Flinders University is poised to make its largest single investment in educational facilities since the University was established more than 40 years ago with a planned $120 million expansion at Tonsley Park.
The University will construct a major building in which it will teach computer science, engineering and mathematics to undergraduate students while also undertaking an extensive range of research activities and business collaborations.
Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, said the University’s investment would enable it to deliver teaching, research and business investment activities aligned with the high-value manufacturing vision for the site.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to help forge a new future for innovation at Tonsley Park. It demonstrates our commitment to being the higher education partner of choice in southern Adelaide and, in particular, to be recognised as playing a significant role in the economic transformation of this area,” Professor Barber said.
Design work is already underway for the Tonsley Park facility which will house up to 2,000 students and around 150 staff and is scheduled be fully operational in 2015.
Further expansion on the site, including possible student accommodation, will be considered as Flinders continues to grow over the next 20 years. The new facilities will be linked to the main campus by a frequent bus service operated by the University.
The Tonsley Park facility will also underpin a further strengthening of the existing collaboration with TAFE SA – which is providing alternative pathways to Flinders for students – and will see both institutions playing a major role in the proposed Sustainable Industries Education Centre to be based at the former Mitsubishi site.
Professor Barber said the collaboration of the University’s Medical Device Partnering Program and the Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology with emerging high technology and entrepreneurial companies at Tonsley Park provided much scope for mutual benefit.
“Flinders’ Medical Device Partnering Program, in collaboration with individual companies, is driving the development of new medical devices in Australia and our nanotechnology researchers are exploring the frontiers of solar cell and desalination technologies. To have this expertise co-located with potential business and research partners offers a great deal of exciting potential for future Flinders-business collaboration,” Professor Barber said.