CHARLES Sturt University’s (CSU) appeal as a regional university where students can live cheaper and access less expensive accommodation, is the point of difference that could ensure its competitiveness with metropolitan universities according to the dean of science for CSU, Professor Tim Wess.
Commenting on the impact of the federal budget on the cost of university courses in the future Professor Wess said while allied health courses such as physiotherapy will only be subject to a 4 per cent rise in fees in line with inflation, dentistry and other courses will experience fee rises on a par with metropolitan universities.
He said dentistry students can expect to pay 43 per cent more for their degree following the budget announcement.
Professor Wess has denied millions of dollars are being ripped from the university’s budget, saying initial reports dentistry would lose out in funding as reported in the budget was not applicable to the Orange campus but was in reference to future development at the faculty on the north coast.
He said he is confident job opportunities in the future for CSU graduates will remain strong.
“Our university is good value for money as regional Australia is generally cheaper for students to live while they study,” Professor Wess said.
“We are proud of the employment level of CSU professionals with employment from science faculties shown to be above 85 per cent,” he said.
Professor Wess said he wasn’t entirely surprised by the federal budget announcement of fee rises for students wanting to undertake a degree at an Australian university.
“We thought there would be some sort of fee deregulation on the way, but we didn’t expect the dynamic changes which were announced,” he said.
Although yesterday was announced as a day of action by university students across Australia to protest the proposed rise in student fees, CSU Orange campus student support spokesperson Nick Grainger said the Orange campus was not militant over the issue.
“There are no political interests on this campus,” he said.
The student representative body of CSU Orange was contacted for comment on the projected rise in student fees and any planned protests.