The opening of a medical school to train 37 doctors a year in Orange from 2021 will help make health the focus for the future of the university.
That's the view of CSU chief financial officer Paul Dowler who attended the university's 30th anniversary celebrations in Orange on Wednesday.
A further $6 million will be provided by the federal government for facilities off campus in the health precinct at Bloomfield.
He said the medical school plus CSU's dentistry, physiotherapy, clinical sciences and pharmacy courses would help supply skilled staff for health work and clinical placements in Orange.
Mr Dowler said there might be scope for further expansion of the medical focus at the Orange campus.
"We would hope so over time. If we look at health needs there is the potential for it to flow on to other programs," he said.
The university's vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said CSU had "embarked upon an ambitious strategy of transformation" over the past two years as part of a four-year plan.
"To remain as Australia's leading regionally-based university, we know we must embrace change," he said.
Professor Vann said the university need to adapt to changes in the employment market and to students' needs.
"We are strongly focused on transforming our service and delivery," he said.
"We are changing our courses and launching new schools that the regions need, we are improving our online study options, we're trialling new and flexible ways of learning."
Professor Vann said the university would provide more services for students and was investing in further partnerships with the community.
He said universities needed to continue the role of providing skilled staff for employment.
"We need to find those future industries that will take us forward and create educational opportunities for people to participate in them," he said.
"At Charles Sturt we have always taught those key courses that are critical to ongoing development, agriculture, communication, health, information technology and education. As we move to the 21st century, adapting these industries to the new demands will be crucial."
HOW THEY CELEBRATED
If you are going to get a ceremonial tree planted you might as well get an expert.
Charles Sturt University celebrated its 30th birthday on Wednesday with a cake covered in orange icing, live music, free food and giveaways at the Orange campus.
As part of the celebrations a protea was planted. And with a mayor who also gives gardening advice on a weekly radio show, Cr Reg Kidd, was the obvious man-for-the-job.
Cr Kidd, who said he had been involved with the site since it was the Orange Agricultural College in 1973, including helping plant many trees, took on the shovelling and planting task with gusto.
On his hands and knees Cr Kidd offered planting advice to university staff.
CSU chief financial officer Paul Dowler said while CSU was celebrating 30 years it had been in Orange for the past 14 years after partnerships with the University of New England and Sydney University at the site.
Cr Kidd said CSU had helped Orange develop a 'university-town' image. "It has absolutely been a great partnership. It's been growing all the time," he said.
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