FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has congratulated the University of New England on receiving $540,000 to provide vital funding support for projects to improve the higher education experience of students in the region, and around Australia.
Mr Joyce said the UNE received the funding for two projects: $500,000 to develop the SMARTfarm Learning Hub, just west of the main campus and $40,000 for a project that will produce a video-based tool for distance education students to support them giving feedback on other students’ work and to receive critiques of their own work.
He said the SMARTfarm hub will link to learning and cloud-based industry resources to improve the skill base of agricultural students by using a range of new technologies including farm monitoring via GPS and satellite imagery.
The project is to be led by the UNE with involvement from the Central Queensland University, Curtin University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, University of Southern Queensland, University of Tasmania, University of Canterbury (NZ), and New Mexico State University (USA).
“The Turnbull Government today announced $3.2 million in funding under the second round of the 2015 Office of Learning and Teaching grants programme and I’m thrilled the UNE will benefit,” Mr Joyce said.
“This project is part of the Government’s focus on making sure our universities remain globally competitive and offer students the best learning experience to ensure they are job ready.”
Mr Joyce said the grants were about moving with the times and supporting new, innovative ideas.
“The Government is investing $2.4 million in Innovation and Development Grants towards seven projects throughout Australia, many with a focus on collaboration between higher education institutions, industry, and professional bodies to give students the work-ready skills we need for the future,” he said.
“I congratulate the UNE for winning an OLT grant. Innovative ideas like these will build a strong and sustainable higher education system into the future.”
For a full list of grant recipients go to www.olt.gov.au