Changing face of universities

THE University of Western Australia is planning to develop a $20 million foundation college in its Crawley precinct in an effort to capture greater percentage of the overseas pre-university student market.

The college will be designed to house about 1,000 students, aged 16 to 17 years old, and will offer pre-preparatory classes, secondary studies, English language courses as well as pastoral care in a teaching college model that is part high school and part preparation for university studies.

The college will be aimed at attracting students from WA’s traditional overseas student markets of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, but will also target traditional eastern States markets of Chinese, South Korean, and Japanese students. 

The UWA push is designed to increase the numbers of overseas students enrolling in its tertiary courses and give the university a greater competitive edge against other tertiary institutions.

The funding structure of the project is yet to be finalised, however, the university plans to operate the college in partnership with a pastoral care/teaching organisation and expects to commence construction in 2005.

In keeping with the growing trend for universities to develop non-university use buildings, Murdoch University has recently signed a heads of agreement to develop a $10 million corporate office for Wesfarmers Energy Division on its South Street campus.

Under the agreement the university will develop the building and lease it to the Wesfarmers Energy Division to house its expected 200-strong staff. 

Murdoch plans to release the tender details in March with the aim of having the project completed in May 2005.

Pro vice chancellor of resources and chief financial officer Gaye McMath said the venture formed part of the university’s ongoing stragegy to develop alternative revenue streams to provide financial support for the educational and research activities of the university.

It is embarking on a capital works program for 2004 that comprises a new $4 million law building and plans to inject $3.4 million into the development of the first stage of its new Peel campus in Mandurah.

Ms McMath said Murdoch University had made a decision to make greater use of its key asset, the South Street campus.

“Appropriate commercial development will be considered if it fits with the underlying ethos of the university. As the source of government funding is reduced universities have to generate other sources of funds,” she said.



DEVELOPMENT DOLLARS: In keeping with the Motorola software research and development facility, the University of WA is planning to develop a more integrated approach to university land development. Photo: DONNA SWAN

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