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HECS places secure with any uni merger.



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Peter Andren MP - Independent Member for Calare

5 July 2004

HECS places secure with any uni merger

Education Minister Brendan Nelson has assured Member for Calare, Peter Andren existing places and courses will be maintained in the event of a handover of Sydney University - Orange campus to Charles Sturt University.

“Indeed the minister’s office told me today the number of places will certainly go up at Orange if such a change took place,” Mr Andren said.

“However the minister says any handover of the Orange campus to CSU is a matter for the two universities, but he has told me there will be no lost programs and no lost places.

“I provided the minister with a list of concerns and questions I have gathered from senior staff at the Orange campus.

“He has assured me that key courses will be maintained at the Orange campus under CSU, including the recently introduced rural and indigenous nursing course.

“The minister’s office says the number of HECS places released last week, with 979 extra places for Charles Sturt University including 273 for Orange campus, but that number ‘will certainly go up’.

“The allocation of places for Orange under the CSU list shows the minister is preparing for an agreement between Charles Sturt University and Sydney University for CSU to take over the operation of Orange campus.

“I expect the minister will honour his undertaking to me that no courses will be affected, and that students can complete Sydney University studies begun in Orange.

“There are still many grey areas in the takeover, such as the fate of Orange’s Commonwealth and State Government funded Centre for Regional Education.

“This initiative must be continued, along with more HECS places, to ensure the continued development of Orange into a world-class university campus, whether under the wing of Sydney or Charles Sturt Universities,” Mr Andren said.

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