UWS welcomes $4 million from Federal Government for Parramatta campus Science Precinct

Date: 23/10/2009

Plans to address Australia's shortage of science, technology and maths graduates are set to receive a boost with the University of Western Sydney receiving a $4 million grant from the Federal Government to help develop a multi-million dollar Science Education and Research Precinct for the UWS Parramatta campus.

The $4 million has been awarded to the University from the Government's Capital Development Pool program, and will be used as seed funding by the University to begin the first phase of its larger $40 million Science Education and Research Precinct project.

The University's bold vision is to create a Science Education and Research Precinct that will make a tangible and valuable contribution to the nation's need for more science, engineering and technology teachers, researchers and other industry professionals.

The Precinct will include the staged re-development of existing facilities, as well as the construction of new, purpose-built laboratories and teaching spaces.

A primary collaborator in the project is the NSW Department of Education and Training's Lachlan Macquarie College (LMC), located across James Ruse Drive.

Through its partnership with Lachlan Macquarie College, the University's Science Education and Research Precinct will link in with local high schools in the region - providing opportunities for school students to use state-of-the-art facilities, and importantly, provide pathways for them to continue their scientific studies at UWS.

UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, says the University is delighted to receive the $4 million grant from the Australian Government.

"This grant is an important first step in the University's plans for a cutting-edge science and technology teaching and research hub at Parramatta that builds on our partnership with the neighbouring Lachlan Macquarie College," Professor Reid says.

"The Parramatta Science Education and Research Precinct will further build the University's capacity to deliver first class science and technology education for the burgeoning Greater Western Sydney region - Australia's third largest economy, and home to over 1.8 million people.

"When completed, the Precinct will triple the science, technology, engineering and mathematics student capacity at Parramatta in undergraduate and research degrees.

"It will also provide a critical pathway for students into research careers and help bolster the nation's capacity for science and technology research and innovation.

UWS has scientific research strengths in a number of areas including climate change and environment, medicine, solar energy, nanotechnology, and engineering. It also has some of the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art research facilities in Australia located across its campuses, such as the Confocal Bio-Imaging Facility, the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility, and the Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS).

Overall, the UWS Science Education and Research Precinct will enable the University to double the numbers of students studying science-related programs including chemistry, geochemistry, environmental science, nanotechnology, mathematics, biology, informational technology, computing and nursing.

The Precinct will be a core component of a University wide plan to allow students to be linked into a state-of-the-art IT network, which will allow real time remote connections to the research equipment and facilities to other UWS campuses.



Media Services Manager

Amanda Whibley
02 9678 7084, 0418 438 399