Launceston will not lose any university courses to the south under the University of Tasmania’s Northern Transformation project.
In fact, there will be more courses offered in the region, with more specific courses related to growth industry areas, according to UTAS vice-chancellor Rufus Black.
“We don’t have any areas losing courses, it’s really about expanding the offerings that are available and adding new offerings that will only be available in the North or North-West,” he said.
Professor Black, who took up the post of vice-chancellor from former vice-chancellor Peter Rathjen in March, has taken over as the driver of the ambitious project that will deliver two new campuses in Launceston and Burnie.
In addition to the brand new campuses, the Northern Transformation project will revolutionise the university’s education offerings.
The changes would see “more of what we do available in more places” which was key to the university’s new strategy, Professor Black said.
More of the university’s basic offerings would be available in more parts of the state, with unique courses tailored to the strength of each region.
In Launceston, those tailored courses would focus around agriculture, food production, business and engineering.
However, Professor Black said identifying those unique markets would be determined through community and industry engagement.
“We will be putting more of our capabilities that are key to the different regions into our campuses,” he said.
Professor Black said the university was moving away from the “hub-and-spoke model” that had defined it in previous years, with Hobart placed as the hub and Launceston and the Cradle Coast campuses the spokes.
Instead, it would be looking to establish a curriculum on a network model, to allow for more flexible learning options, which, it’s hoped, will attract more students from across the community.
“The North and North-West needs more students,” Professor Black said.