Commonwealth funding of $20 million has been announced for a health and medical education campus in Port Macquarie – the first of its kind in regional Australia.

The new funding will support  a multi-partner medical education campus involving the University of New South Wales, the University of Newcastle and the North Coast Institute of TAFE. The campus, to be completed by 2014, will provide tertiary education to more than 600 students

The University of NSW will deliver a full six-year medical degree in Port Macquarie from 2014. An anatomy lab in Port Macquarie will enable students to to complete their full medical degree without leaving the region, and will assist in the teaching of a full range of medical and allied health courses. UNSW will lift its existing student numbers from 37 to 110 by 2016. The postgraduate programs at the existing rural clinical schools will be continued and expanded at the new health centre.


The University of Newcastle will increase its Bachelor of Nursing places by 50 per cent, and over the next three years will offer Bachelors in Midwifery, Nutrition and Dietetics, Oral Health, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Radiation Therapy.

The North Coast Institute of TAFE will expand its places in the Diploma of Nursing and the Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance courses. Over the coming three years TAFE will begin offering Certificate IIIs in Allied Health Assistance, Dental Assistance, Sterilisation Services, Pathology Assistance, and Certificate IVs in Pathology Assistance, and Medical Practice Assisting

A Rural Research Centre will focus on rural health and rural workforce issues, addressing nationally important rural and indigenous health issues.


The new funding is in addition to $15 million announced towards a Port Macquarie campus for Charles Sturt University.