Back to resources

Posted in Research

Geraldton Universities Centre: Australia’s first community initiated regional study hub for initial teacher education

Year of publication: 2019
Type: Research report
Equity group: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, Low socioeconomic status, Mature age, Online students, Regional and remote, General/all students, First-in-Family
Sector: Higher education


This report discusses the findings from a partnership between CQUniversity and the Geraldton Universities Centre (GUC) to deliver an Initial Teacher Education program within the local community. The aim of the study was to explore the lived experience of participants including pre-service teachers, graduates, GUC university tutors and community stakeholders. This report provides insight into the unique opportunities and inherent challenges for students undertaking teacher education in a regional setting.


Executive Summary

This report provides key insights into the unique opportunities and inherent challenges of students undertaking an Initial Teacher Education program in regional Western Australia. The report focuses on a unique partnership between a community-initiated universities centre and a regional interstate university. The Geraldton Universities Centre and CQUniversity have been in partnership since 2012. The key partnership objective is to develop teachers for the community and the region.

The research project was granted approval from the CQUniversity Human Research Ethics Committee. The research presented in this report draws on demographic statistics, archival data and responses from interviews with pre-service teachers, university tutors, community members and graduates. A qualitative case study approach was used within the research so that the researchers could examine the realities of delivering initial teacher education through the universities centre model.

Key findings of the research include:

  • Participation rates in initial teacher education are growing within the Geraldton region, meaning that increased professional capabilities will benefit the region’s schools and the children and young people who attend those schools.

  • The support structures that are embedded within the Geraldton Universities Centre model enables students to succeed more so than if they were studying via the traditional distance mode.

  • The Geraldton Universities Centre is graduating teachers from the community for the community. Graduates are teachers who understand the uniqueness of the region and its people.

  • Professional capability within the localised schooling/educational sector is increased in that experienced teachers are being provided with professional opportunities to increase their own teaching knowledge and skills, but also to give back to their profession.

  • The Geraldton Universities Centre increases the economic and social benefits of the region. Young people stay local to gain their teaching qualification and contribute to the local economy whilst doing so. The pre-service teachers become role models for other young people in the community, demonstrating that educational aspirations are not out of reach, but instead are an achievable reality.

  • The Geraldton Universities model empowers present and future generations and strengthens the community’s identity.