MEMBER for Benambra Bill Tilley MLA says young people choosing to study away from home will be better supported to settle into tertiary education under a Liberal Nationals Government.

For those who choose to study away from home, moving away for university or TAFE is a daunting experience many face alone.

Mr Tilley said an elected Liberal Nationals Government would provide $600,000 over four years to create the Rural Tertiary Network, a program to link new students with other students who have faced the challenge of settling into university of TAFE away from home.

“The Rural Tertiary Network will provide vital support at one of the most important times of their lives, helping them settle into new surroundings and life away from family and friends,” Mr Tilley said.

“We want to see more students choose to study locally, but for those who do have to move away from home, this additional support will make sure our local young people have the confidence to tackle university life.

“Only a Liberal Nationals Government will invest in a brighter future for Benambra’s next generation of leaders.”

A lack of support for students who relocate for study was one of the key challenges identified in a 2013 Regional Policy Advisory Committee report.

Other challenges included isolation from friends and family, experiencing independent living for the first time, culture shock and adjusting to an environment where they are one of many high-achieving students.

Shadow Minister for Skills, Training and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan said a pop-up hub would also be established as a base for rural students and their families as they start life at university.

“Country Victorians deserve the same opportunities as city kids,” Ms Ryan said.

“The Liberal Nationals will help more students from rural and regional Victoria overcome the obstacles barring them from tertiary education, be it university or vocational education.”


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