University of Newcastle will operate at a new higher education precinct at Badgerys Creek Airport.

Vision: The aerotropolis.
Vision: The aerotropolis.

The University of Newcastle is among four universities that will operate from a new higher education precinct in Western Sydney adjacent to what will soon be Badgerys Creek Airport.

The Australian-first campus will focus on STEM – science technology, engineering and maths subjects. 

The State government signed a statement of Intent on Thursday with the University of Newcastle, University of Wollongong and University of NSW and Western Sydney University to deliver stage one of the new institution by 2026.

Sharing in the vision for the new ‘Aerotropolis precinct’, the four universities will partner to create a single institution where students will have unparalleled access to industry research, development and employment opportunities.

With a 24-hour international airport at its core, the Western Sydney Aerotropolis will be a hub for education and leading industries including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, defence and agribusiness, generating a high-skill jobs boost for NSW.

“The fact that the University of Newcastle has been selected to be part of this exciting project is recognition of our world-class teaching and research success in STEM fields and the track record we’ve shown in work-integrated learning for our students,” acting vice-chancellor Kevin Hall said. 

“And you may ask why we want to be involved in an initiative in the Western Sydney region. Well, it’s simply because the opportunity for our students and our staff is unparalleled.”

Researchers will have direct links with industry partners and be involved in solving real world problems that have an impact on a global scale.

“By being part of this major initiative, we’ll help develop our state’s future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians not only in Newcastle and our regions, but across the state and around the world,” Professor Hall said. 

He said it would be about five years before staff and students were present at the campus. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was essential that the new airport created jobs for the future.

“The NSW Government is working to create more jobs in every part of NSW and the Western Sydney Aerotropolis will create thousands of employment opportunities for young people,” she said.