There is more to this story... for the full story, please click on the source below:Charles Darwin University's proposed city campus under scrutiny
By Matt Garrick
Posted about 4 hours ago
PHOTO: CDU international enrolments have fallen, raising questions over its proposed new city campus.
A significant drop in international student numbers in Darwin has a union branding a proposed new university campus for the city's CBD as a "fantasy" that will struggle to get off the ground.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived in the Top End to much fanfare in 2018 to announce $100 million to go towards an expansive new education precinct, with Charles Darwin University's (CDU) proposed city campus at its heart.
But debt-laden CDU's newly released annual report for 2018 reveals a drop of more than 500 international student enrolments in three years, despite a 2015 pledge to grow international numbers 100 per cent by 2025.
International students fell from 2,566 in 2015 to 2,051 in 2018, annual reports show.
A new auditor-general's report also showed CDU saw a decrease in $2.2 million in fees and charges in 2018 "due to a decline in the number of courses in which international students enrolled".
President of the NT branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, Darius Pfitzner, said the drop in numbers was "concerning".
PHOTO: The Darwin City Deal has been touted to revitalise the city's flagging economy.
"As soon as our international student numbers stopped growing, and started falling, there should've been some response to it."
Mr Pfitzner said the "university has demonstrated [itself] incapable … of productively marketing into the international environment, and that's really quite key to being able to justify the City Deal".
"I think the city campus is a bit of fantasy to start with — you can't just build a building and say students will come."
CDU defends student strategy, city campus
In a written statement to the ABC, Acting Vice-Chancellor Sue Carthew said CDU's "intake of commencing international students in Darwin for 2019 increased by 29 per cent compared with 2018" — information not included in the latest report.