Uni unveils new Horsham campus courses 

Plumbing and carpentry apprenticeship training will be among the new initiatives offered at the University of Ballarat's Horsham campus next year.

University vice-chancellor Professor David Battersby announced a range of new initiatives on Monday.

He said although regional universities and TAFEs were facing tough times with funding cuts, the announcements confirmed the university's commitment to the Horsham campus and the opportunities for development that existed there.

He said the university would offer plumbing and carpentry apprenticeship training alongside existing trade apprenticeships as part of its new Industry Skills Centre.

"We want to take advantage of the refurbished facilities and with those new assets there is an opportunity to build on what we do," he said.

Professor Battersby said the university would also continue to operate its Visual Arts centre at the campus in 2013.

"There are similar facilities around regional Victoria and it might well be that this is the one remaining visual arts facility outside of Ballarat that continues to remain open," he said.

"It fulfils a very important Vocational Education and Training in Schools arrangement.

"We are also keen to promote an artist in residence program which will give a real voice to the importance of visual arts in the region.

"We heard loud and clear its importance to communities and we are responding to that."

The university will also extend its degree programs at the campus, with Bachelor of Applied Management and the Master of Leadership degrees to be made available in 2013.

Head of western campuses Geoff Lord said the university would also play a major role in the new Wimmera Trade Training Centre adjacent to the campus.

He said a VETiS hospitality course and electro technology course were run at the centre.

"There is also furniture-making which is taught by a high school teacher but under our program," he said.

"We were one of the initial founding partners of the centre and Horsham College and Longerenong College are also founding third party members.

"The facility is purpose-built with an industrial kitchen and industry-standard workshops.

"The nature of the facility will dictate what goes on there."

Professor Battersby said the university was also looking at other training areas such as heavy vehicle maintenance and would create a research and development hub at Horsham to create increased opportunities for engagement with industry and employers.

He said the Grampians building at the university would also be converted to a learning commons next year and the university library relocated to the building.

He said it was a privilege for the university to operate in the region.

"We are buoyed by the support from the Wimmera and Horsham and we think there is a bright future here," he said.

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