The number of Mid Coast residents with a university qualification will edge closer to the national standard through the Taree Universities Campus.
This is according to chair of the campus board Dr John Howard. He said only six per cent of residents in the area have university qualification, compared to 30 per cent across the country.
"This is a rather frightening figure," Dr Howard said.
"This places universities across the region at a substantial disadvantage in attracting industry and providing jobs in the industries that are strong, particularly health, education, agriculture, manufacturing and public administration."
Adapting to a changing economy and industry structure is a must for the TUC.
"University education is becoming essential for people wanting a secure job in our rapidly changing economy and industry structure," Dr Howard said.
He pointed to networking site LinkedIn's 2020 Emerging Jobs Report Australia which revealed high growth in technology related jobs in the coming years.
"The TUC will provide opportunities to participate in this new business environment," Dr Howard said.
Dr Howard also revealed 18 per cent of students enrolled in distance education fail to complete their courses.
"The universities campus (in Taree) will address the very high drop-out rate among distance education," Dr Howard said.
The Taree campus will also look to increase the participation rate through tutorials and mentoring support for students who would otherwise be on their own.
Dr Howard thanked Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie for getting the project off the ground and was thrilled to begin work with the rest of the campus board.
It's a fantastic opportunity for the future of Taree and the Mid Coast.Dr John Howard
The board was announced earlier this week.
"I look forward to working with the board and ensuring success in the application as it goes forward," Dr Howard said.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for the future of Taree and the Mid Coast."
Dr Howard is regarded as an expert in innovation policy, industrial strategy and regional economic development.
He is currently the managing director of consulting firm Howard Partners, a board member of the Great Lakes Education Fund, an adjunct professor at the UTS Business School and an adjunct professor and academic fellow at the Institute of Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra.