The University of Newcastle, Australia

Central Coast: Higher Education's bright future

Thursday, 7 April 2016

In October 2015, the University of Newcastle (UON) held a Higher Education Summit, involving stakeholders from NSW and Commonwealth governments, local Councils, businesses, TAFE, the school sector and the wider community.

The Summit focused on building opportunity on the Central Coast, and creating strong and productive engagement between UON Central Coast and the community.

We published new, independent analysis by the Hunter Research Foundation that showed the Ourimbah campus will contribute $1.3 billion to the Central Coast economy over the next ten years, which translates to around $70m of additional economic value to the region per year.

We worked with participants to explore opportunities for leveraging our impact, and set priorities for the University over the next 5-10 years.

The Summit identified the following priorities, which form the pillars of our strategy for higher education on the Central Coast:

  1. Increasing participation in higher education and raising aspiration in the region
  2. Building the economy and contributing to the community through effective engagement between industry, the university and the community, and building an innovation led future for the region
  3. Extending our footprint through bold new initiatives that will lead to significant advances both in education and research

One key initiative is a collaboration between Gosford City Council, the Central Coast Local Health District and the University to create a globally connected Health and Wellbeing Precinct, with new health and medical education and research opportunities based at the redeveloping Gosford Hospital.

The economic impact of this new initiative would contribute more than 750 new jobs to the region, an additional $200m value to the Coast’s economy in its first decade and link the Central Coast to world-leading institutions and global innovations in healthcare and medicine. It would also create a vital pipeline of skilled professionals for the expanding health workforce, and deliver cutting-edge integrated healthcare to the Coast.

From just 89 students 26 years ago, UON Central Coast now enrolls almost 4,500 students across our world-class programs. We hope the outcomes of the Summit, and UON’s continuing engagement with our communities on the Coast, means everyone with the talent and commitment to succeed at university has the opportunity to access quality higher education.

Our full response to the Summit is available here.

As the Central Coast’s university, we have our sights firmly on this region’s future. That future is linked to our community and together we can continue to build an innovative, prosperous Central Coast.

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