South West Coast MP Roma Britnell says Deakin University’s commitment to the long-term future of the Warrnambool Campus is an important first step.
“While it’s disappointing there will be a reduction in course offerings and staffing levels, it’s great the University will remain in Warrnambool, it’s an important step in the right direction.” she said.
Deakin Vice Chancellor Jane den Hollander briefed Mrs Britnell on the university’s plans this morning.
Mrs Britnell said it was now up to Deakin to ensure it continued to engage with the community and local industry to ensure the university was meeting their needs.
“Deakin need to show the evidence of how they have responded to community engagement, now and into the future,” Mrs Britnell said.
“Deakin need to show that when we as a community engage they are listening to those concerns, are prepared to make changes and demonstrate how they have done this, ensuring a relationship with the community continues.”
She said it was also vital Deakin worked with local schools and groups like Beyond the Bell to ensure South West students were aspiring to obtain a university education.
“Deakin needs to think innovatively to stamp their presence on local primary and secondary students, so we get better results than we have seen previously,” she said.
Mrs Britnell said it was pleasing to hear Agriculture courses were again being explored.
“Our region is an agricultural powerhouse, a food bowl. Marcus Oldham College in Geelong has been offering agriculture courses successfully for years, proving there is demand and it can work,” she said.
“If it is done right, I have no doubt it can be successful here too.”