Slight rise for student numbers at Warrnambool's Deakin University campus

BUILDING UP AGAIN: Deakin University's Warrnambool campus is working towards rebuilding its student numbers, after years of decline.
BUILDING UP AGAIN: Deakin University's Warrnambool campus is working towards rebuilding its student numbers, after years of decline.

DEAKIN University’s Warrnambool campus is slowly regaining students after it came close to shutting in 2016 due to declining enrolments. 

Enrolment figures reveal more students are choosing to study nursing, while teaching is less popular than in previous years.

Deakin Warrnambool campus director Alistair McCosh said overall trimester one enrolments showed a modest increase after years of decline, with 181 students commencing this year, up on the 178 who enrolled last year. 

An additional five commencing American students are also enrolled in the marine science program as part of the Study Abroad program.

“We’ve been open with the community that this is a long-term turnaround plan, but we are very pleased to see an improvement in our position after the many changes we have made over the past year,” Mr McCosh said. 

He said the campus had welcomed 63 nursing students for the start of trimester one.

That figure was up 45 last from year.

“The increase in enrolments in nursing is great to see, as we know there is increasing demand for nurses in our region,” Mr McCosh said. 

Mr McCosh said a lowlight for the 2018 intake was a decline in enrolments in the primary education program, from 22 in 2017 to 13 this year, which were impacted by an Australia-wide decline in enrolments.

“Teaching as a profession has recently, in general, experienced a decline in applications across the country. People can speculate as to why that is, but what we do know is that in Victoria the new requirements from both state and federal Governments have changed what applicants need to demonstrate to be eligible for entry to teacher education,” Mr McCosh said.

Alistair McCosh.

Alistair McCosh.

“It is unfortunate that this national trend has impacted our total enrolments, but we are pleased to be in a much better position than we were 12 months ago and are focused on continuing our long-term plan to turn around the campus.”

Mr McCosh said Deakin University had a strong focus on graduate employment outcomes, and the approach taken supported graduates to be highly regarded by employers in the region and beyond.