The new campus site is controlled by the Gold Coast Airport Corporation.
Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark said the development of a new campus on a greenfield site would provide great opportunities for future growth.
“This is a really exciting step and a vital element in our vision for Southern Cross University. It demonstrates our absolute commitment to providing for the educational needs of the community from the Tweed Shire through to the Gold Coast,” Professor Clark said.
“We have completed a thorough investigation of the alternative sites available, including the expansion of our present site. The site adjacent to the Gold Coast Airport will provide the best opportunity for developing a modern facility to cater for our long-term growth.”
Professor Clark said the University would now enter into negotiations with the Gold Coast Airport Corporation to secure a development site. If negotiations are successful it is expected building could start before the end of this year.
“We have had very positive initial talks with the Gold Coast Airport Corporation and are confident we can move ahead quickly,” Professor Clark said.
The total cost of the first stage of a new campus is expected to be in the vicinity of $20 million and is anticipated to include $4 million in capital funding already allocated from the Federal Government.
Professor Clark said it was hoped the new campus would have its first intake of students in 2009 and would offer courses in areas including allied health, education, business and tourism.
“This is another stage in the University’s overall growth within our region – from Port Macquarie to southern Queensland. Our Lismore campus will continue to be the headquarters for our operations. We are also planning on continued strong growth at the Coffs Harbour campus.”
The existing campus in Brett Street, Tweed Heads, will be transformed into a Graduate College of Management (GCM), including an executive development facility. It will cater for international and domestic students undertaking postgraduate programs.
Professor Mike Evans, the head of the GCM, said the specialised business facility needed room to expand and the existing Tweed Gold Coast campus was a perfect fit for these plans.
“The Graduate College of Management delivers first-class programs, attracting students from around the world,” Professor Evans said.
“Our Master of Business Administration program is ranked in the top three of all Australian universities for graduate satisfaction in the country, and the Doctor of Business Administration is the best in Australia.
“The Graduate College is also becoming a provider of choice for many Australian companies’ executive development programs, combining its strengths in delivering quality learning outcomes, with a pragmatic approach and a delightful location.
“This new phase in the University’s operations will allow us to continue to expand these highly regarded programs.”
Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.