CANTERBURY Bankstown Council and Western Sydney University (WSU) have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a 'vertical' tertiary education campus in the Bankstown CBD.
Council administrator Richard Colley says discussions have been underway with the WSU for some time and the signing of the MoU is a significant step forward.
"Such a project will not only deliver an important teaching and research institution but the flow-on effects for the City of Canterbury Bankstown would be immense," Mr Colley said.
Under the proposal, the Milperra campus would be closed and courses transferred to Liverpool and Bankstown CBD campuses. Mr Colley says universities bring the potential for commercial opportunities, particularly in the accommodation, retail, construction and recreation sectors. He said the CBD campus would attract students, teachers and researchers interstate and internationally.
Federal MP for Blaxland, Jason Clare, said a CBD university would transform Bankstown.
"It will be easier for students to get to and it will bring new jobs and businesses to the CBD," he said.
UWS Bankstown Campus Student Council's Amanda Windsor said the announcement had caused uncertainty among students and staff.
"While the concept is admirable, it will result in disruption when courses are relocated to other campuses," she said.
"The consultation has not been the best, especially when you consider that courses will be transferred to other campuses as early as next year."
UWS Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said the CBD campus model provided significant benefits for students and the broader community by creating opportunities for work integrated learning: "We can provide unique learning opportunities for students as we prepare them for the knowledge jobs of the tomorrow."