TAFE will stay at Murwillumbah, but the buildings may change

I WANT to assure the Murwillumbah community that North Coast TAFE is not leaving town.

We may well change what buildings we use in town, through leasing and partnerships, but our services will indeed continue.

Where, what and how people want to learn is changing as the world changes, and it is our intention to move with the times.

TAFE's enrolment growth in Murwillumbah in recent years has been through our practical site at Walls Quarry.

Here, we've used new mobile facilities and up-to-date equipment to provide real-world experience for students training in the civil construction industry.

In just over a year we've had more than 150 new enrolments in Murwillumbah through this initiative, which has been built on a great partnership with All Excavations Training and the council.

Planning for our other offerings in Murwillumbah next year is also proceeding without interruption.

Our job is to find new ways to be accessible to the community, and we are doing this by delivering not just through traditional campuses but on the job, in leased premises, via online and blended, through community partnerships and via pop-up and mobile facilities.

Our strategy in Murwillumbah, as it is across the whole North Coast, is to work out how to meet the diverse and changing expectations of students and industry.

It's not about a simple "online versus face-to-face" choice, as has been presented by some. It's about maximum choice and access.

We will be able to afford to provide this diversity and relevance if we manage our assets well. That might mean changing our assets, but the purpose of that change is to keep our services in town.

* Elizabeth McGregor, is the director of the North Coast Institute of TAFE

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