CSU GRADUATION: Degrees arm students for changing times
A MEDICAL school was needed on the Border to retain vital skills in the region, according to Charles Sturt University chancellor Lawrence Willett.
Mr Willett yesterday said it was “outrageous” that CSU still lacked a medical faculty.
He said very few of the students who went to Melbourne or Sydney for medical training ever returned.
At the same time, CSU students in other fields — such as physiotherapy or nursing — often stayed working in rural or regional areas.
“The problem with training people in metropolitan areas is they find partners there or the like,” he said.
“A lot of them never come back.
“If you train people in the country, you get a better retention rate.”
Mr Willett made the comments after yesterday’s Faculty of Science graduation ceremony — his last before retiring next December.
It comes after three terms — 12 years — as CSU chancellor, a role he described as “a real privilege and honour”.
In that time, Mr Willett has presided over the addition of a veterinary school, a dental school, and the reinforcement of the health sciences.
“The medical school is the only thing missing,” he said.
He praised the staff and students at what he called “a pretty happy place”.
“One thing that stands out about this university is the level of satisfaction of the academics in doing what they do,” he said.
“Equally, when you talk to the students, they find it welcoming.”
He congratulated all students who received their degrees at this week’s graduation ceremonies, all held at Albury Entertainment Centre.
“Undertaking a degree can be tough,” he said.
“Consider that more than 30 per cent of our students do it by correspondence.
“The all have to make great sacrifices along the way.
“This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
“It’s always a very exciting moment.”