Charles Sturt University will continue with the planned $40 million expansion of its Port Macquarie campus despite facing a projected budget deficit of around $49.5 million.
However, the university has outlined a series of job cuts and the axing of some 600 subjects across its footprint.
Stage 2A of the expansion is expected to be completed by the end of August and, at this point, 2B is scheduled for completion at the end of the year.
Stage 2B is partly funded by the NSW state government as part of the growing local economies program.
The new development will include additional learning and teaching spaces (flat floored and tiered), a laboratory, breakout and meeting spaces, student kitchen and facilities, a space for small events, and additional car parking.
By the end of stage three works, Charles Sturt University is expecting to see around 5500 students at its Port Macquarie campus.
A CSU spokesperson said the university is continuing with development at our Port Macquarie campus.
"And it's going well," the spokesperson said. "At this stage, there are no changes expected to the timeline for the expansion plans."
Despite the looming budget deficit, the university remains confident the Port Macquarie expansion will continue.
"We are conscious of our budget deficit and taking actions quickly to bring us back to a balanced budget by end of 2021.
"Whilst the University has acted to reduce its Capital Program, the Port Macquarie works are continuing in accordance with the original planning.
"We are reviewing our course profile - all the courses and subjects we offer, the modes we offer them in, and number of intakes.
"The university has not made decisions yet on any changes to any courses - we are asking our faculty staff for feedback first so we can build our course profile together.
"Decisions on changes will be made in August and September and we will communicate the changes then.
Decisions on changes will be made in August and September and we will communicate the changes then.CSU spokesperson
"We understand the communities that support our campuses want to know the changes for them, and we'll be open about this as soon as we can provide certainty, and have informed our staff and students."
The spokesperson did acknowledge that there will be job losses at campuses.
Other costs cutting measures will be in operations savings and course reviews.
However, these will not be announced until full consultation is complete and the final plans are identified, the spokesperson said.
"Therefore we cannot identify the potential job losses at a campus level.
"Some positions are on multiple campuses so we can't determine which roles will go until the final change proposal are determined.
"We are working hard to make the changes we need to make to give our campuses the best chance to be vibrant and to thrive."
The spokesperson also acknowledged this was a "difficult time" but said the university would remain for the "long term".
"This is a difficult time for our staff and students," the spokesperson said.
"We're working as quickly as possible to give our staff, students and communities the certainty they need from us.
"We want our communities to know we are doing everything we can to make sure Charles Sturt University is here for the long term, delivering high quality degrees, equitable access to education and critical research for our regions - and we are confident that we will be."