28 August 2015
The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) are currently in discussions to enable the transfer of the USQ Fraser Coast Campus to USC to increase tertiary education opportunities in the region.
If all agreements are reached, and the proposed transfer passes through all other legal and relevant approvals, the transfer of the USQ Fraser Coast Campus to USC will occur over coming months with the plan being for USC to take up possession from February 1, 2016, in time for a Semester One student intake.
USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said the proposed transfer is motivated by a desire to strengthen access to higher education in the region and to reflect the strategic objectives of each university.
“USQ and USC have been discussing options for the USQ Fraser Coast Campus, and this collaborative approach to transfer the campus to USC will be a boost to the area,” Professor Thomas said.
“USQ and USC expect that the proposed transfer will sustain and grow the use of the campus to the benefit of the Wide Bay region. USC’s proactive, regionally focused approach to degree offerings will enable the campus to continue to grow to meet the skills needs of business, industry and the community.”
“USQ and USC have different strategic goals and strengths. This proposal allows both universities to concentrate on their strengths which benefit students, the community and Queensland as a whole,” Professor Thomas said.
“Both universities are still working through the details of a transition and it is too early to determine what resourcing arrangements will be needed and what new and continuing programs will be offered.”
Professor Thomas said, “USQ is committed to ensuring USQ Fraser Coast students and staff are kept fully informed and provided with strong support and comprehensive advice throughout the process.”
University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Hill said the two universities have been in discussions over the past few months.
“We’re committed to develop enduring new pathways into higher education for those living within the catchment area of the Fraser Coast campus,” Professor Hill said.
“It is proposed that USQ will seek endorsement approval from the Fraser Coast Regional Council to transfer the leases for buildings and facilities at the campus to USC, allowing programs to be put in place to address the workforce and skills needs of the Wide Bay region. These programs will provide students with career options and skills that are highly valued in the workplace.”
Professor Hill said a USC campus at Hervey Bay would provide strong synergies with the university’s main campus at Sippy Downs as well as its Gympie campus and Fraser Island study centre and would allow USC to grow and increase higher education opportunities in the region.
“The future focus for the Fraser Coast campus will be about strengthening its offerings by broadening enrolments, diversifying program choice and ensuring the range of programs available through the campus continues to meet the employability needs of local business and industry,” he said.
“USC is keen to work with future students and employers in the region to determine which courses are needed now, as well as looking ahead to the study programs the region will need for its future development.”