CHARLES Sturt University (CSU) contributes $213.4 million to the Central West’s economy annually and employs 1938 full-time equivalent positions, data shows.
Not only do thousands of students study on campus and online through the Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange campuses, but CSU has a significant impact on the region’s economy and employment.
Deputy vice chancellor Jenny Roberts said the relationship that CSU had with its local communities across the Central West was mutually beneficial.
“It’s not about what they can provide to us, it’s about what we can do for the community,” she said.
“For us that’s really important, the connections we have in the community.”
Ms Roberts said not only do CSU students undertake employment across the region, they also join sporting and services clubs and take on volunteer roles.
“A lot of our degrees have practical placements and that’s a really important part of what we do to ultimately have successful graduates,” she said.
“For us that’s really important the connections we have in the community.”
It's not about what they can provide to us, it's about what we can do for the community.Charles Sturt University deputy vice chancellor Jenny Roberts
An Economic Impact Report prepared by the Western Research Institute for CSU reveals that the university contributes $213.4 million to the gross regional product (GRP) of the Central West.
“This includes both their initial contribution (direct expenditure) and the flow on impacts of that expenditure,” A WRI spokeswoman said.
“As is the case for CSU, their flow on impact is greater than their initial contribution . Flow on impacts are changes in the region’s economy in the course of an additional round of spending after the initial impact occurred.”
The WRI spokeswoman said the 1938 full-time equivalent positions include the FTE of their staff in the region and the flow-on FTE employment as a result of their operations in the region.
Ms Roberts said the Central West’s population had increased over the long-term thanks to the university’s existence.
Charles Sturt University contributes $213.4 million to the gross regional product (GRP) of the Central West.Western Research Institute
“What we know is when people come to the region to study, they have an opportunity to get jobs and build connections and marry,” she said.
“When students come they realise the benefits of living in regional areas and that can only be adding value to the region.”
Ms Roberts said a vital component to helping student forge long-term connections with the community, staff and each other was the university’s O Week activities.
“It makes our students feel a sense of welcome, to feel connection to the community and that they're not alone,” she said.
Ms Roberts said some first-year students feel uncertain about embarking on a degree, while others have moved away from home for the first time.
She said CSU also had a large proportion of students who were the first in their family to go to university.
“Orientation week is about giving them the support to be successful,” Ms Roberts said.