The Tamworth community will get its first opportunity in years to ask questions of the University of New England about its second campus project on Monday.
The plan to have a campus in Tamworth has been years in the making, but has been plagued by trouble getting funding from both state and federal governments.
UNE is now set to start construction on the new Tamworth campus within 12 months, despite no Commonwealth commitment to the project.
Tamworth's University reference group member Adel Mazoudier said the public forum, on Monday evening, would be the first since 2019.
"This university, UNE Tamworth, will be very closely linked to the community," she said. "Therefore we felt that we had a responsibility to report back to the community as to the progress to date and also to the way forward."
Ms Mazoudier said organisers hoped to be able to make the case for a planned mentoring program from handpicked community members for new UNE students, a Tamworth first.
"The mentoring program is an acknowledgement that "doing" uni is more than just filling in an enrollment form," she said.
"There's a whole lot of skills and knowledge prerequisites to even getting to that point. There will be people who will both professionally and personally support students who may be first in family to undertaking any tertiary study.
"What it is saying is that access to university develops the potential of a community and it gives people choices. But you have to be careful because there's lots of barriers to accessing those choices."
Reference Group chairman Mitch Hanlon said the business community and ordinary ratepayers were both invited to attend.
"There'll be an opportunity for questions from the floor, there will be a roving microphone. It is about hearing what people see what their personal needs are. If one person's got a query, there's 10 who would also have the same problem or same query."
Mr Hanlon said the event was unticketed, but capped at 100 attendees.
"If more people show up, unfortunately it's first come best dressed."
Mayor Col Murray, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and Business Chamber President Steph Cameron will all attend. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is out of town.
UNE Vice-Chancellor Brigid Heywood and Chancellor James Harris will attend the meeting via Zoom.
The meeting will kick off at 6pm at Tamworth Mercure.
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