Future is rosy for local campus

Andrew Taggart.
Andrew Taggart.

Campus Pro Vice Chancellor Andrew Taggart penned an open letter to the Courier following the recent closure of Swinburne University’s Lilydale campus in Victoria.

Prof Taggart said there were many similarities between Rockingham and Lilydale, however, Rockingham’s campus remained healthy and viable.

‘Murdoch’s Rockingham campus is similar to Lilydale in terms of socio-economic challenges, unemployment, small number of course offerings and low aspirations for university among local Year 12 students,’ he said.

‘Despite the similarities, Rockingham campus finds itself in a very different position.’

Prof Taggart said the campus had struggled historically and a review in 2012 made it clear growth was essential for survival.

‘(Some) 370 students are too few to support a viable, vibrant and ‘real’ university campus,’ he said. ‘The injection of an innovative teacher education program 10 years ago has kept numbers at a justifiable level for continuation.’

Prof Taggart praised the City of Rockingham for its involvement in securing the future of the campus through the Rockingham Education Development Group and funding a Chair of Education program.

‘Regional and outer metropolitan campuses are vital to the social and economic needs of their communities,’ he said.

‘Cities must give their full support to their campus, challenge the university to grow and most importantly, take action so that the incredibly important needs for their young people are met now and in the future.’

Rockingham Murdoch University Campus had 457 enrolled students in 2012.