In a bid to become a national and international education destination of choice, Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has thrown its support behind Study Toowoomba.
With education and training one of the largest industries in the Toowoomba Region, TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said the establishment of this program would not only benefit the education sector, but also the entire Region.
“Our Region is serious about being an education hub and the establishment of Study Toowoomba will initiate a major campaign to attract students from within Australia and internationally,” he said.
“We’ve been working with the Toowoomba Region education and training industry to establish an independent organisation that will function as the peak industry body and work on increasing the industry’s contribution to the economy.
“Because of the importance of education to our Region, Council has partnered with University of Southern Queensland (USQ), TAFE Queensland, and other regional education and training sector stakeholders to establish one voice for our education and training sector.
“While we would have loved to see this program up and running already, there have been a number of challenges we’ve had to overcome to get it to the point where we are now.”
To help get the group up and running Mayor Antonio was elected by the members as Interim Chair and with plans now having progressed further Mayor Antonio has stepped aside with Councillor Nancy Sommerfield selected as Council’s representative on the Study Toowoomba Management Committee.
“As a former employee in the education sector here in Toowoomba, I’m fully aware of how important the industry is to this Region,” she said.
“We currently have about 2154 international student enrolments in the Toowoomba Region which provides 636 jobs and $96 million to our economy.
“This is an exciting concept and by being on the committee, Council will have the opportunity to help in the strategic direction and management of Study Toowoomba.
“Study Toowoomba will hold its inaugural Annual General Meeting later this month. I look forward to seeing how we can work together to ensure our Region prospers for years to come.”
The launch of Study Toowoomba has been made possible through a grant of $145,000 over two years from the Queensland Government under the International Education and Training Partnership Fund, with matching funding being provided by Toowoomba Regional Council and the University of Southern Queensland.
As a founding member, Toowoomba Regional Council has provided $35,000 per annum for three years to Study Toowoomba.