Mount Isa City Council will take a motion of support to the Local Government Association of Queensland conference in October to get behind a regional university centre.
The aim is to provide students from rural and regional Australia with a greater choice in, and access to higher education and proposing the motion at a special council meeting on Wednesday, Cr George Fortune said the percentage of population with a bachelor's degree or higher is considerably lower in regional and remote communities when compared to major cities, an average of around 44.6pc in major cities while it is just 22.7pc in regional and remote areas.
"That's a big gap," Cr Fortune said.
"On the back of the success of Regional University Centre programs across Australia and with proven centres here now in Queensland local governments would like to see the expansion of this program further across the state to help students in regional and remote areas access higher education without having to leave their community providing student support and campus-style facilities for students who study online."
Cr Fortune said the Regional University Centres program took an innovative approach to improve access to tertiary education for regional and remote students.
"Centres have been established around Australia now since 2018 and have proven to be sustainable and integrated into existing infrastructures around the regions," he said.
"A Regional University Centre is a facility where regional students can use to study tertiary courses locally delivered by distance from any Australian institution. Centres provide infrastructure including:study spaces . break out areas, video conferencing and computer facilities."
Cr Fortune said the program enabled regional students access to complete higher education without having to leave their community and complemented existing universities including satellite campuses such as JCU's Murtupuni centre in Mount Isa.
Cr Kim Coghlan opposed the motion saying the idea was "pie in the sky".
"We are being unrealistic, we have enough trouble in our education system at the moment filling teachers in rural areas," Cr Coghlan said.
"It would be good to get a little more information on it."
Mayor Danielle Slade said she supported the idea and said they already had discussions with the University of Queensland about offering a mining degree in Mount Isa.
The motion was passed 5-1 with Cr Coghlan voting against. Cr Phil Barwick was absent from the meeting.
READ ALSO: Permit needed again to visit Doomadgee
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram
Follow us on Google News