UWS  makes a bid to attract new students

AFTER months of torment HSC graduates across the state have received their university offers, with the University of Western Sydney running an extensive campaign to attract potential students.

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause, interim deputy vice-chancellor, said the university has set a number of strategies to inform students, including advertisements in newspapers and on billboards.

The university also encouraged early enrolment and has held Course Decision Days.

Professor Krause said the university is using a "blended learning strategy" which will combine online teaching with face-to-face work.

Although enrolment statistics are not available yet, Professor Krause said she is optimistic that the university's strategies are reaching students.

She said that UWS caters for students in western Sydney because of its location and its support programs.

"We're really helping students to make their way through what is often a very confusing enrolling process," she said.

"We've got the evidence to say it's increasingly the university of first choice for students in Greater Western Sydney in particular, so our reputation is very strong in the community ... people give us feedback not only verbally but they also vote with their feet in terms of choosing UWS," she said.

"We don't pretend to be an Ivy League university but we are a university of the people; we combine the opportunity for people to go to university with excellence."

WHAT THE STUDENTS SAY

St Clair resident Ally Borg chose to accept an early round offer for a Business degree after she attended an information session at her high school and went to university open days.

"I went to open days at Sydney Uni, Macquarie and others ... they didn't feel as welcoming as UWS, which gave support and guidance," she said.

Ms Borg said that while she believes UWS has a lot to offer, students have to create their own successes and be self-motivated.

"Choose the uni that appeals to you, don't just go to a uni because your friends are going," she said.

Location was important for Jarred Morley, who has enrolled in a journalism degree at UWS Penrith. Although he lives in Campbelltown, Mr Morley felt that travelling to Penrith was more convenient than going to a city university.

He said he had heard positive feedback about UWS from friends and family and was looking forward to becoming involved in extra-curricular activities and the campus' social scene.

Current UWS student Mostafa Rachwani, who is studying media and law, said he would advise HSC graduates to consider the fields they want to study then research which university excels in that area.

The 21-year-old lives in Yagoona and travels between the Penrith and Parramatta campuses.

He said that although he has had a positive educational experience and encountered excellent lecturers, the university could improve its services such as parking and food on campus.

Mr Rachwani said the university's leadership should be putting more money into education and courses rather than providing iPads.

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