We were established to serve the needs of the Hunter and Central Coast – a responsibility that is legislated in our University Act.
The Newcastle and Hunter Region has reinvented itself many times. With a strong Indigenous community, a rich industrial and resources history, and an emerging arts and digital culture, the region is one of the most representative of Australia and is a true microcosm of Australian society.
The Hunter is Australia's largest regional economy, generating more wealth on an annual basis than Tasmania, the Northern Territory or the ACT. We are home to a wide range of industries from health, education, advanced manufacturing, to tourism, agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries, mining and resources, power generation, viticulture and defence.
For more than 30 years, we have been serving our community on the Central Coast through our Ourimbah campus. The Central Coast region has experienced a dramatic transformation during this time. It is now the fastest growing region in NSW and recognised as a Significant Urban Area by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Affordable housing, commuter corridors to Sydney and Newcastle, and a diverse population have attracted government and industry investment to the Central Coast. Skilled workers are also making their way to the region with sector expertise in healthcare and social assistance, education and training, food manufacturing, tourism, logistics, agriculture and construction. The University will soon open the Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute in Gosford.
However, there are barriers to prosperity. Income inequality, a lack of housing affordability, unemployment, mental and physical illness and family violence continue to challenge policy makers and community workers in our regions. Participation rates in higher education are below the State average and youth unemployment is too high.
The University has a strong presence across regional NSW – in Orange, Tamworth, Muswellbrook, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Taree and Moree. We're committed to serving NSW through training our future health and medical workforce, incubating and accelerating regional start-ups and engaging in regionally focused research.
Our communities are not only defined by where we have a physical presence. They are where our students come from, and are where many return home. They are where the industries with which we collaborate are based, and are where the benefits of our innovation are felt by communities.
In an increasingly digital and globalised world, the reach of our communities is ever growing. While we will always, first and foremost, be a University for the Hunter, Central Coast and broader NSW regions, our communities stretch to Sydney, the South Pacific, Singapore, throughout Asia and across the world.