Club Cowra

Country Universities Centre Cowra Officially Opens

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

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CUC Cowra Region Board of Directors joined Centre Manager, Stephen Kilner, left, at the official opening of the CUC Cowra last Friday.

The brand-new Country Universities Centre Cowra branch was officially opened last Friday after welcoming its first students back in March.

Funding for the facility was first announced last year, with the NSW Government chipping in $1.27 million to make it a possibility.

Works to fit out the centre, located inside the former Waugoola Motors building on Kendal Street, began soon after, with the first students walking through the door on the 31st March. The CUC concept is to provide learning spaces and support for students in regional towns who are studying a certificate IV level qualification or higher, including university degrees. CUC Centres also provide Skills Advisors who can assist students in writing essays and other forms of assessment.

With many students from small towns required to leave their hometowns for study, particularly at universities, the CUC aims to give students a learning space in their hometown and stop them from having to leave.

It also means students can remain closer to their friends and family, but also continue living and spending their money in their hometown, leading to economic benefits as well.

CUC Cowra Manager Steve Kilner said the his branch had been a huge success so far.

“We currently have 19 students using the facility, with a 20th expected soon,” he said.

“The CUC aims to keep students in town and study locally.”

“We provide study spaces, administration, student loan and scholarship support, as well as conferencing rooms and printing services.”

“Most importantly it is a free service”.

Cowra Mayor Bill West said the CUC would help reverse the trend of students leaving Cowra.

“This facility allows them to get further education at home and keep them in our community,” he said.

Mr Kilner thanked the board of the Cowra branch, labelling them “champion community people” from a range of different professions, and gave a special “shout out” to the Chairperson, Linda Baron. He also thanked Cowra Council for its support in establishing the centre, which included temporary use of office space as well as advocacy for the concept.

Local philanthropic fund the Weir Trust has also committed financial support to the Cowra CUC.

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