Award puts young Gympie men on path to uni

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Award puts young Gympie men on path to uni


Published on 23 June 2016

A pilot program has been created by the University of the Sunshine Coast to inspire and assist young men in the Gympie region to take steps towards higher education.

The RBETS Educational Support for Young Men Award aims to prepare successful applicants for university by providing financial and social support to complete USC’s tertiary bridging program, the Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP).

USC’s TPP Program Coordinator Dr Kerry Rutter said the award has been established following recommendations from focus groups held with Gympie men aged from 20 to 34 years.

“The focus groups were held as part of a USC research project to examine why men in this age group from regional areas, such as Gympie, seem reluctant to engage in university study,” Dr Rutter said.

Dr Rutter leads the research project which is funded by the Federal Government under its Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program to help rural students access and benefit from university.

The RBETS Award is open to men aged 20-34 from the Gympie region who have not previously entered into tertiary education. Benefit options include transport assistance, child care support, internet services, course equipment and help with printing costs.

“Students supported through the award will brush up their academic skills and gain confidence to begin studying an undergraduate degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast,” Dr Rutter said.

“Our careers advisers will help them discover career options they are passionate about, and they will also have access to a range of other services including counselling, welfare and academic study support.”

Dr Rutter said the RBETS (Removing Barriers to Engagement by Tertiary Students Living in Regional Areas) research project was focused on the Gympie region but its findings and initiatives would be shared with other regional universities once it was completed.

USC Gympie will host a stall at Bunnings Gympie from 10am to 1pm on Saturday 25 June to provide information on the award and the available study options in the local area.

For information or to apply for the call (07) 5456 5800 or email

— Clare McKay

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