Charles Sturt University played host to a consultation session on Friday that invited members of the public to learn more about the institution’s future strategic approach.
A key talking point of the discussion at the Bathurst campus was CSU’s proposal to change its name, which has generated plenty of controversy in recent weeks.
The discussion was headed by CSU vice-chancellor and president Professor Andrew Vann.
In response to the criticism, Professor Vann said the proposed name change was to ensure the university could be more competitive in the tertiary market.
“It’s a very crowded marketplace for tertiary education at the moment,” he said.
“Like it or not, CSU is not helping our university maintain a competitive edge in the market.”
Professor Vann cited the fact that the ‘CSU’ abbreviation doesn’t stand out effectively in the market, with both Southern Cross University [SCU] and the University of the Sunshine Coast [USC] using similar abbreviations.
“The brand issue is about trying to tell our university’s story in a more powerful manner,” he said.
“If the name change proposal continues to annoy people, then we won’t do it, and that’s why these consultation sessions are important.”
CSU’s preferred name is currently Sturt University, a name that caused plenty of debate at yesterday’s consultation session.
“The name seems more synonymous with South Australia because Adelaide has a suburb, an Australian rules football team and a federal electorate called Sturt,” session attendee Rod Allen said.
Bathurst businessman Steve Semmens questioned whether enough was being done to promote and recognise CSU graduates on the wider stage.
“A greater emphasis on promoting the achievements of ex-students could help grow CSU’s brand,” Mr Semmens said.
The brand refresh is projected to cost $7.5 million.
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