La Trobe University and Bendigo TAFE have signed a new agreement to strengthen pathways for TAFE students wishing to pursue further study.
The agreement means students who successfully complete TAFE diplomas will be offered a place in a La Trobe University course.
Study areas for TAFE students to transition into at La Trobe University include education, information technology, engineering, visual arts, graphic design, nursing, early childhood education and management.
Students will be able to get between 60 to 180 credit points from their TAFE qualification towards their university degree.
La Trobe University Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Speed said the new agreement was something the two bodies had been discussing for some time.
"The TAFEs (Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute) have been going through a lot of uncertainty about what they can deliver and the fact that we can deliver something together as an extension of what is available in Bendigo is the most important thing," Professor Speed said.
Professor Speed said La Trobe University was making similar arrangements with TAFE institutions in Albury-Wodonga and Mildura.
He said the opportunity to transfer to La Trobe University would be good for students who wanted to live and study locally.
"We know that most students who learn locally, go on to work locally or in other regional areas after graduation, so it makes sense to encourage as many young people as we can to study at Bendigo TAFE and then La Trobe.
"This agreement is about making it simpler and easier for young Victorians to get a great education and ensure local students can stay and study right here in Bendigo."
Bendigo Kangan Institute Acting Chief Executive Officer Grant Sutherland said it was important to strengthen ties between the two institutions and create a study pathway for the region’s students.
"This partnership is another step in progressing the goal of transforming Bendigo into an education city," he said.
Bendigo TAFE general manager John Rossi said TAFE students often began with little desire to study at university but later developed an "appetite" for further study.