Our Story

Who we are

We are driving change in regional education by empowering the Cape York Peninsula region to fulfil their potential through higher education. We are increasing access by providing a highly connected learning community in Cooktown to overcome the barriers to success.

Why we are here

Regional and rural communities deserve quality opportunities to pursue their dreams without the need to relocate. Our mission is to provide regional people with the space and tools they need to create a vibrant and more prosperous future for themselves and their wider community.

What we do

We have created a dedicated learning and study space in Cooktown that has been designed for regional people by regional people. Students have free access to high-speed internet, modern technology, and general academic support all delivered here at CUC Cape York. Students 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.

Who we are here for

All people in the Cape York Peninsula region who are studying higher education from any Australian university or non-university higher education providers. If you are a local business or service provider interested in engaging with locally trained university graduates and students, or hosting student placements and work-based learning, we are here for you too.

How it all began

Like many regional and rural communities, the small town of Cooma faced challenges in providing access to quality tertiary education opportunities and injecting knowledge and qualifications into the local workforce. In 2013, the establishment of the Cooma Universities Centre was funded by Snowy Hydro Limited, Cooma Monaro Shire Council (as it was then known), and key community members to support local students in achieving their educational aspirations.

And so, our incredible journey to change the future of regional education began.

A decade on, the expanded and rebranded Country Universities Centre is a government-funded network of centres operating in communities across New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria.

Alongside state government seed grants in recognition of the Cooma Centres’ impact, the CUC has secured funding under the federal Regional University Study Hubs program. This program has placed the study hub model in the national spotlight, with RUSHs emerging across Australia, all developed for their local community by their local community. Our centres also benefit from membership of the larger CUC network.

CUC Cape York was officially opened on 10 July 2023.

Click here for more information about the Country Universities Centre network.