The education partners have joined forces and signed a new agreement which means students are offered a place in a La Trobe University course at the conclusion of their TAFE studies.
Students who complete Diplomas in selected curriculum areas will be provided with an 'early offer' to ensure acceptance into bachelor programs and gain credit for the study undertaken in their TAFE qualifications.
La Trobe University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional) Professor Richard Speed said the new agreement was good news for students who wanted to live and study locally.
'This agreement is about making it simpler and easier for young Victorians to get a great education and ensure local students can stay and study in their home towns,' Professor Speed said.
'We know that most students who learn locally, go on to work locally or in other regional areas after graduation, so it makes sense to encourage as many young people as we can to study at TAFE and then La Trobe.
'Under this new agreement students can begin their TAFE studies knowing they have the option of further study once they gain their TAFE qualification and can rest assured the transition to University will be simple and seamless.'
Because of the close location of TAFE and University campuses in Bendigo, Mildura and Albury-Wodonga, TAFE students will be able to get early access to some university classes and events, complete study skills sessions and experience University in the company of local La Trobe student ambassadors.
The heads of TAFE in each region have thrown their support behind the agreement.
Bendigo Kangan Institute Acting CEO Grant Sutherland said it was important to strengthen ties between Bendigo's two education partners and create a supported studies pathway for the region's students.
'This partnership is another step in progressing the goal of transforming Bendigo into an Education City,' Mr Sutherland said.
Wodonga TAFE CEO Michael O'Loughlin said this was another positive step towards recognising the role vocational education and training can play in leading people to higher education.
'What we know is that for a number of reasons, some people are not ready to go straight into university,' Mr O'Loughlin said.
'However, by coming to Wodonga TAFE, students learn invaluable knowledge and skills in a highly supportive manner. So when the time comes to move on to university, these students are not only prepared to manage the university way of life, but are often the highest of achievers.
'The physical proximity of Wodonga TAFE and La Trobe means relationships like this make so much sense. The more pathways we provide students from Wodonga TAFE to La Trobe, the closer we come to establishing an educational precinct in the north-east not seen before.'
Meanwhile, CEO of Sunraysia Institute of TAFE Win Scott said that the initiative will extend the courses on offer to local students and that the collaboration will strengthen ties between Mildura's two largest education partners.
Leah Humphrys, Media and Communications
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