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WASM to broaden non-mining degree course offerings

The WA School of Mines is set to expand its non-mining courses from next semester, as enrolments in its traditional courses decline.
Curtin University will offer Bentley-based degree courses online through classrooms at WASM in education, health sciences and commerce.
The move comes after a multi-million redevelopment of WASM that included the construction of the new $32 million 228-bed Agricola student accommodation, a research facility and classrooms.
WASM director Professor Sam Spearing said in the long term the campus was hoping to attract Goldfields students who would normally move to Perth for their studies.
“We’ve already got the majority of Goldfields students going to Curtin and we want to offer them a service where they can access the courses in Bentley or here,” he said.
“A lot depends on the take-up. “We’re fairly confident with those programs the interest is there.”
A report for the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission released last year showed a broader-scale university in town could be achievable.
Curtin’s deputy vice-chancellor-Professor Jill Downie said this year more courses would be delivered in a live video format, with students able to attend the local campus and engage in lectures being held in Bentley. “This style of learning, known as distributed learning, allows students to participate in classroom discussions in an actual class-room, ask questions directly to their lecturers and engage with fellow students ‘in person’, via a live video stream,” she said. “Online students in the Kalgoorlie region are welcome to utilise study areas, lecture theatres and the library at the Curtin Kalgoorlie campus, and distributed learning helps to bring this campus experience to the online classroom.”Last year, Curtin vice-chancellor Deborah Terry said WASM should be used as the base to expand Kalgoorlie’s tertiary education options.
Figures released last month showed second-year entries at WASM Kalgoorlie have dropped 24.5 per cent to 80 in 2017 from 106 in 2016, while the overall figure in Kalgoorlie has slid 18.5 per cent to 233 this year from 286 last year.