Uni on top of economic downturn

UNLIKE many of its big city counterparts, our own Southern Cross University has not been affected by the economic crisis.

National media reported yesterday that some of Australia's biggest universities were 'bleeding millions' as the value of their investments fell.

“We don't have grand investments like some universities have and we don't have an investment portfolio,” SCU Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Clark said yesterday.

He said all of SCU's capital was held in term deposits with the government guarantee behind it.

The University of Melbourne is reporting a $245.7 million loss in the value of its investments; University of NSW an $87 million write-down and the University of Western Australia has reported a $63.9 million loss.

Prof Clark said SCU had quite a lot of capital investments in Coffs Harbour and was hoping for support in the Federal Budget for a new $10 million academic and teaching building on the Coffs Harbour Campus. SCU is asking the Commonwealth for 50 per cent funding.

He said the increase in overall numbers at the Coffs Harbour Campus, with student enrolments rising by 7 per cent in the past year, meant the building was needed; it had been 'significantly designed' and if it gained Commonwealth support, work could begin towards the end of the year.

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