Southern Cross University at a glance

Southern Cross University aims to be a dynamic learning community recognised for distinctive achievements in teaching and research and for playing a leading role in supporting regional development with an international presence.

It is our mission to equip our students to live a life they value and to be effective global citizens. We do this by:

  • Creating inspirational and engaged learning experiences by staff who actively practice scholarship;
  • Extending internationally recognised educational opportunities for our diverse student body, including those from rural and regional communities; and
  • Creating and applying knowledge in partnership with our communities in fields that are regionally relevant and globally significant.

We welcome students from more than 60 countries throughout the world and offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in an inspiring and supportive learning environment. The University has a strong student focus and takes pride in the quality of its lecturers, many of whom are recognised as leaders in their fields.

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After commencing operation first as the Lismore Teachers College, then as the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education, Southern Cross operated as a campus of the University of New England between July 1989 and December 1993 before being constituted under the Southern Cross University Act 1993.

Principal teaching areas

We deliver courses in the principal teaching areas of: 


Research at Southern Cross University concentrates on developing research activities in areas that are regionally relevant and globally significant, in disciplines as diverse as geoscience, plant genetics, cetacean research, health and wellbeing and tourism.

Community engagement

Engaging with communities is at the heart of our strategic plan. Southern Cross University's vision is to be "recognised for enriching our communities through the excellence of our scholarship and the achievements of our graduates".

Our SCU Engagement team is focused on the University's leadership in the sustainable development of the regions within our footprint: Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers and the Southern Gold Coast. This positions the University as a catalyst for regional sustainability and incorporates the need to model sustainable practices across all our activities.