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Mines school wins reprieve until 2010

WESTERN Australian School of Mines operator Curtin University says it has changed plans to relocate about half of the Kalgoorlie campus students to its Perth campus, but will review the situation in 2010. A Curtin spokeswoman said WASM had planned to stop teaching first- and second-year students at Kalgoorlie due to low enrolments, but third- and fourth-year students would have remained. At least until a review in 2010, however, all years now would remain at Kalgoorlie, she said. Community concerns had forced the educational institution, founded in Kalgoorlie in 1902 during the gold rush, to change its plans. Previously, Curtin had indicated on several occasions that running a single mines school from Perth made better economic sense. Among critics of the plan were WASM graduates, many who now head high-profile mining companies. WASM graduate, Atlas Iron Ltd managing director David Flanagan, said the motivation for centralising the educational facility was to reduce costs. But he said this was false economy. “The guys and girls that come to Kalgoorlie to study at the School of Mines actually have a better ‘stickiness’ to the industry,” Mr Flanagan said. “They stay in the industry longer than, say, guys who are trained in Perth.”

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