Southern Cross University reshapes its future

Published 15 February 2021
SCU Gold Coast campus exterior

A series of reforms designed to reshape the future of Southern Cross University will go live today.

After six months of consultation and planning, Southern Cross from today will feature:

  • A University structure centred on four new faculties
  • Much closer alignment of teaching and research
  • An emphasis on small-group face-to-face learning
  • Any remaining large-scale lectures moving to online only
  • More flexible and adaptive study periods for students (expanding progressively over the next two years)
  • Ability for students to undertake majors in disciplines outside of their main degree
  • Moving very small classes to online only


The program of reform – known as TransformSCU – is designed to not only ensure the University survives the impacts of COVID-19, but to thrive long into the future.

The new academic Faculties which will showcase the best of Southern Cross are:

  • Health
  • Science and Engineering
  • Education
  • Business, Law and Arts

Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin said the changes were part of an ambitious program of continuous improvement, particularly aimed at ensuring the very best student experience.

 “Taken together, these changes will strengthen the University, help us drive greater quality and consistency, enhance our sustainability and equip us to meet the challenges of the future with greater confidence and agility,” Professor Carlin said.

The flexible study periods will enable students to undertake one or two subjects every six to eight weeks, delivering a better learning experience along with the capability to scale their study according to their life needs. These include a number of course offerings from SCU College, the Faculty of Business Law & Arts and the Faculty of Science & Engineering which will be delivered via the new model from this academic year onwards.

Southern Cross is home to about 20,000 students and has three main campuses at Lismore in the Northern Rivers, Coffs Harbour and on the Gold Coast.

Each of the new faculties will be headed by an Executive Dean who will oversee both teaching and research.

Health Faculty Executive Dean, Professor Julie Jomeen, said Southern Cross is “here to deliver the healthcare workforce of the future and be part of workforce solutions for the region, nationally and globally.”

Science and Engineering Faculty Executive Dean, Professor Nick Ashbolt, said the new structure allowed Southern Cross to make “significant changes in the nature of the curricula to make it easier for students and for academics to focus on their teaching and on their research”

Education Faculty Executive Dean, Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles said “we've been known as an outstanding faculty for decades, but going forward we're shifting our gaze, growing bigger, and expanding all of our programs internationally.”

Business, Law and Arts Faculty Executive Dean, Professor Robin Stonecash, said the new faculty was “a really unique combination to get students to think about things, to think in a different way, to think about things responsibly.”

Today marks the first day of the new structure for Southern Cross, following on from its return to graduation ceremonies on the weekend and just in time for the start of 2021 Orientation next week. Classes start March 1.

Media contact: Charles Wood 0407 794 744 scumedia@scu.edu.au