Work on the long-anticipated Country Universities Centre in Parkes is well underway for a late 2020 opening.
The centre is a dedicated study and learning space for higher education students and is part of an affiliate network with the Country Universities Centre (CUC).
CUC Parkes, located within the new Parkes Library complex, is supported by the NSW Government and the Commonwealth Government under the Regional University Centres Program.
The centre will provide the community with the opportunity to pursue a university degree without having to leave the region.
Students will have free access to high-speed internet, modern technology and general academic support, all delivered at CUC Parkes.
They also have the opportunity to build a network of like-minded fellow students and can take advantage of being part of a nation-wide learning community.
CUC Parkes chair Tracie Robertson said that the centre will allow students quality access to higher education and remain in their hometown.
"This is such a fantastic concept to overcome the disadvantages regional and rural students face in accessing higher education," she said.
"The Board and I are looking forward to seeing the impact of the centre on our community."
CUC CEO Duncan Taylor said the entire community will benefit from the CUC, including local businesses, schools and health facilities.
"It's a win-win scenario," he said.
"Students receive better access and participation to a quality higher education, and they remain in the local area connected with family, friends and community.
"Local businesses, schools and health facilities have greater access to people with university qualifications locally, without having to attract people outside the area.
"We are excited to see CUC Parkes open its doors to students and the community."
CUC Parkes will be open to students from late 2020 and will be located at the Parkes Shire Library on Bogan Street.