WA School of Mines under threat

The globally-respected Western Australian School of Mines campus in Kalgoorlie will inevitably be closed unless far reaching changes are made, some of the school's most prominent graduates have warned.


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Ridiculous! If the students do not want to study in Kalgoorlie, then where do they expect to live and work after graduation? Even if WASM opens a study centre in Perth, it is not possible that all students would find employment in the capital cities once they graduate.

If someone has seriously considered a career in mining and therefore enrolled in the WASM course, I am sure that they have realistically considered that they will be working remotely. Given that their long employment career will be in remote regions, I completely understand if they want to have a little more time in a capital city before their long stint (via fly-in, fly-out or whatever) during their working career. If there was such a concern that students would be 'unaware' of remote living, then possibly a 3 month prac period could be incorporated into courses or something similar.

If students don't like it in Kalgoorlie, which is one of the better if not best regional centres, then perhaps they should have a good hard long look at what career they should be striving for. All students studying WASM degrees should spend all 4 years in Kalgoorlie so they can have a hands on approach to learning and graduate as all rounded, practical mining professionals (unlike those city based graduates that don't set foot on a mine site for their entire university life). If we lose WASM the mining industry will be severely impacted, not too mention the health of the states' economy and don't mention a smaller budget to the teachers, nurses and police officers who rely on goverment spending for pay rises. The government needs to take an active role ensuring that this excellent teaching facility continues to feed the mining industry with graduates of a high calibre.

WASM is a world class place to learn mining. It's also a fun place to study and learning independence and growing into an adult! My best experience was at WASM in terms of practical mining applications and friends. But the reality is that economic factors DICTATES all facets of business including mining and education. Sustainability means WASM degrees have to move into the 21st Century and eMarketing, ie Bring WASM to the Masses. A WASM degree that enrols students universally and allow the WASM reputation to continue. (On another note, I completed a generic science degree at another institution. Nothing replicated WASM's culture and experience for independence as a person and personal growth. This aspect of WASM will be sorely missed if the Kalgoorlie Campus closes).

I studied with them and the above article is not ridiculous. There were five students TOTAL in my year studying the BSc in Mineral Exploration and Mining Geology degree offered at the time. Three of five were based in Curtin Perth after being transferred out of WASM degree into Applied Geology to escape the hole called Kalgoorlie. If you went to the onsite accomodation you too might understand why it isn't such a great concept. It's one thing to work remotely being paid....its another thing to study there. Why bother with the School of Mines when Curtin (their affiliate) offers a course based in Bentley with a better lifestyle attached....

Curtin's city-centric focus is demonstrated again, where they only focus on "teach, but not do". Closure by management neglect should not be the finale for WASM.

Paddy, I understand your statement regarding remote work. However these students are not FIFO, they are stuck there for much longer periods than the usual FIFO roster. I for one would rather study in Perth then take vacation work during holidays to get work experience (which 95% of Curtin Geo students get) than spend long spans in WASM Kalgoorlie. If the School of Mines can only muster a handful of students (ie. 3 that were there in my time)...why bother running a course, or a campus? And by the way the three students at WASM in my year, only one actually bothered to finish (ie. one graduate from a whole course!).

I did my first 2 years in Perth and the mandatory final 2 years at WASM in Kalgoorlie and during my time in Kalgoorlie there were probably only around 3-5 first year students who started there. It's dismal numbers if you ask me. And for the "spend all 4 years in Kalgoorlie so that they can have a hands on approach to learning and graduate as all rounded, practical mining professionals (unlike those city based graduates that don't set foot on a mine site for their entire university life)," I can tell you that that is bulls***. In my final and crucial 2 years that I was in Kalgoorlie, no field trips were conducted, the uni did not actively help us with securing vacation/graduate work. Sure they threw the annual careers fair, Curtin Bentley does that too with more mining companies showing up in the Bentley campus than the Kalgoorlie one. Those of us who secured vacation job placements did it through our own means (by extensive research and emails to countless of mining companies out there). Having split half my time in Perth and half in Kalgoorlie, I would still say that the time I spent in Perth did truly feel like a proper university experience. In Kalgoorlie the students were pretty much left to their own devices and with a poorly equipped library and resources, there wasn't much for us. That's not to say that I did not enjoy my time in Kalgoorlie because I did. But if you asked me and anyone else who graduated in my year, what we enjoyed the most was not so much industry exposure as opposed to the social life and drinking activities. 1st and 2nd year at WASM Kalgoorlie is a dying cause and it's best for Curtin to cut their losses and move on.

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