Flinders University aims to address inequalities in educational opportunities for rural and remotely located young Australians with the backing of a $1 million grant from Myer Family Philanthropy’s 2009 Commemorative Grants Program that will establish a new Chair in Rural Education and Communities.
The new position will commence in the School of Education in 2009, and will further enhance the University’s strong reputation in the field of rural education.
The Baillieu Myer Chair in Rural Education and Communities will focus on teaching and research designed to improve access to high quality, relevant and affordable education for people who live in rural Australia. It is the first time the University has established an endowed chair in the field.
“This is a significant acknowledgement of the importance of rural education and communities to Australia’s sustainability,” Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, said.
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities, Law and Theology at Flinders, Professor Faith Trent, said she expected the Chair to have a significant and enduring impact.
“We envisage there will be increased retention of students, particularly boys, in rural schools and Vocational Educational Training, together with increased retention of teachers and health professionals in rural and remote locations,” Professor Trent said.
Selection of an incumbent will follow a national and international search.
Flinders was one of only two Australian higher education institutions to receive funding from the 2009 Commemorative Grants Program, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Sidney Myer Fund and 50 years of The Myer Foundation.