Priority Four – Education
It is recognised that as one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, the Moreton Bay region is under-served by the tertiary education sector and that significant opportunities are available to improve the availability of both education and vocational training. Such investment would better meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and one of the fastest growing regional economies in Australia.
The Moreton Bay Region has lower than average participation rates in higher education in Queensland. The lack of university infrastructure combined with the time and cost of transport for students to attend university in Brisbane is also a significant barrier to undertake a university education. Reflected in the lower than Queensland average for aspiration to attend, and subsequently participate in a university education.
The Mill at Moreton Bay
The critical economic development priority for the Moreton Bay region is to take forward the development of the Mill at Moreton Bay, with emphasis on the University in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast as detailed under ‘Priority One’ and in the Major Projects section of this document.
A 10,000-place university and the associated proposed developments around a STEM school; health, innovation and knowledge based precincts, will drive the future economic development of the region.
The Mill at Moreton Bay will be the best positioned university and wider educational campus in Australia, able to take advantage of the digital disruption and the significant global change impacting on the education sector, including:
- Democratisation of knowledge
- Digital technologies
- Integration with industry
- Global mobility
- Contestability of markets and funding
- Changes to how the Commonwealth Government funds university places.
The tertiary education sector has the potential to play a significant role in the development of the Moreton Bay region:
- Tertiary education institutions are often the major regional employer and purchaser of goods and services
- Driver of the knowledge economy
- Promotion of innovation through new skills, research and development through relationships with industry
- Builder of new and emerging industries
- Ability to promote business clusters through collaboration and integration
- Promotion of regional identity through specialisation and regional leadership
- Widening the employment base of the region and providing opportunities for employment and retention of graduates in their home region
- Provider of educational opportunities for disadvantaged population and areas.
Study Moreton Bay
Education is also Australia’s largest export, and the fourth largest export earner overall. Because of Asia’s growing middle class, it is expected to increase its share of the economy.
Already, 79% of the income generated by the education sector is linked to Asia, mostly through universities. Regional universities, schools and vocational education institutions will play an important role in growing Australia’s education services industry.
Study Moreton Bay aims to position the region to take advantage of this opportunity, initially through High Schools and Homestay’s before engaging with university students following the opening of the university precinct at The Mill Moreton Bay during 2020.
Study Moreton Bay will be taken forward by MBRIT, with the support of Trade & Investment Queensland (International Education and Training Strategy), MBRC, RDA Moreton Bay and the region’s high schools, initially focusing on those schools with international visitation and home stay programs.
The attraction of international students, and their friends and family, as the potential to raise the regional brand as an education and tourism destination, as well as, providing a significant input in to the region’s economy.
Initial steps will include a formal partnership in this space across Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Burnett regions to host familiarisation tours for intermediaries, and the formation of an ‘Education Cluster’ bringing together the region’s high schools and vocational institutions to collaborate to maximise the educational, tourism and economic benefits of this initiative.
How RDA Moreton Bay Adds Value:
- Advocate and support for the development of the Mill at Moreton Bay and Study Moreton Bay
- Support cluster development around Study Moreton Bay and international student engagement
- Promoting government programs & funding sources
- Assisting with funding applications