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Three major buildings open at UniSC Moreton Bay

In just four years, UniSC Moreton Bay has almost doubled the floor space of its campus.

The University of the Sunshine Coast, which opened the foundation building at the Petrie site in 2020, has officially opened three new buildings.

UniSC Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett said the three new buildings sit opposite the campus’s foundation building, adding a further 12,500 square metres to the existing floor space of 16,000 square metres.

The $100 million project was stage 2 of the campus construction, which has totalled $240 million so far.

“These new buildings will provide students with more areas to study, collaborate and socialise,” Professor Bartlett said.

“Ever since we decided to build our University campus here, we have had an ambitious vision for a comprehensive modern campus, and it’s wonderful seeing that come to life.” 
The modern buildings include additional teaching and learning spaces, research laboratories, an industry hub and event space, student gym and sports hall, sports science facility, student social spaces, an Indigenous engagement and success space, outdoor spaces and amenities as well as multi-level parking.

Scientists based at the campus will continue their local research from the new state-of-the-art laboratories.

This includes Dr Dominique Potvin, whose animal ecology research focuses often on local birdlife including the famous white ibis, and Dr Ben Gilby whose coastal and marine research includes the restoration of oyster reefs. 

Other research being conducted at the campus includes partnering with City of Moreton Bay building entrepreneurial talent in Moreton Bay, resilience building, economic development and building reputation in this space.

Professor Bartlett said that with 4,700 current students studying close to 90 programs at Moreton Bay, the campus growth had exceeded expectations.

“There was enormous demand for a university campus at Moreton Bay before UniSC arrived, and we continue to see many non-school leavers enrolling as well as the traditional school leaver cohort from local secondary schools,” Professor Bartlett said.

Students are rating their experience highly, with UniSC rated the best public university in Queensland and among the nation’s top two in the Student Experience Survey.  

And while 70 percent of students from Moreton Bay, a further 17 percent of students are from Brisbane, proving that the campus also continues to attract students from further afield.

Professor Bartlett said the campus was closely aligned with the City of Moreton Bay plans for growth and prosperity, and a projected population increase to 700,000 in 20 years.

“We have worked closely with Council, including to develop on-campus opportunities for business leaders to connect with researchers, industry experts and a pipeline of skilled graduates so they can innovate and build their businesses with new skills and knowledge,” she said.

This includes a co-working space that opened on campus in February 2024 and an event space specifically designed to host external groups on campus.

“We are ensuring we align graduates with growth industries in Moreton Bay and beyond and connecting our researchers with the community to meet local and global challenges,” Professor Bartlett said.

Particularly popular programs at UniSC Moreton Bay include Nursing Science, Primary Education, Social Work, Biomedical Science and the university’s introductory program Tertiary Preparation Pathway.

“The statistics on first in family, Indigenous enrolment and enrolment of those with an identified disability demonstrates the success of our vision to create accessible pathways to education and an inclusive learning environment,” Professor Bartlett said.

With a rapidly growing population, City of Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery welcomed the expansion of the UniSC campus at Petrie.
“Over 40% of students at the Moreton Bay campus are the first in their family to study and 70% are Moreton Bay residents; we know this demand will just grow.
“Not only is this increasingly important for our City, with graduates looking to fill the surging local job market, it further boosts our economy.
“City of Moreton Bay continues to work closely with UniSC to enable local businesses to take advantage of the knowledge and innovation the University brings to the area.
“Co-locating start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators alongside students and researchers is a way for businesses to connect with their future workforce and drive additional opportunities for collaboration.
“These additional research laboratories, teaching and learning spaces, industry hub and student social spaces further enhance the state-of-the-art facilities at UniSC Moreton Bay and represent another significant step for the vision we have for this campus to be a University of choice, especially for local students.” 

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