Mar 01, 2019

Slump sparks School of Mines overhaul

Slump sparks School of Mines overhaul

Staff are expected to be cut from the Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering after a period of low enrolments.

A revised curriculum is also in the works in a bid to attract more students as it is rolled out from 2020.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the university had consulted with external stakeholders on the issue.

An expert panel chaired by John McGagh, former head of innovation at Rio Tinto, had met with about 50 internal and external stakeholders, she said.

“A key recommendation of the panel’s report relates to the school’s curriculum, and we have engaged a leading academic, Emeritus Professor David Brereton, to ensure it will equip graduates to work in a highly technical, sophisticated and evolving industry,” Professor Terry said.

She said the university was also planning to ‘adjust the school’s staffing profile’ following a downturn in the sector and a sustained period of low enrolments.

A small number of positions were expected to be affected in Bentley and Kalgoorlie, and a change proposal had been released for consultation with staff.

Professor Terry said a final decision would be made in the coming months.

“Curtin is absolutely committed to ensuring the school has a thriving and vibrant future at both the Bentley and Kalgoorlie campuses,” Professor Terry said.

“Teaching and research infrastructure, and student accommodation, have recently been upgraded in Kalgoorlie, and planning is underway to establish a rural health clinical presence on the Kalgoorlie campus.

“I look forward to the Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering continuing to expand its proud history of providing essential support to the mining and resources sectors, and being an integral part of the Kalgoorlie community.”

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