UWS moves to close Blacktown campus


The University of Western Sydney's Board of Trustees has officially proposed closing UWS's Blacktown Nirimba campus by 2009. The university administration claims that the closure is due to a decline in student numbers (not surprising since the administration has cut most degrees at the campus) and financial constraints (despite a $36 million surplus in 2006). According to a June 16 report on ABC's Stateline, Blacktown has one of Australia's fastest growing populations.

The proposed closure will force 2700 students, along with staff, to transfer to UWS's Parramatta and Penrith campuses.

The June 20 Sydney Morning Herald reported UWS Student Association (UWSSA) general secretary Julian Ochoa as saying the closure was not "'not a bad thing', as long as infrastructure was built up on the other campuses". Ochoa claims he was misquoted. He told Green Left Weekly that UWSSA was not waging a fight to keep the campus because of a lack of resources.

"UWSSA should not be publicly supporting the demise of the Blacktown campus", said Geoff Brown, UWSSA's student advocate and welfare officer. Brown told GLW that the Blacktown community had been organising to make clear that they opposed the closure and Blacktown Mayor Leo Kelly was campaigning to keep the campus open. Brown said: "UWSSA should be camped out there at Blacktown campus ... There needs to be a public back flip by the executive on this matter otherwise [UWSSA] will have no credibility left."