Friday, May 8, 2020

Is a New Canberra Campus Needed?

UNSW Canberra at ADFA are planning a new university campus in Canberra, on the site of the old Canberra TAFE. The current UNSW Canberra campus is described as being "now at capacity". However, universities are currently teaching online, with almost all students and staff off campus. That situation will change in the next few months, as students and staff return to campus. But, the COVID19 emergency has accelerated the long term trend to e-learning.

As this is integrated into routine university teaching, the capacity of Canberra's university campuses will increase five-fold. Domestic students will only need to be on campus for about one day a week and international students in Australia only for a brief part of their studies, if at all. There is scope to repurpose some of the surplus space for research and for co-working, but even so, there is likely to be more than enough space on Canberra's campuses for the foreseeable future

It does make sense to reuse the old Canberra TAFE site for a university, but it is unlikely Canberra will have the hundreds of thousands of additional students which this, and the existing campuses, could accommodate. 

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