MONTHS of speculation that Western Sydney University will abandoned its Bankstown campus at Milperra has been confirmed, with the site to close within five years.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover has told the Torch that negotiations are underway to gradually transfer the 8,000 students and several hundred staff at Milperra to the vertical campus under construction in the Liverpool CBD, and a proposed high-rise campus in the Bankstown CBD at a site yet-to-be determined. Milperra students could also be transferred to other WSU campuses, including Parramatta.
Professor Glover said the Milperra campus will be closed by 2021 and redeveloped for purposes "other than education".
The University is in discussions with key stakeholders, including Canterbury Bankstown Council, in view of developing a vertical campus as that under construction at Liverpool and due to be completed in February next year, for the Bankstown CBD, over the coming months.
"The University's investment in developing campuses that are truly embedded in western Sydney's central business districts marks an important new era in how we deliver teaching and research, and how we engage with the community," Professor Glover said.
"This campus model not only provides significant benefits for students and the broader community by creating more opportunities for work integrated learning and fostering greater research collaborations with a focus on industry impact, it delivers major operating efficiencies for the University - which is vital in the context of a changing higher education sector.
"By building more meaningful and more tangible connections with local business and industry, we can provide unique learning opportunities for our students as we prepare them for the knowledge jobs of the tomorrow."
A report by Deloitte Access Economics reveals that Western Sydney University's presence in the CBDs of Bankstown and Liverpool will make a $54 million contribution to the local economy, and at the same time bring efficiencies in terms of campus operating costs.
No time frame has been given on the completion of a Bankstown CBD campus.