Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, has welcomed news that the University of Newcastle has signalled its intention to build a campus in the heart of Gosford, a project she has been working hard on for the past three years.
University Vice-Chancellor and President, Alex Zelinksy, recently outlined his vision for a $250m purpose-built campus at Gosford, to complement the new Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute now under construction and due for completion in 2020.
“It’s exciting to see the University of Newcastle show how much it believes in Gosford and how much it believes in this region, because I have been working very hard ever since we were successful in getting funding for the $85m Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute,” Wicks said.
“Once that had been achieved, we immediately put together a taskforce, which included the University of Newcastle, to look at how we could attract more jobs and educational opportunities into the city of Gosford.
“For the last three years, members of the taskforce have been working alongside each other to ensure that vision became a reality.
“We want to offer young people the opportunity to gain world-class education and jobs, right where they live, and where they don’t have to get on the M1 and drive to Sydney or Newcastle to pursue their aspirations.
“It hasn’t always been that way in the past, but it can be in future.
“This has been one of my long held dreams, it’s the reason we have worked so hard with the taskforce.
“We know what a university can do in terms of driving economic growth.
“What we want is for students at Gosford High School or Henry Kendall High School to look out the window and see a university campus and say, that’s where I’m going when I finish high school.”
Zelinsky said the Gosford campus would offer students courses in Business and Law, Communication, Early Childhood, Social Work, Marine Science, Community Health and Physical Education, Cybersecurity and Data Science, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and Healthy Aging.
“Our new facility, when built in the Gosford CBD, would be open for community and school use, with programs and offerings integrated with local schools, TAFE and other vocational education and training institutions,” he said.
Zelinsky said the university retained a strong commitment to its Ourimbah campus, which would have a “reimagined presence”.
“Ourimbah would focus on enabling pathways, an alternate program to the HSC for entry into the University, and would also offer program specialisation and industry collaboration,” he said.
“We’d continue to deliver strong programs in Education (early childhood, primary and secondary), Exercise and Sport Science, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Oral Health Therapy, Podiatry and Social Science, as well as develop new programs in Environmental Science and Management, and in Construction Engineering and Management.”
He said together, the Gosford and Ourimbah campuses would allow more students to study closer to home and would build the skills needed for the Central Coast workforce of the future.
“The Central Coast population is increasing,” he said.
“Our vision is to work with the community to provide more educational and professional development opportunities on the Coast.”
Zelinsky said fewer than 30% of Central Coast residents aged between 18 and 24 attended TAFE or University.
“We all want to do more for young people and for the economy of the Coast,” he said.
“We need to increase access to the transformative opportunity of higher education on the Central Coast, building on our 30 year commitment to Ourimbah.”
Zelinsky said the university would continue to work closely with State and Federal Governments to achieve the vision.
Media statement, Mar 26
Professor, Alex Zelinsky, Vice Chancellor and President, University of Newcastle
Media release, Mar 27
Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks