed more students were choosing to study nursing, while teaching is less popular than in previous years.
“One of the key focuses that I want to bring in this role in the higher education space is about what we need to do in rural and regional areas to make sure we have tertiary institutions,” Mr Tehan said.
“It is something I have learnt from the ground up from what happened to the Deakin campus in Warrnambool and the fight save it, which was incredibly important for our local area.”
Mr Tehan said lessons could be learnt from the tertiary system abroad.
“I do see an identifiable need for us to look at this area,” he said.
“If you look at other areas such as the United Kingdom or the United States they have tertiary institutions spread right across their nations, not just focused in their capital cities. This is something I want to look at and something that I will be very passionate about in this new role.”
Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said Mr Tehan was a “good friend” to the university’s community.
“Mr Tehan noted in his maiden Parliamentary speech in 2010 that ‘education is a key reason I am standing here today’,” Professor den Hollander said.