Charles Sturt University (CSU) is a world leader in online education, according to the Federal Minister for Education, Dr David Kemp.
Opening a new $2.5 million online education and administrative complex on the University's Wagga Wagga Campus on Friday 9 March, Dr Kemp said CSU was a pioneer in the information technology revolution.
"What will be done here in this building will continue to push this area in the future and will be an enormous benefit to the University, the region and Australia," Dr Kemp said. [ click here to see Dr Kemp's speech notes ]
James Hagan Court brings together CSU's online initiatives, including a learning media laboratory, and the Centre for Research and Graduate Training.
"This initiative represents innovative and flexible education and better accommodates students to meet their individual needs, particularly those in rural and regional areas," he said.
Dr Kemp said CSU had done some remarkable things: "It's an institution which has characteristics you would never predict by looking at the general statistics about regional universities.
"Charles Sturt is an outstanding provider of international education offshore. That is a remarkable achievement and it is a model and example to other universities in Australia."
Dr Kemp said the opening of the complex also indicated a clear-sighted view of where CSU could develop further in the future, "because it is a University which has deeply committed itself to the interests of the regions in which it operates."
"It's a University which has established a sense of direction," Dr Kemp said, and was "a driver" in the regions it operates. "Charles Sturt has shown itself to be an institution with that kind of leadership which has marked out for the University a very great future."
Dr Kemp added that we should honour our great academics and it was great to see a building named after one. "There are all too few of them".
The building is named in recognition of Emeritus Professor James Hagan, who was Chairman of a working party to recommend on the future of the Goulburn College of Advanced Education (CAE) and ultimately its incorporation in the Riverina CAE to form the Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education.
Professor Hagan urged the Institute to seek autonomy and was appointed to the first Board of Governors of the new Charles Sturt University. He served continuously until his retirement in October 1999, including a period as Deputy Chancellor.