Our vision for reconciliation
The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan articulates the University's commitment to reconciliation in stating that:
The University is committed to advancing human rights within a free, tolerant and inclusive society and contributing to better outcomes for all Australians. The University respects and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, lands, cultures and histories and will work collaboratively to advance outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The University of the Sunshine Coast is the youngest public university in Australia. It is rapidly developing into a comprehensive multi-campus institution of higher education with growing numbers of students, drawn from increasingly diverse backgrounds. USC has a deep commitment to driving capacity-building on the Sunshine Coast and beyond. Our imperatives are to:
- increase student enrolments and improve student success
- increase research productivity and impact
- expand campuses and study nodes
- improve institutional effectiveness
- strengthen leadership in sustainability for the region and beyond
- strengthen engagement with our communities
The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has a strong commitment to the development of national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education goals. USC Indigenous Services commenced operation in 2000 as the Buranga Centre which was a small cultural assistance unit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Today, Indigenous Services engages with over 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across our campuses and study nodes. The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) values its relationship with the Traditional Custodians of the land on which its campuses sit. USC Sippy Downs, USC Gympie and Noosa are located on the land of the Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi people. USC SouthBank and North Lakes are located on the land of the Yugarabul, Yuggera, Jagera and Turrbal peoples. USC Fraser Coast and USC Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre are located on the land of the Butchulla/Batjala/Badtjala people.
As at 31 March 2016, the University of the Sunshine Coast employed a total of 906 (FTE) staff (excluding casuals). Of the total staff numbers (excluding casuals), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff total 14.9 (FTE). The University's current Indigenous Employment and Career Development Strategy was developed in 2010 and outlines USC's commitment to increasing the recruitment, development and support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in academic and professional roles in higher education. The Indigenous Employment and Career Development Strategy was informed through community and staff consultation and reflects the employment priority areas identified by the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council. The Indigenous Employment and Career Development Strategy is publicly accessible on the USC website at www.usc.edu.au/iecds.
The University of the Sunshine Coast has two faculties, the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law and the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering. The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law works to promote mutually supportive learning environments where staff and students are encouraged to create, identify and seize developmental opportunities. The Faculty aims to provide an outstanding learning experience for students and promotes the real benefits of its research to community. The Faculty includes the Schools of Business, Communication and Creative Industries, Social Sciences, and the USC Law School and six research concentrations: the Arts Research in Creative Humanities (ARCH) cluster, the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, the Engage Research cluster, the Forest Industries Research Centre (FIRC), the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre (TFAP), the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) which hosts both the Indigenous Studies Research theme and the Adolescent Risk Research Unit (ARRU).
The Faculty of Arts, Business and Law continues to expand and refresh its range of disciplines and programs, its research activities and its engagement with the broader community. This includes the introduction this year of our Bachelor of Serious Games and Master of Professional Practice (Creative Writing) as well as new double degrees: the Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)/Bachelor of Criminology and Justice, Bachelor of Social Work/Bachelor of Criminology and Justice, and Master of Business Administration/Master of International Business. The Faculty's highly qualified staff include academics who have won national recognition for their teaching, won major research grants, and undertaken work that contributes to the well-being of local and overseas communities.
The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering works to promote the ethos that the Faculty is a driving force of innovative teaching through a platform of engagement and research excellence. The Faculty includes the School of Education, the School of Health and Sport Sciences, the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine and the School of Science and Engineering. The Faculty hosts three research concentrations, the GeneCology Research Centre, the Inflammation and Healing Research Cluster, as well as the Sport and Exercise Science research focus area that works under two main themes, Exercise, Health and Disease Management as well as Understanding and Enhancing Sport Performance.
The University of the Sunshine Coast is committed to the local region but attracts staff and students from across Queensland, elsewhere in Australia as well as International students. The University is actively growing numerous relationships with other countries through research and learning and teaching activities. USC aspires to be within the top 100 of 'young' universities in the world, being those established less than 50 years ago. The University of the Sunshine Coast has sustained an annual increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolments for the past ten years (2.2 percent of domestic enrolments in 2014), with the success ratio of those students consistently exceeding Queensland and national performance outcomes since 2006. USC has also consistently achieved an enrolment rate of Indigenous students that is higher than the proportion of Indigenous people in the Sunshine Coast population (1.5% at 2011 Census), and the national university participation rate for Indigenous students in higher education (1.4% from 2009 to 2012). The success ratio of those students has consistently exceeded the Queensland and national level reporting since 2006 and maintaining statistical information enables the University to reflect and report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student population. As the number of Indigenous students increases, the university is able to continue being an attractive choice of study location for Indigenous students, both locally and nationally.