University of Sydney’s $1.4bn Campus Improvement Program has been given the green light from the NSW Planning Minister, Pru Goward.
The University’s proposal to expand on existing campuses is set to boost student numbers while also creating 15,000 local construction jobs.
Significant future growth is predicted for the Camperdown and Darlington campuses, and the plans centre around an expansion that will allow for 10,000 extra students.
“Our universities in NSW are in high demand, both domestically and from around the globe. It is critical that our exceptional education facilities can grow to cater for that demand,” Ms Goward said.
“These expansion plans will do more than contribute growth in student numbers, they will create almost 15,000 jobs during the construction phase and 400 full-time permanent positions afterwards.
"This is great news for the NSW higher education sector, students wanting to study at the University of Sydney, and for the NSW economy."Under the plan, the University will see approximately eight buildings be demolished and replaced in a bid to attract international and domestic students.
Greg Robinson, Director of Campus and Infrastructure Services, said the building revolution was long overdue.
“We are competing with each other [other universities] and internationally to attract students with the best facilities. And we are very mindful of making sure these redevelopments contribute to students’ experience of university,” Mr Robinson said in an interview with The Australian.
“There have been three major building booms in the university since the post-war years. A lot of them were well past their use-by date.”
According to The Australian, well-used buildings such as the Wentworth, Merewether, School of Architecture and International House are all set to be demolished.
University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence also said that the approval is set to pave the way for substantial growth and improvement.
"Our students, staff and the local community value our Camperdown Darlington campus as a place where excellent teaching and research is conducted through collaboration," Dr Spence said.
"This plan maintains our heritage by ensuring buildings are protected and preserved, significantly increases affordable housing places for students, and addresses environmental sustainability through building height restrictions and a campus greening project."The Campus Improvement Program is set to guide future development of education facilities – including providing guidelines and examples of how to improve lecture theatres, classrooms and laboratories, student accommodation, car parking and administration buildings.