JCU 'may turn rural students away', blaming funding cuts

UNIVERSITY funding cuts will likely see regional and rural students miss out on opportunities to further their education altogether.

Universities around the state, including James Cook University, have begun exploring their options on the continuation of some courses.

Up to $2.2 billion in changes to university funding was announced late last year in the Federal Government's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

JCU was concerned about having to turn rural students away due to the funding losses, a spokesman said.

"James Cook University is concerned that the funding freeze will entrench the current inequality of educational attainment rates in regional areas," the spokesman said.

"The funding freeze, if implemented as planned, will retard regional growth and remove the possibility of northern Queensland ever 'catching up'.

"A great deal of work has gone into raising educational aspirations in northern Queensland in recent years in order to build human capital and capability and drive our economy."

The university spokesman said a number of North Queensland industries relied on JCU graduates.

"Because of the significance of what we do for local people and the regional economy, responding to a funding freeze by reducing our intake or discontinuing courses would be a significant issue for JCU and the university will work hard to avoid that," he said.

News Corp Australia

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