Education-rich year ahead

THIS year promises to be big for the Latrobe Valley’s leading education providers.

Federation University is preparing for an influx in enrolments as the university sets out to celebrate its first group of Gippsland graduates in May.

Federation University Vice-Chancellor David Battersby said one of the key goals of the university for 2016 was to continue to grow and expand the Churchill campus through an increase in enrolments and research projects.

“(FedUni) has now been in operation for two years and during that time we have seen quite a significant growth in student numbers and in terms of our research,” Dr Battersby said.

“We are hoping in 2016 we will enrol 700 to 900 students, which is a very significant growth which we are looking forward to.”

Dr Battersby said FedUni was well equipped to handle the enrolment influx.

“We always anticipated in the first five years of operating the Gippsland campus we would grow the student numbers significantly,” he said.

The university’s most popular courses were in the health sector, particularly in nursing, along with teaching.

Dr Battersby said this was good news for the Latrobe Valley.

“This is very important as our students mostly come from and will work in the region,” he said.

“In those two areas alone we are having such a powerful impact in the Gippsland region through meeting the community’s needs.”

Outgoing Federation Training chief executive Wendy Wood said the TAFE’s focus of 2016 was to continue offering accessible, quality training to its students.

“We hope to see an increase in student numbers and in particular become more accessible to students who were previously not eligible for government fee release,” Ms Wood said.

She said pricing and staffing numbers would be similar to previous years but hospitality, tourism and retail courses would be more attainable through cheaper fees.

“We’re also going to improve the infrastructure and look and feel of our campuses,” Ms Wood said.

She said the TAFE had reviewed more than 60 courses in an attempt to modernise content.

Partnerships with local businesses and Federation University would continue to expand to provide students with employment and further education opportunities.

The training provider also plans to increase the enrolment of local indigenous students through support programs and specialised courses.

Both education providers are open for enrolments and encourage prospective students to apply.

“We encourage everyone in the region who is interested to make contact with FedUni and take it from there. You can just go onto the university website or phone 1800 333 864,” Dr Battersby said.

“For anyone interested in coming to FedUni, we will make places available for all eligible students.”

Ms Wood said those interested in attending Federation Training should phone 1300 133 717 or visit