The arts and higher education sectors have had a rough time of things recently.
The Australian Senate is debating the Job-Ready Graduate Package bill, which could see thousands of future students pay 113 per cent more to study humanities and communications courses in years to come.
But University of Wollongong Chancellor Jillian Broadbent couldn't help but be impressed with the university's new state-of-the-art creative arts and social sciences building.
And she thinks many students will still use the building next year, despite proposed fee hikes for humanities courses.
"They may not be changes I personally would make but I think from the university's point of view we learn to go with and take advantage of what we are dealt and just make sure the students aren't adversely impacted," Ms Broadbent said.
NSW Governor Margaret Beazley was also on hand on Wednesday to officially open the Jillian Broadbent Building and dedicate it to the retiring UOW Chancellor in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the university from 2009 to 2020.
The four-storey, multi-purpose building has been designed to attract, engage and develop the very best creative talent to ideate, design, create and facilitate meaningful engagement in response to the themes and issues facing society.
It features a visual arts gallery, two theatre spaces, music performance, rehearsal, recording and production facilities, a fully equipped newsroom, digital design studio, maker space, simulation labs and indoor and outdoor teaching facilities.
"I'm both honoured and delighted to have this building, with its important purpose, carry my name," she said.
"This new facility draws the community together, and a connected community is a resilient one."
Ms Broadbent said moving from nine faculties to four had placed UOW in a good position.
"We are working to structure a blend of science and art courses where the full impacts of the changes proposed by the federal government won't be quite so serious for individual students," she said.
UOW vice-chancellor Paul Wellings said the social sciences and the arts played crucial roles in a well-functioning society by influencing policy, improving accountability and helping inform decisions for the betterment of society.
"We are pleased to be providing a high-quality academic teaching and research facility aligned with the current and future needs of the cultural and creative industries," Professor Wellings said.
"The Social Sciences and The Arts building, the Jillian Broadbent Building, will act as a much-needed driver of innovation, learning, growth and skill development in a post-COVID-19 world."
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