Thursday, October 27, 2016

University of Sydney commits $60 million as first phase of $500M investment

The brightest minds will be brought together as part of a historic partnership agreement between the University of Sydney and Westmead precinct partners announced recently.

The partnership includes an initial commitment by the University of Sydney to contribute more than $60 million of funding for new education facilities, upgrades to existing spaces, and a suite of new academic programs and initiatives, in addition to its existing staffing contribution of $35 million per year at Westmead.

This increased contribution to the partnership will help ensure that clinicians, students and researchers at Westmead Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the Children’s Medical Research Institute will be able to continue to meet the needs of the expanding population and increasing health needs of Western Sydney, New South Wales and beyond.

The new facilities and programs will support the expanded expertise and educational opportunities available on the precinct in areas like data sciences, engineering, physics, business management, the social sciences and others.

NSW Health Minister the Hon Jillian Skinner was present at the announcement and welcomed the partnership agreement.

University of Sydney commits $60 million as first phase of $500-million investment
Sydney students to receive a boost in facilities and programs (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

“I congratulate the University of Sydney and all the Westmead precinct partners on this great partnership.  Students all across Westmead—who are our clinicians and researchers of the future—will enjoy the contemporary, flexible technology-enabled teaching, learning and working spaces that are being built as part of this partnership,” Jillian Skinner said.

The University of Sydney investment includes capital funding for
  • 5,000m2 across two floors of the Westmead Redevelopment’s new acute services building, to become the central location of the University of Sydney’s Westmead Campus;
  • an upgrade and expansion of the current Westmead Education and Conference Centre, within Westmead Hospital, to provide innovative and versatile learning environments;
  • refurbishment of student facilities, to improve the student experience at Westmead; and
  • a new simulation ward, which provides facilities for educating students in nursing, medicine and allied health, and training staff at Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
The university spaces will also be available for use by other precinct partners, giving them access to contemporary education facilities that are not currently available at Westmead.

The university is also working with the Westmead precinct partners to develop the proposal for the Westmead Innovation Centre. The Innovation Centre will be collecting and generating ideas and new solutions from patients, clinicians, researchers and other innovators and will be fostering a culture of innovation and knowledge sharing.

“This is such an important part of the university’s work in Western Sydney. A key focus of the next era of strategic growth for the University of Sydney will be in—and for—Western Sydney, and this is the early phase of what we anticipate will be a $500m investment over the next 15 years. Importantly, this investment will help us build on the university’s areas of strength with its partners at Westmead,” University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said.

Welcoming the investment and the university’s role in helping address the healthcare challenges of the future, WSLHD Chief Executive Danny O’Connor said, “Westmead Hospital and the University of Sydney have had a long-standing partnership, dating back to the official opening of the hospital in 1978. This expanded commitment from the university means a greater opportunity to collect and generate ideas and new solutions from students in different disciplines as well as clinicians, researchers, patients and other innovators.”

“Co-locating the education and research activity with the clinical services space means Westmead will extend the quality of its education and research capability for the benefit of our patients and families in Western Sydney and beyond,” said Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Chief Executive Dr Michael Brydon.

The strength of the precinct partnerships has helped deliver on Westmead’s strong track record as a successful innovator in the delivery of healthcare, research and education and helped attract a talent pool that is now the largest concentration of biomedical, scientific and healthcare focused minds in Australia.

The investment is just one part of the $3.4 billion earmarked by government, universities and the private sector for investment at Westmead over the next decade, including new commercial and residential facilities and development of the Parramatta Light Rail.

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