A decision on the future of first and second year teaching at the WA School of Mines Kalgoorlie Campus will not be made until 2011, after extensive consultation with key community and industry stakeholders has taken place.
The trend towards low enrolments at the campus has continued this year. At the first semester census date of 31 March, only 11 new first year students had chosen to study in Kalgoorlie. This compares with more than 60 first years choosing the same courses at Curtin University’s Bentley Campus.
In 2008 Curtin considered phasing out years one and two at the Kalgoorlie Campus, but retained all four years of undergraduate study after discussions with the community. At that time the University indicated the decision would be reviewed in 2010, a process which is now underway.
The University is developing a detailed consultation plan involving key industry and community stakeholders to identify strategies and inform decisions about the future configuration of the Kalgoorlie Campus.
“Very low class sizes make it difficult to offer a quality educational experience to students,” said Professor Jane den Hollander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at Curtin.
“The low numbers of students choosing to study at Kalgoorlie also adds to the cost, and it is already significantly more expensive to deliver higher education in the regions.
“The loading we receive from the Federal Government does not bridge the gap.”
Professor den Hollander said a cohort of 30 full-time equivalent students was needed at Kalgoorlie to ensure a sustainable, quality learning experience.