Top universities join bid to make Parramatta a global education hub

Left to right: Swinburne University of Technology Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global & Community Engagement) Interim Dr Andrew Smith, Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover AO, University of Sydney Vice-Principal (External Relations) Tania Rhodes-Taylor, City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer, City of Parramatta Council CEO Brett Newman, UNSW Sydney Dean of Engineering Professor Stephen Foster, University of New England Sydney Director Robert Field, and Western Sydney Local Health District Acting Executive Director of Medical Services & Director of Education, Research and Education Network Professor Peter Hockey.

The City of Parramatta is set to become a global destination for educational excellence thanks to a new Australian-first alliance of government and top universities.

Council has launched the ground-breaking EducateAT Parramatta Alliance, uniting universities which have a presence in Parramatta to advocate for, and attract talent to, the centre of global Sydney.

"This powerful alliance has one key goal: to help Parramatta become the best city in Australia for students to study and succeed," City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.

At a historic ceremony at Western Sydney University's Parramatta City campus today, Cr Dwyer signed the EducateAT Parramatta Charter along with Western Sydney University, University of Sydney, UNSW Sydney, University of New England, Swinburne University of Technology, and the Western Sydney Local Health District.

"EducateAT Parramatta is our shared vision for Sydney's Central River City - a thriving hub of academic excellence, jobs growth and opportunity for the people of Western Sydney and the world," Cr Dwyer said.

"Parramatta is known for its world-class universities and the respected Westmead Health Precinct, with an education sector worth $1.6 billion. We're taking this to the next level by creating an environment that invites and cultivates talent and world-leading research in the centre of global Sydney."

City of Parramatta Council CEO Brett Newman said: "We've created a powerful partnership program to transform Parramatta into a globally-recognised hub for education and training, where students can build careers for life. We look forward to working with alliance partners to make our vision a reality."

The EducateAT Parramatta Alliance is a priority of Council's 'Where it's AT brand strategy' (opens in a new window), launched in 2020 to promote Parramatta as a premier city for residents, students, businesses and visitors.

Under the Charter, alliance members will develop a range of projects to: position Parramatta as a destination for educational excellence; advocate for more affordable student  accommodation  and better transport options; link students with industry; and improve the City's liveability and sustainability.

Alliance member quotes

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Barney Glover AO: "Western Sydney University is very pleased to be part of this transformative alliance and we look forward to working collaboratively and productively with our education, industry and research partners. This is how to create a truly 'smart city' - where education, employment and liveability are at the core of the city's development, growth and identity. With shared vision and common objectives, we can lift Parramatta's already strong educational foundations to  a new, internationally-recognised level. That will be critical, not just through pandemic recovery, but into the decades ahead, in which education can truly be recognised as Australia's greatest asset."

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Stephen Garton: "The evolution of Parramatta over the last decade has been truly exciting and we are very proud of our long history in the area. This partnership complements our recent framework agreement with the NSW Government to develop a world-class multi-disciplinary university campus in Parramatta/Westmead and will ensure that our vision to  cement Parramatta  as one  of  the  largest health, education, research, and  training precincts in Australia is realised."

UNSW Sydney Dean of Engineering Professor Stephen Foster: "We are proud to partner with City of Parramatta Council and Western Sydney University as well as other universities in this important alliance. We welcome the opportunity to contribute our academic expertise to help position Parramatta as a world-class education and innovation hub of Sydney."

University of New England Vice-Chancellor and CEO Professor Brigid Heywood: "The University of New England has a strong commitment to collaboration to develop and deliver educational solutions with impact. The EducateAT Parramatta Alliance and its linkages to industry will strengthen opportunities for our large cohort of students based in Western Sydney. We are proud to support the goals the City of Parramatta and the alliance to make Parramatta an education destination and even more liveable city, which will only enhance the experience for our students."

Swinburne Sydney Dean Professor Mahsood Shah: "It is an exciting time to be in the City of Parramatta. Council's effort to position the city as the first choice destination for prospective students will provide a unique experience to students. The city has unique characteristics ranging from community diversity, access to public transport, safety, and the relocation of state government agencies and corporate organisations."

Western Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Graeme Loy: "Westmead Health Precinct's world-class leaders, resources and reputation attract exceptional talent - locally, nationally and internationally - focused on saving lives and curing disease. We're invested in growing students right here while they make their mark around the world. Collaboration with our partners across the City of Parramatta represents an integral ingredient as we introduce this region to new investment opportunities."


21 April 2021

Media Unit

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas