10 May 2023

New university hub to open doors next month

| Sarah Martin
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Cape York Country Universities Centre manager Jenni James outside the soon-to-be opened space in Carol Lovell Arcade on Charlotte Street in Cooktown.

THE doors will be opened on the region’s first dedicated study support centre next month, with the Cape York Country Universities Centre scheduled to open in Cooktown in late February.

Longtime Helenvale local and new centre manager Jenni James said it was exciting to be able to offer services to help bridge the gap between remote and urban education.

“The centre will have dedicated study and learning spaces for students to come and meet their peers, access the internet, study and complete exams,” she said.

“CUC is dedicated to providing equity for students, no matter where they are from and where they choose to study – we would like to see students across the Cape getting the same support as those in the city.”

As well as support for university and TAFE students, the centre is creating three new jobs, with the full-time centre manager to be complemented by an Indigenous engagement officer and a part-time learning skills advisor.

The not-for-profit centre is funded until 2025 under the federal government’s Regional University Centres program, and governed by an independent board comprised of Cook Shire Council, university and TAFE members.

Work began late last year to fit out the centre, at 100 Charlotte Street, which will include three private study rooms, a reception area, manager’s office, kitchen and bathroom, training room and open shared space.

The study rooms can also cater for students completing exams,

“The idea is to support and encourage students, whether it is to guide people in where and what they might want to study, help them with enrolments, looking at different courses, connect with other students and provide academic skills support,” Ms James said.

“I’ll be at the centre from 8.30am to 5pm weekdays, but once students enrol with us they will be able to access the centre from 5am to midnight seven days a week.”

Discussions were already under way to expand the centre’s services to include satellite branches in other Cape York towns, Ms James said.

“The centre is for the whole Cape, not just Cooktown, and we will be offering support by phone and video to students across the Cape,” she said.

For more information, contact Ms James by email at [email protected] or phone 0499 202 249.

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