A university for Blacktown

Uni

Thousands of students in Western Sydney will have access to a new university campus in Blacktown City!

On Tuesday 5 March, 2019, we announced that we will partner with Australian Catholic University (ACU) to build a university campus in the Blacktown CBD. In October 2020 Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Blacktown City Council today (Thursday 17 October) formally ratified their partnership. ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven and Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM signed a “Heads of Agreement” at the Blacktown Civic Centre. The agreement officially seals collaboration between the two that will see the development of a Blacktown CBD university campus and a clear path to university for the 18,000 students who live in the city of Blacktown.

ACU will open a Future Students Information Centre at 22 Main Street in June 2020 and the first student enrolments – in courses for degree and Executive Education - from February 2021.

Australian Catholic University is rated Australia’s top provider of graduate teachers and graduate nurses and is in the top 3% of the latest World University rankings. 

In 2018 Council called for Expressions of Interest from universities to partner with us and business to establish a campus in the Blacktown CBD.

Following a rigorous assessment process, ACU proved it was capable of responding to the needs of a growing and diverse population. ACU was also willing to make a considerable capital investment in the construction of the campus.

Our students can now look forward to getting a quality education without having to commute for hours across Sydney every day.

The new campus will at first occupy several floors of the council-owned office block at 22 Main Street, Blacktown. ACU plans to partner us in building two campus buildings in the Warrick Lane precinct in the CBD.

We will work closely with the community, local businesses, ACU staff and external experts to develop the design of the permanent campus within the Warrick Lane development, with occupation scheduled for 2024.

Blacktown is the future of Western Sydney. We are making the future happen with exciting projects, both small and large. 

The new campus will be the first university established in Blacktown, and the ninth ACU campus.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale said; “This is a game changer for tertiary education in Western Sydney and a vital part of Council’s vision for transforming our city.

“Our students can now look forward to getting a quality education without having to commute for hours across Sydney.”

The Member for Blacktown Stephen Bali said; “ACU has already established a strong network of industry partners and expertise in Blacktown.

“Working together these partnerships will bring education, training, research and experience that will provide huge benefits to the Blacktown City community.”

https://www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au/News-Media/ACU-and-Blacktown-seal-partnership

https://www.acu.edu.au/about-acu/news/2019/october/acu-and-blacktown-seal-partnership

 

Business case

The business case for establishing a university campus in Blacktown’s CBD is strong:

  • Strong market demand – 32 per cent of Sydney students live within 45 minutes of Blacktown; we are a well-connected city, by rail and road – a true 30-minute city; access to an untapped market; a new campus and state-of-the-art facilities is attractive to students, most notably, international students; and our affordable housing market is also attractive to students.

  • Business commitment to placements and research - Our local businesses are interested in partnering with a local university to provide opportunities, including work placements, research opportunities, and jobs. These businesses are telling us they require more qualified workers for roles and research across logistics, manufacturing, engineering and IT.

  • Specialised industry opportunities - Blacktown’s significant sports infrastructure, including the Blacktown International Sportspark, and Blacktown hospital (soon to be the third largest hospital in NSW) can provide the right university with unique offerings to its students.  

  • A CBD location with room for campus growth – Warrick Lane is a new development next to Blacktown train station, and we believe this will be the best option for a university – although there are several. Students will enjoy the benefits of studying in a CBD, surrounded by new and existing amenities. Blacktown City Council has four other sites available to the successful university – whether for the first (and only campus) or to offer a distributed urban campus opportunity.

  • Culturally diverse – Blacktown is home to 182 languages. This is not only attractive to international students, but local students looking for a unique experience and the opportunity to make the community their own. This may also encourage international students to add to the community by bringing new ideas to the environment. 

  • A transformed CBD – Blacktown City Council is undertaking a number of transformational development projects that will modernise the CBD and provide the opportunity for Blacktown to become The Talented City

  • Support from all levels of government - We have been working with local and federal governments to garner support for a university at Blacktown.