THE University of New England has unveiled its vision for a campus in the heart of Tamworth.
If the university’s plan comes to fruition, it will build a multi-million dollar campus “close to the Tamworth CBD”, which would house up to 500 people, including 440 students and 40 staff.
UNE Vice-Chancellor Annabelle Duncan said as Tamworth had grown, so too had the university’s investment in the city, such as the $2.5 million upgrade of the Fitzroy Street study centre in 2015.
“However, with our main campus located in Armidale, we have seen a higher proportion of enrolments from the northern half of the region than from the south of the region,” Ms Duncan said
“Since one of our most important roles is to help educate the entire New England North West, we feel now is the time to look at options to further increase our support to Tamworth and surrounds.
We feel now is the time to look at options to further increase our support to Tamworth and surrounds.- UNE Vice-Chancellor, Annabelle Duncan
“As a result, we have submitted an application for the NSW government’s Growing Local Economies Fund for the major capital funding for construction of a Tamworth Campus in collaboration with the Tamworth Regional Council.”
Vice-Chancellor Duncan said Tamworth’s rich mix of local businesses, particularly in the agricultural sector, provided opportunities for UNE to attract international students; a cohort the university was actively working to grow.
“While we are fortunate to have community and local government support for this application, the state government will make their decision based on merit only,” Ms Duncan said.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray suggested there were a “number of universities” looking at building a campus in the city.
“This is great news for us, and it’s very reassuring that the NSW government is leading the charge,” Cr Murray said
“They know a university is the missing link for the city. When you look at our current growth trajectory, you can only imagine what might happen if we had a university.
“We see it as a really key strategic factor in the growth and development of whole region.”
The Leader spoke with the University of Newcastle, Southern Cross University and Charles Sturt University, who all said a Tamworth campus was not on their radar for the near future.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.