The education-led transformation of Launceston is a step closer today with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement that $130 million in Commonwealth funding is now flowing.
University of Tasmania Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Calford welcomed the announcement, which represents half of the Northern Transformation project’s $260 million budget.
“The support we have received from local, state and federal governments has been enormous and, for a project as ambitious and important as the Northern Transformation, absolutely necessary,” Professor Calford said.
“Together, we will turn Launceston into a university city, stimulating economic growth and jobs, strengthening local communities and lifting educational attainment.”
Following on from the announcement that a City Deal will explore options to deliver the University’s proposed STEM precinct in the heart of Hobart, this news maintains significant momentum around education in Tasmania.
The University and partners developed and released a master plan for the Inveresk Precinct, which will house a state-of-the-art campus with modern, fit-for-purpose teaching and learning spaces.
Crucial land transfers were completed in October 2017, which will allow the vision contained in the master plan to be fully realised. And in a matter of days, the expressions of interest process will begin to select the managing architect.
“A true transformation relies on much more than new buildings; we are also driving for innovation in what we teach and how we teach it,” Professor Calford said.
“Now entering its second year in operation, the University College is delivering a range of new two-year, industry-focused associate degrees attracting a whole new cohort of students.
“Seventy-three percent of our 2017 associate degree admissions had a study background which would not have seen them able to enter traditional university degree studies.
“Welcoming such people onto our campuses is essential if we are to raise the level of educational attainment in Tasmania and harness the economic potential of this state.”
Professor Calford said the community was likely to see activity at Inveresk very soon as site preparation works got underway.