New university campus planned for Western Sydney Aerotropolis

Plans for a ‘multiversity’ higher education campus in the heart of the new Western Sydney Aerotropolis have been unveiled by the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian.

The NUW Alliance (the University of Newcastle, UNSW Sydney and the University of Wollongong) will join forces with Western Sydney University to create a higher education and research campus in Western Sydney.

The Multiversity will specialise in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and be part of the Aerotropolis precinct at Badgerys Creek.

A statement of intent has been signed with the NSW Government by Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Kevin Hall (UoN); President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs (UNSW); Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Judy Raper (UOW); and Vice-Chancellor and President Barney Glover (WSU).

In a statement, the Vice-Chancellors collectively highlighted the strengths of the multiversity proposition:

“Higher education has traditionally been an intensely competitive sector. With the new Multiversity, our universities are demonstrating how collaborative university partnerships can transform the region and produce the graduates, research and industry links needed to make the Aerotropolis a success.”

The four universities will create one campus with strong links to local industry, tailored vocational education and training, and STEM-focused schooling.

“This is an unrivalled opportunity to place our world-class universities at the heart of what is surely the biggest and boldest project Australia has seen, or will see, for a very long time. Our universities bring a connected network of 180,000 students, researchers and academics to the Aerotropolis, with an established presence across every major Western Sydney centre,” the Vice-Chancellors’ statement said.

With a 24-hour international airport at its core, the Western Sydney Aerotropolis is planned to be a hub for education and industries including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, defence and agribusiness. The first stage of the new university will be open by 2026.

The NUW Alliance was launched last year with the aims of:

  • Developing skills in critically important new industry sectors such as cyber security;

  • Applying ‘Smart Cities’ technologies to improve the connectivity, productivity, liveability and resilience of egional cities and coastal communities;

  • Creating greater access to higher education for students in regional and remote communities – including Indigenous students; and

  • Building on partnerships with health services to improve health outcomes for the community, including for some of the most disadvantaged groups in the state.

Image: An artist's impression of part of the Aerotropolis development. Image:

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