A university campus in Blacktown in greater western Sydney is a step closer to becoming a reality after Australian Catholic University and Blacktown Council officially signed off on the plans. Source: Daily Telegraph.
Both parties sealed the deal at a special event held at the Blacktown Civic Centre yesterday, as ACU prepares to open an interim building in Main Street as early as June next year.
ACU vice-chancellor Greg Craven and Blacktown mayor Tony Bleasdale ratified the partnership with the signing of a heads of agreement, endorsing the official blueprint to establish the new campus.
In March, ACU was announced as the council’s tertiary partner to establish the long-awaited Blacktown CBD campus, with courses expected to begin in early 2021.
Cr Bleasdale said the milestone was a historic moment for Blacktown.
“Now the journey from preschool to a university degree can be made right here in Blacktown City,” Cr Bleasdale said. “This a game changer for Blacktown City. This is a game-changer in terms of the future and, of course, this is a game changer for western Sydney itself.”
ACU chancellor John Fahey said the campus was expected to cater for the region’s booming population, with 18,000 university students living in Blacktown City.
“We are of the firm belief that the establishment of a campus here is a great thing for Blacktown,” Mr Fahey said. “It’s also a milestone for Catholic education in Australia.
“Currently we know some 350,000 residents live in this area and they speak 182 different languages.
“We will serve the diverse student population by providing innovative, world-class higher education courses as well as state-of-the-art learning facilities and spaces for recreation and reflection.”
Professor Craven said the signing served to strengthen the ties between the university and the council.
The new campus will be the first university established in Blacktown and the ninth ACU campus in Australia.
Degree courses and executive education programs are expected to be on offer from February 2021 at the Main Street campus until the anticipated opening of the permanent Warrick Lane campus in 2024.