Parramatta Council and UNE strengthen ties

The University of New England and Parramatta Council signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their relationship on Monday.

The memorandum covers three key strategic priorities for the partnership — innovation, talent development and community leadership.

Vice chancellor Annabelle Duncan said a growing number of Parramatta residents were choosing flexible learning through the university and the memorandum would further strengthen it’s relationship with the suburb.

“We recognise that in this day and age, people need to balance their education with family, work, a social life, sport, and any number of other commitments,’’ Professor Duncan said.

‘‘More than 2500 students from the greater western Sydney region have [chosen] to study with us by distance education in vital sectors such as education, health, business, law and psychology.

“Parramatta is an increasingly vibrant, innovative and exciting part of Sydney, and UNE is proud to commit to a shared vision today and into the future.”

Parramatta mayor John Chedid said council was delighted to work with UNE in a more formal capacity.

“UNE is helping to bring high-end jobs to our CBD, which is increasingly attracting businesses of the future in areas such as finance, IT and medicine,’’ he said.

‘‘We expect UNE to benefit from closer synergies with our “smart” precincts in Westmead, Rydalmere and Camellia.’’

It is the first anniversary of the university’s FutureCampus in the Parramatta CBD.

Mayor Chedid said transport links to the campus would be strengthened by plans for a Western Sydney Light Rail Network.

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