CDU IN CBD IS A BIG MISTAKE

I question the motivation of using Charles Darwin students to plug population vacancies in the central business district.

The university campus at Casuarina offers excellent and underused facilities. ‘Underused’ because many are enrolled as online and distance students who do not attend lectures on campus. Facilities do not need to be reduplicated in city premises.

At Casuarina, accomodation needs are quite excellently catered for by residential facilities on the campus. There is also an abundance of student accomodation available at ‘Unilodge’, only 800 metres from the Casuarina Campus.

The cash arena facilities are very much under utilised. A visit to the campus during the academic year and on and on any academic day is more like a visit to a ghost campus rather than one thronging with students. Essential causes of being cut and staff have been made redundant because of budget overruns a massive university debt.

A 2019 CDU student attending the Waterfront campus is concerned about the city move proposal, suggesting this “ … drops the standards for social and academic outcomes”. (Txt the editor, 17/5) The student urges a return to the better equipped and properly fitted Casuarina Campus.

The reason for wanting to shift the university focus from Casuarina to the city should be based on what is best for the students. They should not be regarded as people to be relocated, merely to boost the number of residents living and working in the CBD

Against this strange backdrop, the university is borrowing well over $100 million to develop a new campus in the CBD, in order to cater for up to 5000 international students.

One can but wonder where all the students are going to come from and how they will save the

CBD. And what about more crippling debt.

One needs to ask what the University hopes to achieve for the benefit of education and for the benefit of students seeking an education by the changes that are taking place. What about the needs of local students, the trades training area, the dismissal of the pharmacy training unit, the downsizing of the nursing faculty and so on.

I need to declare myself to be at CDU alumni. I have also undertaken as a student to Masters degree courses at the University, better the time when it was still the Northern Territory University. My degrees were in the area of education and international relationships. I have also been a temporary member of staff at the University as a lecturer, tutor, and marker. 

I was a course developer and lecturer at the University in the late 1980s, when the University was there in the Darwin Community College morphing into the Northern Territory University. More recently, I worked in the capacity as mentioned above from 2011 until 2016.

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