TWO Charles Sturt University students based at the Wagga campus say the university’s multimillion-dollar overhaul has potential benefits, but maintaining the re-branding is unnecessary.
The four-year strategy, worth a total of $104 million, is aimed at increasing the university’s reputation nationally and globally as well as focusing on improving teaching and learning spaces.
International PhD student Forough Ataollahi said the bulk of this money should be spent on research funding, which would increase their global reputation as opposed to a name change.
“With my experience as a postgraduate in conducting research, I don’t believe that there is enough research funding in regional universities,” Mrs Ataollahi said.
“Research is not as important as teaching at CSU and we have high quality research that could increase, if we had more funding.
“CSU’s employment outcomes show the quality of the teaching, but the amount of research that is being done here is less than city universities and more funding would also pay off in building their reputation.”
The PhD student, originally from Iran, argued one of the university’s strategy areas about interacting with industries in the community is already being done.
“Throughout my study I’ve had the opportunity to work with farmers and agricultural industries,” Mrs Ataollahi said.
“I don’t think we need to work on this area because it is already happening; my research has already helped farmers improve their strategies to get better results in their businesses.”
Another Wagga student Matthew Mannes, studying social work, said he is concerned the university is not listening to arguments raised by students.
“We’ve got a good reputation with our graduates and it seems to me that the university has got a lot to lose by changing the name, which I would estimate that 75 per cent of students are against,” Mr Mannes said.
“I think changes within the university would be more appropriate and focusing on what will be better for the students and staff, rather than changing the marketing appearance.”
Mr Mannes said there are areas which could be improved in his degree such as offering more subjects to on-campus students.
“In social work about 80 per cent of students are distance and because there’s less on-campus students, unfortunately it means that more are enrolling for online,” he said.
“We hardly have any on-campus subjects and there’s lots of students across courses that are going to university because they want a face-to-face experience but they’re finding half their subjects are online and they don’t get a choice.”
Mr Mannes expressed his opposition to CSU changing their name and said that education and support services at the university should be the “two key areas”.
“There are so many more important things which could be improved, as the name change isn’t really something that many people are asking for,” he said.
“To me it seems unnecessary and costly and something we don’t need in the current time.
“I don’t know if they realise the negative impact that changing their name would cause, because it’s taking away our identity and a brand we know and love.”