THOSE behind the push for a Tamworth university campus feel one step closer to their goal, after a meeting with the Education Minister in the nation's capital.
The Tamworth University Reference Group travelled to Canberra to pitch their case for a $10 million commitment from the federal government.
The group was armed with letters of support from all of the city's high schools and three councils, along with a hefty 100-page document outlining the need for a university in Tamworth, which they gave to Education Minister Dan Tehan.
Stephen Maher, one of five delegates from the group to travel down, said Education Minister Dan Tehan was open to the group's cause.
"We got a very political, yet supportive response from him," Mr Maher said.
"They'll go away and look at all the issues before they consider coming back with any commitment."
Fellow committee member Mark Woodley said it was a "positive meeting" and "definitely worth the trip".
"I felt we got the message across about why we need a university and they definitely absorbed all the information," Mr Woodley said.
Parkes MP Mark Coulton sat in on the meeting and said the university fell under his ministerial portfolios of regional services and decentralisation.
"The group presented the case very well - but you don't have to convince me of the need," Mr Coulton said.
"Tamworth is a large hub for education. Having a campus there is a natural progression.
"I couldn't give them a commitment straight up, but I am committed to working on the project and getting it through the system to make sure the project ultimately gets what it needs to be built."
New England MP Barnaby Joyce organised the "very constructive" pow-wow.
"The culmination of a number of meetings means the Education Minister, and indeed the Prime Minister, understand how important this is to Tamworth," Mr Joyce said.
The University of New England proposal for a 500-person campus in Tamworth's CBD already has a $26.4-million commitment from the state government.
Should the federal government agree to contributing $10m, it will still need $16m to become a reality.