There are several major tertiary education providers in the region which contribute significantly to the Central West regional economy in terms of employment, export earnings and business support services. Additionally, the Central West is ranked 5th nationally in the Regional Competitiveness Index “Presence of Research Organisations”. There is also ongoing expansion of established tertiary education providers throughout the region.
Key Higher Education Providers in the region include:
- Charles Sturt University
- Notre Dame University
- University of Western Sydney
- Sydney University
- TAFE NSW
Charles Sturt University (CSU) is the largest regionally based university in Australia. In the Central West region it has campuses at Bathurst and Orange. It has approximately 37,000 students, two thirds of whom are learning online or through a mixed mode of classroom and distance learning. A total of 40% of enrolled students are from rural and regional areas.
The University of Sydney School of Rural Health is located in Orange. The University of Western Sydney has two campuses; Bathurst Clinical School and UWS Lithgow. Notre Dame University has the Lithgow Rural Clinical School. These rural clinical schools were established to provide non-regional medical students with periods of exposure to rural practice, with the aim of encouraging medical graduates to consider rural careers.
The Parkes (Regional University Study Centre) is a joint initiative between CSU, TAFE Western and Parkes Shire Council which combines TAFE and university study using infrastructure at the Parkes campus of TAFE. It includes targeted strategies to increase Indigenous and lower socio-economic students’ participation in higher education.
TAFE Western offered 628 different course options in 2013 and is well represented in the NSW Central West region. Its award winning TAFE Western Connect program is an excellent example of innovative educational delivery. The total number of enrolments across TAFE Western for 2013 was 36,823 of which 21,404 enrolments are from the NSW Central West Region.
Regionally Based Registered Training Organisations:
- BEC Business and Training Centre
- Central West Training Centre
- Complete Staff Solutions
- Integral Skills
- Octec Training Services
- Synergy Telecoms
Education and Training is an important sector within the RDA Central West region providing significant employment opportunities, potential for further export growth and new investment, educational and vocational training opportunities and learning and community benefits for local residents.
The Education and Training sector’s Gross Regional Product Contribution is $581.98 million, accounting for 6% of the region’s GRP, higher than the State average (3.1%).
The Education and Training sector employed approximately 6,598 residents in 2011 representing 9% of the total workforce.
Download the Education & Training Industry Profile 2015
Industry Gross Regional Product Contribution
The Education and Training sector accounted for 6% of the region’s GRP, higher than the State (3.1%) average.
The export value of the Education and Training sector represents approximately 2.3% of total exports.
Business entities are actively trading in the Education and Training sector.
People are employed in the Education and Training Sector.
Sources: ABS Census 2011, Profile id, Invest-Central-NSW-Economic-Profile-Dec 2012, APS, ABS, NIEIR, A.P. SHEERE CONSULTING, NSW Central West Region Export/Import Contribution Study, 2014.
Industry trends suggest continued growth in the Education and Training sector. Potential Education and Training sector opportunities include:
- Opportunity to meet the needs of residents in search of a change in career path as a result of structural changes across various industries and job patterns within the region.
- Opportunity to meet local skills demand as higher skilled sectors are pursued.
- Significant growth is anticipated in the future especially by established tertiary providers looking to expand and diversify education and training opportunities and course offerings to meet industry skill trends.
- Leveraging of university services within the health care sector as demonstrated by the development of the UWS Outreach College in Lithgow and other medical schools.
- Linkages and collaboration between universities, businesses, Government and community organisations and other educational establishments.
- Preschool education, school education, technical and vocational education, adult, community and higher education.