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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21723

Mr CADMAN (1:48 PM) —I want to commend the Commonwealth Minister for Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson, for the way in which he is helping to solve some of the problems of tertiary education—higher education—in Western Sydney. The University of Western Sydney, over a period of time, has moved away from high-cost courses in agriculture and related areas and has kept the same level of funding. This is unfortunate, but it appears that when you look at these facts the university has taken advantage of its particular position and the courses that it has traditionally conducted. There is an adjustment going on and in three or four years the university will be back on track and will be properly accounting for the true value of courses it is giving. In the meantime negotiations are taking place to make sure that there is no loss of impetus in education in Western Sydney and that the advantage to students of a range of courses is fully covered. The University of Western Sydney has a large student population. Many of the students are focusing on IT skills, and I am delighted to find the expansion in the IT area, the expansion in forensic medicine, the expansion in some of the garden home based and agricultural—(Time expired)