Approval for UNSW Canberra Campus


Legislation has passed to allow the University of New South Wales to establish a campus in Canberra City.

UNSW Canberra is continuing with the development of its masterplan, following the ACT government’s announcement in March that UNSW would establish a research, education and innovation campus in the nation’s capital.

The UNSW campus project, including the land, is a $25 million plan.

The project advances as federal government makes moves to reopen borders to international students.

Last month, modelling from Universities Australia found the sector could lose up to $16 billion in revenue by 2023 and lose 21,000 jobs as a result of the pandemic.

The federal government last month approved plans for up to 350 international students who had previously studied in Canberra to continue their studies, the first arrivals since Australia closed its borders in March.

Planning minister Mick Gentleman said the legislation passed, the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020, allows the establishment of the campus via a long-term lease of the land.

Gentleman said the bill provides further protections so that any transfer or variation to the lease after the initial 20 year period would require consent of the Planning and Land Authority.

“The project will bring more jobs to Canberra – contributing to our economic recovery and providing a much-needed long-term economic boost to Canberra,” he said.

As part of UNSW’s plans it aims to attract up to 6000 students and create around 2,000 jobs.

Education is one of the nation’s biggest exports, behind iron ore and coal, with 40 per cent of its revenue coming from the higher fees international students pay.

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