TAFE NSW Digital and UNE combination makes Armidale Australia's educational and training powerhouse

Vice-chancellor of UNE Anabelle Duncan and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall sign the agreement that will see collaborations between the two institutions.
Vice-chancellor of UNE Anabelle Duncan and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall sign the agreement that will see collaborations between the two institutions.

TAFE’s Digital headquarters was opened in Armidale at the end of March by the Member for Northern Tablelands and Minister responsible for TAFE, Adam Marshall, who said the $6 million facility would use new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, robotics, 3D printing and remote conferencing to develop courses to be be rolled out across the state.

At digital headquarters today, Mr Marshall placed his signature on an agreement with the UNE that he said would combine the strengths of the two institutions.

“TAFE NSW Digital is signing an historic agreement with the University of New England to really combine our educational strengths, prowess, research capability and experience to really put Armidale on the map as the educational powerhouse of Australia,” Mr Marshall said.

We believe there are beneficial arrangements by working very closely together.

Adam Marshall

“If we have a very close arrangement, we’re establishing for our students a very seamless pathway from VET education into the tertiary space of higher level qualifications.”

Mr Marshall said the agreement would really harness the type of technology TAFE was trying to integrate into education delivery into the work that UNE were doing in a similar space. He said a key area was in precision agriculture where there was a strong nexus between the two organisations.

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“This is the first agreement that TAFE Digital has signed with an external entity and I am hoping it is the first of many,” Mr Marshall said.

Vice Chancellor and CEO of UNE Annabelle Duncan said she was delighted when the digital TAFE was situated in Armidale because it made it easy for the UNE to co-develop courses and collaborate on technology.

We know if we want highly trained people living and working around regional Australia we need to work with them

Anabelle Duncan

“It allows us to work together on education for people scattered all around the country who aren’t able to study for a whole lot of reasons, in a classroom, face-to-face, between nine to five,” Ms Duncan said.

“We need to find ways to help people study. We also need to increase people’s aspirations to study. As the economy changes, the qualifications that are requires to get people meaningful jobs is greater and greater and this enables a lot more people to do that.”