The University of Wollongong has jumped at the chance to be part of an Australian-first.
The institution has signed-off on a deal to join with three other leading NSW universities to build a so-called super campus in the heart of the new western Sydney airport.
Vice Chancellors from UOW, the University of Newcastle and University of NSW (the NUW Alliance), and Western Sydney University, have signed a Statement of Intent with the NSW Government to deliver the new higher education institution.
In a statement, the Vice-Chancellors collectively highlighted the strengths of the multiversity proposition.
“Higher education has traditionally been an intensely competitive sector. With the new Multiversity, our universities are demonstrating how collaborative university partnerships can transform the region and produce the graduates, research and industry links needed to make the Aerotropolis a success.”
The four universities will create one campus with strong links to local industry, tailored vocational education and training, and STEM-focused schooling.
“This is an unrivalled opportunity to place our world-class universities at the heart of what is surely the biggest and boldest project Australia has seen, or will see, for a very long time.
“Our universities bring a connected network of 180,000 students, researchers and academics to the Aerotropolis, with an established presence across every major Western Sydney centre.”
Stage one of the new development is expected to be running by 2026.
That’s the same year the new $5.3 billion Commonwealth funded airport is expected to be operational.
The “Australian first project” will have a clear focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, ensuring that young people in Western Sydney are ready for the jobs of tomorrow.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Western Sydney Aerotropolis will create thousands of employment opportunities for young people.
“The university project we have announced today is the first of its kind in Australia and the first new university built in Sydney in 50 years,” Ms Berejklian said.
“This will transform Western Sydney for generations to come. The jobs of tomorrow will rely heavily on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
More than 250 local and international business leaders seeking to secure their place at the 10,000-hectare greenfield site around Western Sydney Airport, attended the Aerotropolis Investor Forum earlier this year.
The “Aerotropolis”, as it is known, will be a hub for industries such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace, defence and agribusiness.
Students at the new institution will have “unparalleled access” to industry research, development and employment opportunities.