Australia's newest university should help lift the number of country students undertaking tertiary education, its supporters say.
More than 25,000 students are expected to be enrolled at Victoria's Federation University Australia in 2014, with new courses specifically developed for regional students, vice-chancellor David Battersby says.
"The rationale for developing this expanded, regionally-focused university in Victoria is related primarily to lifting the higher education participation rates and providing more tertiary education opportunities in regional communities," Mr Battersby said at its launch on Tuesday.
The university is the result of the amalgamation of the University of Ballarat and Monash University's Gippsland campus.
Victorian Higher Education Minister Peter Hall said improving higher education could help drive economic activity in regional areas, given the correlation between academic qualifications and income levels.
"If we can improve the number of people in regional Victoria with tertiary qualifications, then that high correlation should see higher incomes and greater economic activity."
The university said it expected to generate more than $1 billion for Victoria's regional economy.