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19 April 2016

Mt Gambier Learning CentreUniSA will officially open its brand new learning centre in Mt Gambier today at 6 pm today, showcasing some of the most sophisticated facilities for teaching and learning in regional Australia.

The $12.5 million state of the art learning centre will be a boon for health education and support more local nurses to study and stay in the South East of SA and Victoria’s Western Districts.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the University is providing educational opportunities for regional students to study nursing, social work, early childhood and junior primary education and foundation studies in Mt Gambier at a campus equivalent to those of their metropolitan counterparts.

“This new facility underlines our commitment to regional South Australia and to providing exceptional environments for learning,” Prof Lloyd says.

“One of the outstanding aspects of the centre is the purpose-built experiential Horizon Hospital and Health Service, a suite built to replicate an actual functioning hospital and health service staffed by practicing clinicians where students are rostered onto ‘shifts’ and allocated to care for virtual residents.

“This is a wonderful example of how we can integrate innovative technology and teaching practice to deliver a real experience for student nurses so that they are work-ready when they graduate.

“The new learning centre will also allow us to increase students numbers fourfold on campus and every one of those students will have access to the same curriculum, the same resources and the same academics as students in Adelaide.”

He says the centre also includes new collaborative learning spaces and modern teaching facilities all linked through a central piazza where students can relax and interact.

The additional construction of 183 kms of fibre optic cable connecting the city to the national Research and Education network makes Mt Gambier one of the most connected regional centres in Australia.

“Our $7.5 million investment in the cable is delivering on-campus internet speeds 1000 times faster than previously available – bringing capacity from 10 megabits per second to 10 gigabits per second,” Prof Lloyd says.  

Prof Lloyd says the construction of new centre, which is part of UniSA’s $22 million Regional Connections Project, has been a boon for Mt Gambier delivering $4.5 million in works to local contractors and employing more than 30 local subcontractors.

“Twenty-five years ago, the University of South Australia was founded with ideals of equity and participation at the heart of its values,” Prof Lloyd says.

"Now, 25 years later, and recognised and ranked as one of the world's very best young universities, this wonderful new educational facility is a clear statement of the University's continued engagement and commitment as the University for South Australia.”

 Media contact: Michèle Nardelli mobile: +61 418 823 673 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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