A University of Newcastle city campus has been locked in with Australian Government backing of $30 million announced today by the Federal Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Sharon Bird, and Member for Newcastle, Sharon Grierson.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said support from the Australian Government through the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Regional Priorities Round was critical in moving the city campus project, called NeW Space, off the drawing board and into development.
“From the project’s inception our Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Grierson, has been a relentless and determined supporter to make the NeW Space Precinct a reality for the Hunter community,” Professor McMillen said.
“Investment by the Australian Government in the NeW Space Precinct will be the catalyst not only for the development of landmark facilities in Newcastle but also support the next generation of learners.”
NeW Space will be a 10,800 sqm technology-enabled Precinct that will host a range of University supported activities including business and law programs; digital library services and information commons; collaborative learning and research spaces; facilities for industry, professional and community engagement; and social spaces.
“NeW Space will deliver state-of-the-art virtual and physical teaching and learning facilities 24/7 for our students, and technology-enabled amenities for our staff and the community,” Professor McMillen said.
“NeW Space will be Newcastle’s space. For instance, our highly successful Legal Centre will be able to extend its valued support to more members of the community and the proximity to the new law courts will be a valuable asset for our students.”
Professor McMillen acknowledged the significant support the University had received for NeW Space across the whole Newcastle community to bring the project to fruition.
“The NSW Government has also committed $25 million to the development of NeW Space. The University is deeply grateful for the unflagging support of Tim Owen and his State colleagues, who have shared our vision by investing in the skills development of the Hunter region announced in 2011.”
Supporting the aspirations outlined in its NeW Directions Strategic Plan 2013 – 2015 in particular its education plan, the University will invest $40 million into the development of the NeW Space Precinct.
Also, the EIF funding announced today will allow the University to redevelop existing facilities on its Callaghan campus for its enabling programs, which significantly build access and participation in higher education.
“The University is the largest provider of enabling programs in Australia. Through this additional government support, we will leverage our national position and build a world-class teaching, learning and research space dedicated to enabling students that delivers for both Newcastle and the sector,” Professor McMillen said.
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