Work is officially underway to create the University of the Sunshine Coast’s newest campus at Petrie, which will be called USC Moreton Bay.
Stage 1 of the campus – a three-storey foundation building with more than 16,000 square metres of floor space – will soon take shape on land adjacent the Petrie railway station and open in time for Semester 1, 2020.
The first intake of students, expected to be as many as 1,200, will have a choice of almost 50 study programs including business, education and computer science.
USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill today (Wednesday 4 July) hosted a commencement ceremony at the site of the campus that is tipped to have a student population of 10,000 by 2030.
Dignitaries attending included Federal Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham, Federal Member for Dickson, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and Moreton Bay Regional Mayor Allan Sutherland.
Mr Dutton, who last year helped USC secure a $121million loan from the Commonwealth Government for stage one of the campus, had the honour of officially declaring construction underway.
Professor Hill praised each of the dignitaries for the significant roles they have played in enabling USC Moreton Bay, which will bring unprecedented access to tertiary education for residents of the region.
“Moreton Bay is one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions, but is the only region of its size in Australia without its own full-service university campus,” he said.
“USC Moreton Bay represents an exciting opportunity to harness the region’s potential, and significantly boost educational opportunities for local residents.”
Professor Hill said USC already had a strong connection with Moreton Bay, with almost 1,000 new students from the region starting at the University’s campuses on the Sunshine Coast and Caboolture in Semester 1 this year
He said USC Moreton Bay’s initial undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programs would have an employment focus to ensure benefits flow quickly to the wider community.
“As the Caboolture and Moreton Bay campuses grow, we will work closely with local schools, industries and community groups to ensure we deliver study options that meet the region’s needs, and prepare graduates for the opportunities for a changing economy,” he said.
“USC is proud to belong to this community and to bring to the region a truly innovative university campus purpose-built to support and empower the people of Moreton Bay.”
The foundation building has been designed by architecture firm Hassell Studio to cater for rapid growth of the student population over the first three years. It will sit at one end of a planned open mall that will stretch out to a village green and library.
The university campus will become the centrepiece of Moreton Bay Regional Council’s ‘The Mill at Moreton Bay’ development in late 2015.
- Terry Walsh
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