UniSC campus expansion soon to be revealed

Published 9:00am 2 December 2023

UniSC campus expansion soon to be revealed
Words by Jodie Powell

As Moreton Bay grows, so too does its university – with a major expansion soon to be unveiled.

Three new buildings are due to open at the University of the Sunshine Coast Moreton Bay campus early next year, following swift growth since the campus opened in 2020.

The new buildings will feature additional teaching and learning spaces, research laboratories, an industry hub/event space, a student gym and sports hall, a sport science facility, a student breakout space, outdoor spaces and multi-level car parking.

UniSC Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett says there are more than 4700 students studying almost 90 programs at the Moreton Bay campus.

Working locally

“When these students graduate, they will be in a strong position to take advantage of the huge range of opportunities available in a growing city,” Professor Bartlett says.

“We know that seven in 10 graduates who study in the regions stay in the regions, so we expect many of the students graduating from the Moreton Bay campus will continue to live and work locally.

“Some of the most popular programs include Nursing Science, Primary Education, Social Work and Biomedical Science, as well as the Tertiary Preparation Pathway, which is a bridging program to university study.

“As well as this, we are delivering programs to meet industry needs in Moreton Bay, such as the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics), which was created for this campus because employers in the area are specifically asking for these skills.”

Meeting skills needs

With Moreton Bay’s population projected to increase to 700,000 in 20 years, UniSC saw enormous opportunity to educate and equip people with the necessary skills to meet industry gaps.

“We are also working closely with the City of Moreton Bay to activate The Mill site and build a place where students, researchers and industry leaders can co-locate and collaborate,” Professor Bartlett says.

“Students will be able to benefit from those connections, opportunities for work-integrated learning and to gain employment before graduation so they can earn while they learn.”

The Moreton Bay campus opened in 2020 and, despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, enrolments have exceeded expectations year on year.

“Forty percent of our students at Moreton Bay are the first in their family to study at university, as well as 50 percent of those at our Caboolture campus – which is a strong indication of how a university is offering new opportunities to the community,” Professor Bartlett says.

“And with historically low tertiary participation rates in Moreton Bay, we know that UniSC is filling a significant need for those with the ambition to achieve a university education without leaving their region.”

Satisfied students

University participation rates in Moreton Bay rose to 11.4 percent, up from 10.7 per cent in 2016, while state and national rates dropped slightly.

Students recently rated UniSC as Queensland’s top public university for student satisfaction. It outshone the national average across skills development, learner engagement, teaching quality, student support and learning resources.

UniSC was also the leading Queensland university for “overall impact” in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, and topped the state for impact across five United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Life Below Water and Life on Land.

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