Choosing a university and which course to study is never simple. For the more than 50,000 Victorian Year 12 students who are currently applying for university, this can be the most stressful time of year for them and their parents.
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Often these choices are presented as being purely dependent on academic results, but for parents and school leavers alike, it can be an emotional and difficult choice that takes into account both family finances and the prospect of a child leaving home for the first time.
The release of the Good Universities Guide provides timely information for families about their choices but can, however, also create further questions. Many will look at the results and wonder whether they should change their VTAC preferences before the December cut off, or consider making an application after all while there is still time.
These are difficult decisions that families need to make, at a time when their child can be feeling stressed by the pressure of exams and the uncertainty of life after secondary school. Will the university they choose offer good support and quality teaching? What will the future look like when that child graduates and enters the workforce?
As the leader of Federation University Australia - a regional university with campuses across Victoria - I see first-hand, students wrestling with these challenges when they start university. That is why we focus on supporting our students to achieve their potential.
The Good Universities Guide results confirmed Federation University's position as the number one university in Victoria for student support and the number one university in Australia for enrolment of students who are the first in the family to attend university. This is something that we are incredibly proud of. We know the power of education to transform lives and understand the challenges many of our students face.
These results should bring comfort to regional families in Ballarat, western Victoria and Gippsland, who now know that their children can receive the best education and future career, with less financial pressure. That is the vitally important role of a regional university.
As Chair of the Regional Universities Network, I have a passion for our sector. It is very satisfying to share with our communities the success we are experiencing and the investment we are making in the future - to offer our school-leavers a quality education and the opportunity to make their mark close to home.
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