REVEALED: Where Bundy's uni students are studying
MORE than half of Bundy's 2018 Year 12 graduates who went to university left the region for their further studies.
Figures from the Next Steps Profile: Post school destinations of Year 12 completers showed 44.6 per cent of Bundaberg's 2018 class chose to study their bachelor's degree at CQUniversity.
Where Bundy students are studying
Central Queensland University - 44.7%
The University of Queensland - 16.6%
Queensland University of Technology - 14.7%
Griffith - 8.8%
University of Sunshine Coast - 6.9%
Interstate - 3.2%
James Cook - 2.3%
University of Southern Queensland - 1.4%
Other Queensland university - 1.4%
The most popular fields of further study for Bundaberg school leavers at all universities were nursing - the field of choice for 8.5 per cent of students, education (6 per cent) and engineering (5.4 per cent).
Experts in the field believe that times are changing and high school students are starting to see the benefits of staying local for university.
Shalom College Pathway coordinator Liza O'Donnell says while there will always be younger people from regional towns relocating to larger cities, there are many reasons for this and that it does not reflect the quality of local institutions.
"Some relocate because it's easier to find work elsewhere, families move when their kids finish school and some young people just want to get out and explore other parts of the world,” she said.
"I find that a lot more kids are choosing to stay in Bundaberg because a lot of them continue to study and it's just more financially viable for them to do that here.
"I would say about half of students would go to CQUniversity in Bundaberg.”
Selecting a university is a crucial decision and one that is highly influenced by graduate employability figures.
CQUniversity's associate vice-chancellor for the Wide Bay and Burnett Region, Luke Sinclair says CQU has seen growth of 7 per cent over the last five years and is proud to hold one of the highest percentages of students from low-socioeconomic, first-in-family, Indigenous and regional and remote backgrounds.
"CQUniversity is committed to reducing the disparity between regional and metropolitan participation and attainment rates,” he said.
"As part of this we have invested heavily over the past decade to deliver industry relevant courses that meet the needs of regional communities and industries (and) has led to increased domestic school leaver growth in the regions.
"These trends are not isolated to just Bundaberg - unfortunately participation and attainment in the regions right across Australia is on average half that of metropolitan areas.
"These figures are unacceptable and CQUniversity has been working hard to help close this gap - particularly over the past decade.”
Mr Sinclair believes CQU's employment rate, which is above sector average, highlights the importance of university presence in regional areas.
"CQUniversity has one of the top three graduate employment rates in Australia with 80.4 per cent of domestic undergraduates finding employment three months after completion of their course,” Mr Sinclair said.