Mildura community to benefit from postgraduate study changes

A government policy change means more regional health workers will receive funding to gain postgraduate qualifications.

The Federal Government has given greater flexibility to universities, allowing them to utilise Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) for postgraduate courses that meet community needs.  This means many of La Trobe’s online postgraduate health courses already available in regional areas now receive government subsidies for most of their course costs.

Dr Deb Neal, Head of Campus in Mildura, says cost is often a barrier for people wanting to upskill from a bachelor to postgraduate qualification

“By the time many students look to postgraduate study, they have families and mortgages which mean they may struggle to afford further education,” Dr Neal said.

“A CSP at university means the government subsidises a large portion of their course costs.

“CSPs are readily available at the undergraduate level to Australian citizens, but harder to come by at the postgraduate level.  We are thrilled the government has given universities more freedom to allocate CSPs to postgraduate courses in fields where we need more highly-qualified people.”

Dr Neal said in Mildura, having more CSPs, means La Trobe’s online health courses in areas such as nursing, disability practice, mental health and mental health nursing, will become more attractive for students.

“Trained health professionals with postgraduate qualifications are desperately needed in regional areas to address community health concerns.  Students studying online in Mildura with La Trobe will have the best of both worlds – they can study at home, but also access our campus in Mildura for support services,” Dr Neal said.

Member for Mallee Anne Webster said, “We know that when students train in the regions they are more likely to stay in the regions,”

“By making CSPs available for postgraduate courses to assist community needs, the Government is taking an important step toward increasing the access to education and healthcare in regional Australia, as professionals who desire to increase their skills or further their education can undertake further training will no longer have to leave, but will be able to undertake study in the location they are working and living.”

David Kirby, Director of Mental Health at Mildura Base Hospital welcomed the changes.

“At Mildura Base Hospital we’re committed to upskilling our staff and this change will only encourage more people to study and become qualified to provide quality Mental Health services to meet our community needs.”

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