The Central Queensland University is set to make a mark in Busselton if councillors approve their application to take on the lease at the old visitor’s centre on Peel Terrace.
CQU study hub coordinator Angela Bancilhon has worked with community members and the city since July to establish a study hub in Busselton which would support regional students completing courses online.
Ms Banchilon said it could be isolating for students who completed courses online and the study hub would help people get the physical feeling of what it was like to be on a campus and connect with other students.
“We will be able to organise social events and cultural elements to the space so that it becomes quite special and a place where people will want to be,” she said.
Ms Banchilon said there was so much potential for a university in the region and she could see how much people in the region wanted it.
“This will give us a launchpad into more possibilities, and there will be possibilities we have not even thought of,” she said.
CQU offers more than 300 courses in various fields, 25 per cent of which are online only, so all students need is their digital connection.
Ms Banchilon said even prospective pilots could study aviation online and students would be able to complete their flight training in Bunbury.
Going forward, Ms Banchilon said CQU hoped to setup a residential school which would see students travel to Busselton to undertake practical components of their course.
The initiative has been seven years in the making after a motion, made by former City of Busselton councillor Tom Tuffin, was passed through the Capes Regional Organisation of Councils to establish a higher education task force to attract a university to the region.
Mr Tuffin said while a few universities were interested in the proposal it was CQU which stood out, and since then the Regional Advisory Committee had worked with the university to become established in Busselton.
Forrest MP Nola Marino said she had worked with the City of Busselton, community members, education providers and regional bodies on higher education opportunities in the region since she was first elected.
”I am hoping that CQU continues to expand lifetime learning opportunities for students and people of all ages in the Capes region,” she said.