Published: 18 March 2016
Author: Stringer Clark
Morgan, Nicole, and two others working in our Warrnambool office are either current or former Deakin Warrnambool students.
Stringer Clark joins fight to save Deakin Warrnambool
Stringer Clark is dismayed at news Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus is in jeopardy because of declining admission rates.
Closing the Warrnambool campus of Deakin University would be a major blow to the local economy and the region’s attempts to grow businesses that employ highly qualified local people.
Stringer Clark employs staff who have studied at Deakin Warrnambool.
Closing the campus would make it harder for us to find and recruit promising local students. We would be forced to look further afield for skilled employees.
In our Stringer Clark Warrnambool office we currently have a number of employees who studied through Deakin’s Warrnambool campus. We have two administration assistants who are both studying law degrees, a law student who is doing placement with us and myself a lawyer who also studied in Warrnambool.
For me, it’s personal too
If I didn’t study in Warrnambool I wouldn’t have gone to university. I come from a low socio-economic background where I just didn’t have the means to meet accommodation expenses elsewhere.
For me, studying in Warrnambool meant that I could continue living at home and working part-time locally.
For low to medium income families they just can’t afford the expenses of a child moving away to study. For many students, in particular those who study double degrees there is a desire to commence university study at the conclusion of year 12 without taking a gap year. When I finished my secondary education I had a burning desire to go straight to university, I studied a double degree which took five years so I just wanted to get it done so I could work. Deakin Warrnambool allowed me to do that. If Warrnambool wasn’t an option I don’t believe I would have studied at all.
If Deakin Warrnambool closes it will put rural students at a huge disadvantage, with the fear that many may not complete university studies at all if required to relocate.
A blow to our community
It will also be detrimental to the local community. Many local professionals in our region are Deakin Warrnambool graduates . Our local hospital, schools, accounting firms and law firms are filled with Warrnambool graduates. The closure has the potential to create a potential skills shortage – if people leave the region to complete further study we may lose them permanently. Not to mention the effects it will have on our local economy, university students fill our local stores both as customers and employees. They keep our local economy flowing.
We all need to rally as a community to save Deakin Warrnambool. I have signed the online petition and would encourage others to do so by visiting https://www.change.org/p/vice-chancellor-deakin-stand-by-warrnambool-campus
The Warrnambool Standard is collecting stories in support of the campus here: http://www.standard.net.au/story/3794827/lets-standbywarrnambool-show-your-support/?cs=4162
I would also encourage people to attend the community meeting ‘Save Our University’ #StandbyWarrnambool on Friday 18 Mach 2016 6pm at Warrnambool’s Lighthouse Theatre.