Study shows teachers are staying in Geraldton

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Education academic co-ordinator Jenny Kessell with some first-year education students at GUC.
Camera IconEducation academic co-ordinator Jenny Kessell with some first-year education students at GUC. Credit: Tamra Carr

A five-year study has determined teachers from Geraldton Universities Centre continue to live in the region after they graduate, indicating regional study hubs keep qualified people in country Australia.

The study was co-authored by Professor Bill Blayney, the Dean of the School of Education and Arts at Central Queensland University.

It was co-authored by deputy dean Dr Angelina Ambrosetti and two other researchers.

Professor Blayney said the research was primarily commissioned as a tool to lobby the Commonwealth for more money and placements so the GUC and other centres could fund an expansion.

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“Regions are losing their youth quite rapidly to cities,” Professor Blayney said.

“It’s a blend of school leavers and mature-aged people.

“Research shows that it takes five to 10 years for qualified people to return to their communities, and that’s if they return at all.

“This research shows that people are gaining a qualification and staying local.”

Other key findings included that growing numbers were enrolling in teaching in Geraldton. Students were also said to be more successful under the GUC model than other methods of distance education.

The academic paper also found specialist expertise was increasing in the local schooling sector.

“The GUC model is far superior to anything else on offer,” Professor Blayney said.

“The centre is really well-resourced and graduates are getting jobs almost immediately.”

The discoveries were made by examining demographic statistics and archived data, and interviewing pre-service teachers, university tutors, graduates and other community members. GUC director Natalie Nelmes said CQUniversity was GUC’s biggest partner and the Bachelor of Education was the centre’s flagship program.

“It’s terrific to see these research results from CQ University really evidencing the outcomes that are clearly the aim of GUC, to provide that high level of support to enable student success while building the capacity of our region,” she said.

Professor Blayney presented the research with his co-authors at the universities centre last Friday.

He said he was not related to Geraldton Member Ian Blayney.

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