Initiative to widen participation in the education industry welcomed | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Initiative to widen participation in the education industry welcomed

The Queensland Government’s recently announced investment in education is a welcome move to help widen participation in the industry.

UniSC Dean of School of Education and Tertiary Access Associate Professor Deborah Heck said the government's initiatives were a boost for UniSC's teacher education programs.

"These initiatives will make it more affordable and accessible for aspiring teachers to pursue their dreams of a career in education," Dr Heck said. "They will also help to attract more diverse and experienced teachers to Queensland state schools, which will benefit all students."

Dr Heck said UniSC was "well-placed" to meet the increased demand for teacher education in Queensland.

"We have a strong track record of producing high-quality teachers who are making a difference in the lives of students across Queensland," Dr Heck said. "We are committed to continuing to provide high-quality teacher education programs that meet the needs of Queensland students."

The Government initiatives include doubling the value of scholarships and grants available to aspiring teachers, starting a new supported pathway for existing teacher aides to become teachers, and offering a $10,000 signing bonus for graduate teachers who commit to teaching in a regional, rural or remote school for three years.

UniSC's Master of Teaching (Secondary) has been accepted as a provider in the Queensland Government's Turn to Teaching Internship Program from 2024 too – a program that aims to attracts high-calibre professionals from other fields into the teaching profession.

Successful applicants receive support including a $20,000 scholarship, mentoring, and a paid teaching internship as part of their teaching qualification, as well as a guaranteed permanent teaching position in a Queensland state school. Applications are open now.

UniSC Recreation and Outdoor Education student Asha Chalmers, who is from Kamillaroi Country, said initiatives such as the Pearl Duncan Teaching Scholarship for aspiring and preservice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers were crucial if First Nations knowledge and perspectives were to be included in education.

"Education has always been a stable practice and part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, which is why it’s so important Indigenous Australians are strongly represented in the teaching profession," she said. "It will only serve to enrich the industry."

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