4 March 2015: The University of Canberra's $1 billion campus development plans have moved a step closer following today's signing of a Deed of Strategic Intent by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker.
The deed will provide a new business framework for the University's campus development and follows the introduction of the University of Canberra Amendment Bill 2015to the Legislative Assembly last month, confirming the ACT Government's shared commitment to the project.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker sign agreement to unlock campus' potential investment. Photo: Joel Wyse.
Professor Parker said the signing was an important step forward, giving the University more flexibility in unlocking the campus' potential, including leasing and building on areas of the University grounds.
"The University has more than $1 billion worth of development at a preliminary agreement stage, including residential housing, aged care and independent living providers that could soon move forward to contract stage through this new deed," Professor Parker said.
"We aim to be recognised as one of Australia's most innovative tertiary institutions; world-ranked, with regional, national and international reach by 2018 and changes to our Act will help us get there. This is the first of a number of regulatory changes identified by the ACT Government and the University to enable us to deliver our vision for a better campus."
Other potential investments include a technology park that will strengthen the University's applied research and private health facilities that would cluster around the new University of Canberra Public Hospital due for completion in 2017.
Professor Parker said the University has more land than it requires for direct academic purposes in the foreseeable future, but there are numerous developments which would greatly add to the campus community and to Canberra itself, further cementing the University as a vital component of the nation's capital.
"Higher education is changing at an increasing pace and we need to be a University and a campus of the future. These developments will help us become an internationally well-regarded, financially sustainable and competitive University operating for the benefit of the ACT community."