Minister for the Central Coast, Chris Hartcher has welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to bring a new University of Newcastle presence to the Gosford CBD.

The MoU signed between the NSW Government’s Central Coast Regional Development Corporation and the University is a major plank of the NSW Government’s plans to revitalise Gosford.

“The presence of the University of Newcastle in Gosford would be a positive move toward offering more tertiary education options for local residents,” Mr Hartcher said. 

The Central Coast region’s proportion of 25-34 year olds with a Bachelor degree is approximately 15 per cent, falling below the national average of 27 per cent.

“Research commissioned by the Central Coast Regional Development Corporation indicated that extending higher education on the Central Coast could lead to a boost in participation in university study in the region,” Mr Hartcher said.

“The need for a university presence in the Gosford CBD has also been clearly identified by the community and is reflected in research developed as part of the Gosford City Centre Masterplan.

“This is an important step forward in the ongoing revitalisation of Gosford.

“A university presence can have a hugely positive impact on a community, bringing an economic and social boost to surrounding areas.”

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen said building a highly skilled workforce through quality education was a priority for the University.

“An important focus for the University is to provide more opportunities for people from all walks of life with ability and determination to enter and succeed in higher education,” Professor McMillen said.

“Through the presence in Gosford, the University will offer enabling courses that prepare students to thrive at university. The preparatory courses will be targeted to meet skills gaps in the region to ensure the University’s Gosford presence contributes to the economic and social development of the Central Coast.

“Contributing to the region’s growth and development, the University will also participate in a ‘research and innovation hub’ where our academics and postgraduate researchers can connect with local business to share ideas and foster new knowledge.

“The University has a long and demonstrated commitment to providing first-rate education to communities on the Central Coast through our campus at Ourimbah. We are delighted to be building on this commitment through the establishment of a presence in Gosford.”