Hawkesbury residents have their say in uni's future

Date: 22/10/2002

Hawkesbury residents are invited to have their say about the future of their local University Campus.

The invitation follows today's release of a new discussion paper on how to develop and build the UWS Hawkesbury Campus over the next 20 years.

The paper outlines several options for the 1300-hectare campus, including turning the area into a specialist science precinct with a strong focus on sustainable development and internationally recognised science research centres.

Another option would be to transfer popular courses from other UWS campuses to Hawkesbury to increase the student population.

A range of business proposals and entrepreneurial activities are also under consideration, including establishing a horticulture and export centre, extending police training, expanding equine studies, hosting a private high school on the Campus and running summer camps for overseas students.

"The discussion paper is just the starting point," says Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Tong Wu who chairs the UWS 'Campus Futures Project'.

"We want to know what ideas and expectations local residents and businesses have for their local Campus. Their input is very important to us.

"One thing is certain. Although student numbers have dropped in recent years, closing the UWS Hawkesbury Campus is not an option," Professor Wu emphasises.

The University's strong resolve not to allow the Hawkesbury Campus to be closed was reinforced at a Board of Trustees meeting in late August 2002. At that meeting the Board determined that the University remains committed to the Hawkesbury Campus now and into the future.

"The University acknowledges the great importance of the Campus to the Hawkesbury region and the local community," Professor Wu says.

The University will also run a series of workshops for students and staff about the future of the Campus.

"We hope that this consultative project will provide the University with ideas towards a road map for the future development of the Hawkesbury Campus so it can grow in positive and contemporary directions. The result will be a better place for study and research for our students, staff and the community," Professor Wu said.

The UWS Board of Trustees is expected to discuss the comments from students, staff and the community at a meeting on 11 December 2002.

The Hawkesbury Campus was established in 1891 as an agricultural college by the NSW Government.

At present it offers students a choice of courses in horticultural science, agriculture, landscape management and conservation, applied science and food technology, nursing, and tourism. The Campus is home to a number of research centres and administrative offices. There are also a nursing home, conference centre and industry training centre on the Campus.

You can get a copy of the discussion paper and provide comments on http://www.uws.edu.au/uws/administration/dcs/campusfutures/hawkesbury.html or write to the Campus Futures Project, JG13A Westmead Site, UWS, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith Sth DC, NSW 1797. Email: campusfutures@uws.edu.au.

You may also phone the Campus Futures Project on tel: 02 9685 9734.


Media contact:
Mikael Kjaerbye
UWS Media Manager
Ph: 02 9678 7418
Mob 0405 356 021
Email: m.kjaerbye@uws.edu.au