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Edith Cowan University to develop Perth’s first comprehensive city campus

An artist impression of ECU's public square.
An artist impression of ECU's public square.

Edith Cowan University (ECU) will create a $695 million Creative Industries, Business and Technology Campus in the centre of Perth, as part of a transformational deal for the university that will also support Western Australia’s economic recovery. 

The jointly funded, world-class campus will be the centrepiece of a Perth City Deal, designed to bring the energy and vibrancy of more than 9,000 students and staff to the heart of Perth’s CBD by 2025. 

An artist impression of ECU City Campus and Yagan Square.
An artist impression of ECU City Campus and Yagan Square.

Confirming the deal today, ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman said the Federal and State governments had recognised the role of a city university in reinvigorating Perth, creating jobs and supporting a changing economy. 

“We are thrilled that our vision for WA’s first comprehensive city campus will be a reality,” Chapman said. “This is the future of university education — urban, connected, integrated with business and community — part of a thriving city. This campus will deliver the innovative thinkers, adaptive learners and global citizens who will be the leaders of tomorrow.” 

Chapman said ECU City Campus would be a transformational project for the University — which already ranks among the world’s Top 100 Universities Under 50 Years Old and has the best track record of any Australian public university for its five-star student experience. 

ECU is WA’s second largest university, and more than 8,000 students and 1,200 staff are expected to be based at the new campus when it opens for Semester One, 2025, growing to more than 10,000 students and 1,500 staff by 2030. 

Under the deal, ECU will develop a vertical campus at the central Perth City Link, next to Yagan Square, offering programs in technology, business, creative and performing arts. 

The site adjoins Perth Railway Station, the major train hub for the city and Perth’s major bus hub, on the newly developed link between the CBD and the entertainment district of Northbridge. It is a five-minute walk to the city’s cultural precinct including the State Theatre Centre, Perth Cultural Centre, Art Gallery of WA and the new WA Museum. 

ECU will contribute $300 million to the project, while the Federal Government will contribute $245 million as part of the Perth City Deal. The State Government is providing in-kind support through the provision of land. 

The project is expected to deliver a $1.5 billion boost to the local economy and create more than 3,100 jobs during the construction phase. 

An artist impression of ECU City Campus' skyline view.
An artist impression of ECU City Campus’ skyline view.

Chapman said ECU City Campus would be a place where technology, industry and creativity meet. 

“ECU’s new campus will change the face of our city and shape the future of our university and we are grateful to both the Federal and WA Governments for supporting our vision,” Chapman said. “It will be home to ECU’s internationally recognised Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), which will add more than 300 public performances to Perth’s arts calendar every year, attracting thousands of city spectators.” 

ECU City Campus will feature schools, programs and initiatives, including: WAAPA; Founding Pianos; Arts, Design and Communications; WA Screen Academy; Broadcasting; Kurongkurl Katitjin, a Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research; Business and Law; and Technology and Cyber Security. 

Chapman said the campus would be designed to provide leading, digitally connected facilities for contemporary teaching, including adaptable spaces for immersive and experiential industry learning. “ECU City Campus will naturally be a drawcard for students and academics, but it will also provide enormous opportunities for industry integration, including areas like cyber security ensuring the development of a future-fit workforce,” he said. “This campus will deliver the innovative educational experience that is critical to the development of world-ready graduates and a digital-ready economy.” 

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