RTAG calls on Deakin University to reveal its business case for the south-west campus

THE lobby group working towards keeping tertiary education in Warrnambool has called on Deakin University to reveal its business case for the south-west campus. 

Regional Tertiary Advisory Group (RTAG) co-chairs Bernadette Northeast and Felicity Melican said Deakin had submitted a business case to the federal government, outlining a proposal for a sustainable future for the campus. 

But, they said, RTAG had not cited or contributed to the plan. 

They also called on Member for Wannon Dan Tehan to detail how a $14 million federal government commitment would be used and what, if any, stipulations applied. 

Mr Tehan confirmed in a report in The Standard on Tuesday the government’s cash pledge would go ahead.

RTAG wants to ensure that money is spent on ensuring a long-term future for the campus.

Dr Northeast said the lobby group presented a detailed community vision for the campus to the university’s council last week. 

The vision calls for tailor-made operations for the regional campus – including a chief executive with a proven track record who is based in the south-west with the power to make key campus decisions. 

The vision also detailed the campus’ benefits to the region, industry opportunities and its unique offerings for prospective students. 

“Let the campus play to the region’s benefits and highlights,” Dr Northeast said.

RTAG does not want courses to be steered toward associate or sub-bachelor degrees or online to the ‘cloud campus’.

Ms Melican said the university was a critical part of the region’s education sector and all opportunities within the area’s industries must be explored.

“We have strong industry that invites Deakin to have partnerships around research, commercial income and around offering students internships, scholarships and work-based experience while they are studying,” she said.

She said pathways between South West TAFE, secondary schools and the university needed to grow.

RTAG want the Warrnambool campus to be marketed better and to a wider audience – including international students. 

The university’s vice chancellor Jane den Hollander will address staff on a change management proposal for the campus on October 3. 

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