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Nirimba partnership gives students a taste of uni success

On Wednesday 5 June, 15 Year 12 students from Terra Sancta College and Wyndham College graduated from university units from the University of Western Sydney (UWS) as part of the multi-sectoral educational partnership at Nirimba Education Precinct, Quakers Hill. Held at the UWS Nirimba campus, the graduation ceremony recognised students who have successfully completed a tertiary unit of study while still at high school. UWS offers the courses as part of their Schools Engagement Program, which provides students with tertiary educational opportunities in western Sydney. Students undertake their courses over a school term in addition to their usual subjects and are required to attend classes after school. All students who pass units receive pre-HSC offers to UWS courses for which they are eligible and students who achieve distinctions or high distinctions receive a $500 study grant and the offer of a conditional Academic Excellence Scholarship of $5,000 per year for up to four years of study at UWS. Now in its tenth year, the Nirimba university program is seeing increasingly high success rates. In 2011, 94 percent of students who studied a tertiary unit while at school went on to enroll at UWS and eleven scholarships were awarded. Nirimbas manager of Education Development and Coordination, Ian Wing, said the program provides a unique opportunity for students. Students get a taster experience of tertiary education attending lectures and tutorials alongside UWS students enabling them to experience first-hand, the expectations of university and to liaise with and compete with students who are older, said Ian. Because of the careful selection of candidates by the schools, the mentoring by school staff, and the support provided by UWS/UWSCollege, students have achieved spectacular successes over the years this program has run. Terra Sanctas cooperating principal, Phil Smith, congratulated the students on achieving their outstanding results and thanked all involved for their support of the program. No other schools in western Sydney get this kind of opportunity, said Phil. We thank UWS and the Nirimba Precinct partners for their support and thank the parents whose work is invaluable in helping our students to succeed. Karen Smith, principal of Wyndham College, said the bond in the Nirimba precinct is continuing to grow each year. We are so proud of the involvement of our students, they have shown a great commitment to their learning and proven that they are independent learners, said Karen.

UWS Dean School of Business: Professor of Management, Professor Clive Smallman, who presented the students with their certificates, said they had demonstrated a commitment to their learning and shown that they are more than capable of success in their tertiary studies. These students have shown that they can succeed in their university studies and that is no easy feat because there is a big step up between secondary and university studies, said Professor Smallman. I congratulate the Terra Sancta and Wyndham College students on their success and look forward to seeing where their studies will take them in the future. The Nirimba Education Precinct is a four partner education consortium. The four partners University of Western Sydney, Western Sydney Institute of Technical and Further Education, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, and Department of Education and Communities are represented on the Quakers Hill site by UWSCollege, Nirimba TAFE, Terra Sancta College, and Wyndham College.