THE University of Newcastle will establish a health, innovation and entrepreneurship precinct in Gosford's CBD, where it will offer a number of new undergraduate degrees and diploma level programs.
UON Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Alex Zelinsky said an $18 million federal government investment announced this week for the Gosford precinct represented the first step towards UON's vision for a $250 million multi-campus university on the Central Coast comprising campuses in Ourimbah and Gosford.
He said the planned Gosford precinct will be built near the existing site of the $85 million Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute, which is under construction and will open in 2020.
"More than 4300 additional workers will be needed in new healthcare and social assistance jobs on the Central Coast by 2023," Professor Zelinsky said.
"This funding sets us on the right path to train the local workforce to meet that need."
The $18 million will establish an innovation hub, an augmented reality/virtual reality teaching lab with an emphasis on health and medicine and help provide enhanced teaching, conference, community engagement and social learning facilities.
"The innovation hub will have a strong focus on health and medical technology, making the most of the proximity to the Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute and the partnership with the Central Coast Local Health District," he said.
"We'll also be establishing a range of spaces offering advanced augmented and virtual reality training programs for students, as well as for researchers and other partners."
UON will also use the campus to offer new undergraduate programs including bachelors of community health, digital communication and health informatics.
Postgraduate programs that will be unique to Gosford include masters of medical imaging, professional prescribing,and project management.
It will also partner with TAFE to offer diploma-level programs in business, innovation and entrepreneurship, information technology and science.
Professor Zelinsky said UON needed strong support from local, state and federal partners to create a "world-class university presence" on the Central Coast.
"I'd like to acknowledge the excellent support we've received from Lucy Wicks MP," he said.
"This is an important day for the people of the Central Coast and shows strong support for a vibrant and growing city.
"This vision can't be achieved without strong support from the Federal and State Governments.
"The University looks forward to working with all our partners to realise our shared vision for a University for the Central Coast.
"A new Gosford CBD campus will complement our 30-year presence at our wonderful Ourimbah campus."