UWS Rebranding Controversy

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By Beau Dunne:
A plan to rebrand the University of Western Sydney is causing controversy among the university’s
students and staff after incomplete details were leaked to the public by unknown sources.
The university’s new branding is set to be unveiled to the public on the 30th August, when
thousands of people will attend the university’s open day across its multiple campuses.
However, 2,300 people have signed a petition against the rebranding after concern was raised on
social media about the details of the rebranding.
Michael Wright, from the Student Campus Council at Parramatta says that students have not been
adequately consulted on the rebranding since the process began in 2013.
Concern by Mr Wright over a lack of consultation was coupled by disappointment over a lack of
attention given to calls by the Parramatta SCC to address issues they have raised with the university,
including overcrowding issues with parking at the campus.
Mr Wright said that there has been a long tradition of the university not listening to students’
concerns, and that the lack of consultation on the rebranding was a reflection of that.
He said that it is important for the university to listen to students because they are a key stakeholder
in the university.
Mr Angelo Kourtis, ‘Vice President of People & Advancement’, addressed a gathering of
stakeholders on the university’s rebranding at a briefing held at the Werrington South
campus on the 30th July.
The briefing unveiled the university’s new colours and logo, as well as examples of marketing
material.
Mr Kourtis was optimistic that the reception of the new brand would be positive, once the full
details are released.
He said that the leaked details of the new brand were not in their context, and that the images were
bad quality.
The majority of comments on the new branding were positive in the q&a session after the briefing,
although concern was raised regarding the cost of the rebranding.
The current political climate of uncertainty over higher education changes, as well as the threat of
higher fees for students, has left some students wondering whether the money spent on the
rebranding could be better spent elsewhere.
The apparent lack of consultation on this issue has reinforced the stereotype for some students, that
the university is not listening to students and addressing their concerns.
Perhaps if the university was serious about listening to students it would fight alongside them
against the proposed higher education changes, or provide free parking at the campuses.
Mr Wright, from the Parramatta SCC, says that student representatives exist to do more than just
hand out free food to students, and their role should be recognised by the university through greater
consultation on projects like the rebranding.

 

IMAGE: Ian Southall

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