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Kyle Nozza and Stephanie Arezzi, from southern Sydney and Wollongong, moved to Mackay in Central Queensland to attend CQUniversity's CQ Conservatorium of Music on the advice of one of their music teachers.
Kyle Nozza and Stephanie Arezzi, from southern Sydney and Wollongong, moved to Mackay in Central Queensland to attend CQUniversity's CQ Conservatorium of Music on the advice of one of their music teachers. "They cater to the individual, to your strengths and weaknesses, and look to make you into a performer," Mr Nozza said.

How to get a world-class education in your own backyard

Attending a regional university comes with heaps of perks.

Not only do you have better access to lecturers, learn in smaller classes, and often have better access to technological equipment, regional university graduates are often more employable and earn better salaries than their big city counterparts.

In the latest data from the Federal Government's Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website, CQUniversity - one of Australia's fastest growing regional universities - trumped most major universities on several fronts.

Firstly, CQUniversity's graduate employment rated higher than all the Group of Eight (Go8) universities. The university rated higher for study support, and its median salary for graduates was higher than all the Australian Technology Network collaborative group of major universities.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman was proud of the results, but said he was not surprised a regional university could outrank the big universities.

"The ratings reveal some great things not just for CQUniversity, but also for regional universities in general," he said.

"It shows that regional unis have a vital part to play in shaping our nation and that our graduates are up to the task when it comes to making an impact on communities and industry.

"It comes as no surprise to me or any of our alumni that graduates from regional universities such as CQUniversity can expect to earn just as much, or more, than their counterparts from the Group of Eight."

This year, CQUniversity also climbed the World University Rankings substantially to sit in the top 3% of universities in the world. "This just proves regional students don't have to leave their home town for a world-class education. It's right here in their own backyard," Prof Bowman said.

CQUniversity offers a broad scope of programs in business, law, health, education, creative and performing arts, humanities, engineering, science, psychology and social work, health, and information technology at a range of locations from Cairns in the north to Adelaide in the south and Karratha in the west. It's also a major provider of vocational education and training in Central Queensland.

The University understands that many students need flexibility in their study options, so offers most programs both on-campus and in the distance mode. Centres have been established throughout the country to support distance learners.

Although recent census data reveals limited student traffic from cities to regional universities, with most regional university student cohorts coming from the regions, those who do decide to make the move reap the benefits.

Kyle Nozza and Stephanie Arezzi, from southern Sydney and Wollongong, moved to Mackay to attend CQUniversity's CQ Conservatorium of Music on the advice of one of their music teachers.

They said CQUniversity delivered many drawcards: small cohorts, one-on-one learning, and lower cost of living. Having access to visiting performers and industry mentors, like Peter Cousens and Glen Hogstrom, was also a major selling point.

"They cater to the individual, to your strengths and weaknesses, and look to make you into a performer," Mr Nozza said.

He said he did not believe he would get the same close attention anywhere else.

More information on www.cqu.edu.au