Norwest: Multi-storey university a promising prospect
Jake McCallum, Rouse Hill Times
April 18, 2018
THE Hills will be home to a high-rise uni in the next 10 years if a Western Sydney University vision proceeds.
Vice-chancellor Dr Andy Marks is adamant Norwest could house the tertiary complex.
“Without question, Norwest will have a university complex — we hope that it will be Western Sydney University — but it could be a local or international university,’’ he said.
Dr Marks shared his insights at a business chamber conference with community leaders last week and said a university would complement the Norwest Business Park.
WESTERN Sydney University Assistant Vice-Chancellor Dr Andy Marks has suggested a high-rise university campus to be the home of innovation in the Hills.
Dr Marks, Mulpha Norwest general manager Tim Spencer and The Hills Shire Mayor Michelle Byrne discussed the future of the shire at a Sydney Hills Business Chamber innovation conference last week.
Dr Marks said he was certain that Norwest would be home to a university within the next 10 years and he hopes it is WSU that would be the one to pull it off.
“Without question, Norwest will have a university campus — we hope that it will be Western Sydney University — but it could be a local or international university,” Dr Marks said.
“A university will happen because of the scale the business park, universities are seeing the need to reach out into the community for collaboration.
“Universities will be setting up in local CBDs because there is a desire to be as accessible as possible.”
He said he was determined to see Norwest realise its ‘Silicon Valley moment’ and focus on producing a specialist business sector.
“Norwest is too big to ignore,” Dr Marks said. “Silicon Valley specialises in specific thinking, you can’t be a specialist at everything, so the challenge for the future of Norwest is to identify strength and weaknesses.”
Cr Byrne said she was excited by the idea of a university campus in the Hills.
“Tertiary education is the missing piece of the puzzle in the Hills, so to achieve that it would be an incredible opportunity for residents,” Cr Byrne said. “The Hills would be a place were we could live, work and pursue further education. There will be no reason to leave.
“It is great to have a vision for the future, but we have to deal with the issues of today that already exist such as congestion, density and housing affordability.”
Mulpha general manager Tim Spencer said the smart city’s innovation hub would be a place for business and education to establish specialist partnerships.
“We are always looking for ways to beat congestion and traffic issues across Norwest,” he said. “So we have partnered up with a ridesharing company to find new ways to get cars off the road.
“There will never be a silver bullet to fix congestion, the Metro will help and so will ride-sharing, but we need to think of innovative ways fight congestion — such as traffic analysis that can change traffic light phases to meet demands on our roads.”