A TAMWORTH education advocate has reignited his push to get a full-scale university in the city.
Mitch Hanlon says a Tamworth university should be the city’s number one priority, and has called on business owners and aspiring politicians alike to get behind the push.
Mr Hanlon said the city was losing hundreds of its best and brightest every year when they leave to study elsewhere. Research shows students are more incline to start a career where they are educated.
“If we don’t train our own kids, we can’t retain them and business misses out on people who are more attuned to their needs than anyone else,” Mr Hanlon said.
“Tamworth is renowned for its great business community. It needs a university as much as the students do.”
Mr Hanlon said there was also the obvious economic benefit a university would bring.
“A rough figure is $30 million per annum in economic stimulus from staff numbers only,” he said.
“A CBD campus will lift and rejuvenate the Tamworth CBD. A good example is the redevelopment of Hunter Street, Newcastle where the University of Newcastle is building its new law school.
“This is an urban transformation project for a down-and-out part of Newcastle. Peel Street could receive similar treatment.”
In July, the University of New England unveil its vision for a campus in the heart of Tamworth, submitting an application to the NSW government for funding.
If it’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.
Without a university, the city is also losing potential new residents.
“A regional city without a university risks missing out on tree changers who elect to move to other regional cities who have the full suite of cultural, educational and medical facilities,” Mr Hanlon said.
“I know of families who have left Tamworth in order to gain easier access to higher education.”
“Let’s not blame anyone else, if we want change then we have to make it happen.
“Let’s develop the vision and implement it.
“More importantly, let’s stop accepting reasons for why it can't happen. Let's fix this.”
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