University for Blacktown - one step closer
Published on 04 September 2018
The establishment of a university campus in Blacktown City took a big step towards reality today with Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali MP calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from universities to partner with Council and Businesses to establish a campus in Blacktown CBD.
“A university campus in our CBD is a vital part of our vision for transforming Blacktown City,” Mayor Bali said.
“By 2036 half of Sydney’s population will live in Western Sydney and yet today we only have 18 per cent of university places in the Greater Sydney region.
“There are 54,000 higher education students living within 30 minutes of Blacktown. There are 18,000 talented university students living in Blacktown City – but currently they all have to travel long distances to attend their courses,” Mayor Bali said.
“Imagine how great it would be for today's Year 7 school students to have an opportunity to study at a University right here in Blacktown when they complete their HSC.
“The EOI process ensures there is proper governance in place and that all potential University partners are treated in a fair and equitable way.
“A university campus in Blacktown is obviously needed, but for it to be successful it will have to collaborate with Council, our community and local businesses so it can meet the needs of our diverse community.”
Local businesses were well represented at today’s launch with Greater Blacktown Business Chamber, Vitex, and Sydney Business Park, all agreeing to partner Blacktown City Council in moving forward with the concept of a university campus situated in the Blacktown CBD.
Greater Blacktown Business Chamber Vice President Bob Turner said, “This is truly a win-win for Business and the Blacktown Community.”
“Blacktown businesses could provide real-world opportunities for training and workforce placement for students and a University could provide a local industrial research bed.
“I’ve worked closely with young people and there is a need for them to be able to achieve their highest levels of education without having to travel great distances from home, and Business needs a qualified local workforce to draw from. The answer to both of these needs is a university campus in Blacktown,” Mr Turner said.
The University for Blacktown project was also endorsed by Blacktown Woman of the Year, Anyier Yuol, who was announced as the Blacktown University Youth Champion at the event.
“When I first heard the Mayor talk about this project I just thought ‘finally!’” Ms Yuol said.
“There are so many reasons why this is such a great project. We already have thousands of university students living in Blacktown - a number that will only get bigger over time, so the demand is there.
“Having a university near where students live and study will make them that much more motivated at school and give them belief that they can attain a higher education.
“When I was studying for my degree I had to travel one and a half hours each way – three hours a day – to get to my campus. Although I was motivated to study, it was emotionally draining and impacted other important parts of my life such as, my sporting training.
“With so many young people from multi-cultural backgrounds living in Blacktown, having a university within the local area removes one of the potential barriers they face if they want to pursue higher education.
“And the idea of this university being linked with local business with the possibility of real on the job experience and training and, most importantly with a potential career pathway makes it really special.”
The EOI documentation is being officially released on 5 September, closing on 5 December 2018. Council will then work through the submissions and have detailed discussions on how best to establish a comprehensive university presence in Blacktown City.
Steve Adams – Blacktown City Council
Ph: (02) 9839 6965 M: 0411 253 345