Changes at University of Newcastle’s Port Macquarie campus

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The University of Newcastle has today announced changes to the programs it will offer at its Port Macquarie campus.
The changes see a shift to postgraduate and research delivery at the campus.

The University will no longer offer new undergraduate enrolments, effective immediately. All current students – across nursing, midwifery and primary teaching – will be able to complete their studies with the University.

“We’re extremely proud of the contribution the University of Newcastle has made to the Port Macquarie-Hastings region since we opened our doors in 2003,” said University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky.

“More than 700 students have graduated from our Port Macquarie campus and each day they’re making a difference in their communities as nurses, primary teachers and midwives,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“The local higher education landscape has now changed, with Charles Sturt University developing its local campus and UNSW introducing its Medical Degree at the shared health research and education campus.”

“The long term interests of the community and students who want to study locally is now being met in a variety of ways through collaboration and multiple providers.”

The University of Newcastle offers nursing, midwifery and primary teaching courses at its Port Macquarie campus and has 291 current enrolments. The University will support all of its currently enrolled students in their local studies, continuing to teach and support the existing full-time students through to graduation. The majority of current students will complete their studies by 2022. The University will work closely with part-time students to identify and plan individual pathways and options for completion of their degrees.

The Vice-Chancellor and Faculty heads met today with staff who work at the campus to discuss the new approach and what it will mean for them individually.

The University will now focus its future efforts on postgraduate programs and research opportunities, working collaboratively with Charles Sturt University, the Port Macquarie Base Hospital and the Mid North Coast Local Health District, and other local stakeholders.

“We know that despite the local degree offerings, a large number of young people from Port Macquarie choose to move to Newcastle and to the Central Coast to study with our institution and we know that will also continue,” Professor Zelinsky said.

Whilst this decision represents a change of focus, the University of Newcastle will remain a key higher education presence in Port Macquarie and the Mid North Coast region of NSW.

The University of Newcastle has had a long-term relationship with the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD), and the Port Macquarie Base Hospital in particular. The UON Department of Rural Health (UONDRH) will continue to support final-year allied health students on clinical placements at the Base Hospital, contributing to development of the regional health workforce and health services available to the local community.

Through its position as one of Australia’s leading universities in health and medical research, the University of Newcastle will remain a key partner with the MNCLHD and Port Macquarie Base Hospital, working to advance and grow the region’s health and medical research capacity and expertise, to deliver enhanced health outcomes informed by evidence and research.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the changes can visit

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.