The University of New England is to receive more than $11 million in two separate grants announced last Friday by the Australian Government.
The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard (pictured here), announced that UNE would receive $7.9 million through a new Teaching and Learning Capital Fund for Higher Education. In a separate announcement, Ms Gillard said UNE would receive $3.544 million as a result of its successful application for funding through the Government’s Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund.
The Teaching and Learning Capital Fund is providing $500 million to Australian universities for capital expenditure on the development of new â€“ and the upgrading of existing â€“ infrastructure for teaching and learning. The funding will be available from July next year. UNE’s Chancellor, Mr Richard Torbay, welcomed the boost in Federal infrastructure funding for UNE. “This will help the University move forward with its plans for the campus and build on some excellent initiatives in e-learning for distance education students,” he said.
The UNE project to benefit from the Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund is titled DEhub: Innovation in Distance Learning. The three-year project is designed to provide leadership in developing â€“ and implementing models for â€“ distance education across the Australian tertiary sector.
Professor Alan Pettigrew, Vice-Chancellor of UNE, said he was delighted by the news of the two grants. He said the “outstanding success” of UNE’s application for the DEhub project was a great credit to Professor Victor Minichiello, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of UNE’s Faculty of The Professions, Professor Belinda Tynan, the Faculty’s Academic Director, and the team of people who had worked with them in developing the grant application.
“The project has exciting potential,” Professor Pettigrew said, “and emphasises UNE’s traditional role as a leader and innovator in distance education.”
He said the $7.9 million infrastructure grant would help to ensure that teaching and learning facilities for UNE’s students â€“ whether studying on campus or by distance education â€“ were second to none in providing a learning environment appropriate for the 21st century.