The Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University just announced the Tuckwell Program will be expanded to $200M, with two new new halls of residence for 800 students and a Scholars House. Revenue from the buildings will be used to fund student scholarships.
This investment in new buildings comes at the time when higher education is changing. At the Tertiary Education IT Leaders
Congress in June, I talked on "IT and the Future of Tertiary Education in Australia" and how learning is becoming e-learning. That will not be the end of the need for university buildings, but instead allow their use to be leveraged.
The typical university student in five to ten years time will do 80% of their studies on-line, off campus, out in the community. The other 20%, on campus, will be important for hands-on and professional skills, which can't be learned from a book (even an e-book). Australian each university supports an average of 30,000 students. With e-learning, this can expand to 150,000 students per university, supported from the existing campus.