Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, Lucy Turnbull, AO, was joined by Liverpool City Mayor Wendy Waller, UOW Chancellor Ms Jillian Broadbent AO, and UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE to officially open the campus.
Announced in May 2016 by then NSW Premier Mike Baird, the new UOW South Western Sydney Campus is the first fully fledged university campus in Liverpool and represents a significant, long-term commitment by the University of Wollongong to the region’s future.
Turnbull said the new UOW campus was an important development for the rapidly growing region.
“The opening of the first university campus in the Liverpool area provides great educational and economic benefits to the region, as well as positioning the Great South West for the future,” she said.
“Providing greater choice for quality education and training for new jobs and industries will help ensure the region is ready to embrace the new opportunities being created by the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, as well as supporting the future development of the region.”
Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said having a university campus in Liverpool would make a huge difference to the city’s young people.
“It gives them a chance to build a solid footing for their future without leaving their local support networks and without the burden of a lengthy commute,” she said.
“Currently, around 12 per cent of Liverpool residents have university qualifications, compared to 27 per cent across greater Sydney.
“Having our own university campus will help us redress that balance and prepare our students for the jobs of the future.”
Waller used the event to announce the council’s commitment to fund $30,000 in scholarships over the next three years. Five, $2000 equity-based scholarships will be available each year to financially and/or socially disadvantaged students from the Liverpool region to study at the new campus.
The Liverpool City Council scholarships will provide opportunities for local students to attend university who may otherwise not be able to access higher education. They will operate alongside two UOW-funded $5000 academic excellence scholarships, offered each year to students studying at the South Western Sydney Campus with high academic achievement and who display the attributes of community engagement, leadership and motivation to study.
“These scholarships are an expression of Council’s and the University’s shared commitment to providing opportunities for local students through a more accessible, competitive, sustainable and higher quality tertiary education system,” Waller said.
UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, described the new campus as the product of a shared vision and a great partnership between the University and the Council and pointed to a bright future.
“Establishing a new campus is a major undertaking and to be standing here less than a year after the then NSW Premier Mike Baird announced our plans for this campus and to see that our doors are open and our first students have begun their educational journey is testament to our strong partnership,” Wellings said.
“For the first time, the people of Liverpool and the Great South West have a world-class university presence right here in the heart of Liverpool so local students will not have to leave the region to follow their educational dreams.
“We are proud to now officially be a part of this vibrant, booming, multicultural area of Sydney. But this is only the beginning.
“We are looking forward to building on our already strong ties with Liverpool and being a substantial contributor to the Great South West region’s community, economy and growing local industries into the future.”
The new campus has opened in its temporary home, comprised of two fully refurbished floors in Liverpool City Council’s Moore Street building. UOW plans to move into a larger, purpose built premises in Liverpool in 2020 and to be accommodating 7000 students by 2030.
One hundred and fifty students have enrolled to study at the new campus so far, with the first intake of students arriving in November 2016 to undertake the UOW College University Access Program. The remaining students began filling the hallways from late February for the start of the 2017 academic year. UOW anticipates further enrolments for postgraduate programs and from students starting their studies mid-year for Spring Session.
For the 2017 academic year, UOW’s South Western Sydney campus is offering the Bachelors of Arts, Business, Business Information Systems, Computer Science and Information Technology. In 2018, UOW plans to also offer the Bachelor of Arts – Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business – Bachelor of Laws double degrees.
In 2020, UOW will open its Western Sydney Nursing Education and Research Centre (WeSNER) to help train the nurses needed to serve the Liverpool area’s growing population. WeSNER will be the University’s sixth nursing training facility and be similar in size and standard as the nursing school currently operating at its Wollongong Campus.
Students will benefit from UOW’s experience delivering nursing and health care education tailored to local health needs in rural, regional, metro and outer-metro communities.