Nov 20, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, recently pledged an extra A$135 million for regional universities, study hubs, and scholarships for students in rural and regional areas. 

According to The Guardian, Dan Tehan, the education minister, said the funding would relieve some of the A$2.2 billion budget cut when the former prime minister Turnbull froze commonwealth grants in December 2017.

Net funding includes A$40.7 million for Federation University Australia's Berwick campus and A$30.2 million for the Caboolture and Fraser Coast campuses of the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Other schools that will receive funding include the Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute of the University of Newcastle, Central Queensland University, and James Cook University, Queensland.

The government will add 1,955 scholarships over four years, totaling A$34.1 million. It will also spend A$7.5 million on regional study hubs, where universities offer services in regional and rural areas.

Tehan said, "Our commitment to regional education is in the national interest because we need to support regional communities to retain and attract smart young people."

He added, "The Morrison government is making a real and lasting difference in the lives of students, their families, and communities throughout regional, rural and remote Australia."

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has a different take. Its national president, Alison Barnes, said, "The irony, of course, is that the government’s freeze to university funding has hit hardest on regional universities, their students and communities and is the reason they require urgent additional support."

Learn more about studying in Australia. 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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