Country Universities Centre North West celebrates a top first year

TOP YEAR: CUC North West chair Cathy Redding, director Trudy Staines, manager Cathy Walters and Moree education support officer Linda McNeil celebrated one year since the centre opened.
TOP YEAR: CUC North West chair Cathy Redding, director Trudy Staines, manager Cathy Walters and Moree education support officer Linda McNeil celebrated one year since the centre opened.

The Country Universities Centre (CUC) North West celebrated its first birthday this week.

Although there was no official celebration due to COVID-19 restrictions, the staff and board took the time to get together to mark the milestone on Wednesday, July 8.

It's been a top first year for the local campus, which has seen double the number of students enrol than originally expected.

"We ended semester one with 109 students and have had 150 students register since the opening a year ago today," centre manager Cathy Walters said.

"We're so pleased about that. It's well over double our target, which is great considering it's our first year.

"The response has been amazing. It's really encouraging too, encouraging to see people are talking about us and telling people to come and register.

"We're smashing our goals and blowing our targets out of the water."

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CUC North West chair Cathy Redding said it's been a great 12 months.

"Student numbers are better than we could have ever expected," she said.

"It's good to see that people are taking advantage of the opportunity that is here.

"It was obviously a service that was required.

"We encourage anyone to walk in, have a look and see what's here."

CUC North West chair Cathy Redding, Moree education support officer Linda McNeil, director Trudy Staines and manager Cathy Walters celebrated one year since the centre opened.

CUC North West chair Cathy Redding, Moree education support officer Linda McNeil, director Trudy Staines and manager Cathy Walters celebrated one year since the centre opened.

The CUC North West provides a dedicated learning space to university students from across the region, with educational and mentor support from the dedicated staff.

The Moree campus features a computer room, lecture room, meeting space and a fully-equipped kitchen, and is complete with wifi, computers, printers, photocopiers, and video conferencing technology.

The centre is available to anyone who is currently studying at any Australian university. When students register, they are given a swipe card which gives them access to the centre from 5am to midnight, seven days a week.

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Ms Walters said they're still receiving lots of positive feedback from students who are using the centre.

"It's a quiet place, the internet is fantastic, Linda [McNeil, Moree education support officer] is amazing, it separates home from uni and study - these are just some of the comments we get," she said.

"We're really pleased with how it's going."

CUC North West has recently employed a learning skills advisor who will be at the Moree campus every Tuesday or available by appointment. Julia-Petzl-Berney, a former university lecturer, will be available to help students with educational support, including essay writing, assignment planning, time management, referencing and can talk them through feedback from lecturers and how to apply that to their next assignment.

CUC North West will also be running some workshops for students at the end of this month once everyone is back at university for semester two. Details will be available on the CUC North West's Facebook page and website, with everything completely free.

Meanwhile the board is looking for more Moree community members to join. If you are interested in joining the board or donating to the centre, call 0429 594 198.