New academic year heralds new era of immersive learning at Southern Cross Uni

Published 6 April 2022
Bachelor of Business and Enterprise student in new academic model group study Lucia Miles (centre) is studying a Bachelor of Business and Enterprise in the Southern Cross Model.

Southern Cross University is about to hit a milestone in its rollout of an innovative study model that delivers better results for students.

Next week marks the end of the first term delivering the new Southern Cross Model immersive teaching program.

Disrupting the traditional 12-week semester, the University now teaches using the new model where the academic year is comprised of six terms, with each term six weeks’ long.

The Southern Cross Model’s shorter teaching term and more focused structure enables students to attain their learning outcomes more quickly.

The results of a pilot program in 2021 found 92.2% of students declared satisfaction with their experience (almost 6% higher than overall University satisfaction rates); and unit pass rates increased by five percentage points to 80.8%.

Almost all degrees are taught under the model this year, with Health and Law courses completing the rollout in 2023.

Professor Thomas Roche, Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality), said the Southern Cross Model was the start of something special.

“The Southern Cross Model is transformative for our students and their learning. This immersive approach to curriculum delivery really helps students make better use of their time as they manage their study, work, family and other commitments. Lectures are a thing of the past - students are engaged in active, interactive and discussion-based learning.

“Students tell us the Southern Cross Model’s focussed learning gives them a greater sense of momentum and motivation as they achieve milestones quickly,” Professor Roche added.

The University developed the Southern Cross Model, in part, to acknowledge that students’ lives in 2022 are busier than ever before as they juggle their learning with work, family, friends, social activity and other commitments.

“It’s just so easy to fit everything in and organise your time. I’m feeling really confident and excited about getting back on campus,” said Lucia Miles, a second year Bachelor of Business and Enterprise student.

“I love the format of the six-week term. I’m the kind of person who enjoys focusing on something then having a break, and then starting again afresh, so I feel really positive about my studies in 2022,” said Bachelor of Education student Finn Moore.

“I know at other universities the subjects can go for three or four months and you can easily lose the focus of all the different units, but in these six-week terms we can focus on writing just two subjects, and then we can take all the relevant things we’ve learned and put it together for the assessments," said international study Davi Martins Algranti who is studying a Bachelor of Business and Enterprise. Read more about Davi's experience.

My name is Lucia Miles and I am studying a Bachelor of Business and Enterprise at Southern Cross University. The new academic model is great it's pretty much a six-week condensed course instead of the longer 12-week course and instead of studying four units you're studying two of your units so it's actually great. I have friends at other universities who are doing the longer courses and they seem really stressed out about it because they can't see the finish line whereas with us we get a two-week holiday every six weeks. It's so manageable it's just a great balance.

So outside of Uni I enjoy hanging out with my friends, going to the beach, it's a really nice balance. I'm also a dancer. I love dancing because first of all it's always been in my life. My mum loves dancing, my grandma and everything. I am really lucky to be able to still be doing that alongside of university. Studying in this academic model gives me time to still fit in everything i want to do. I'm still dancing, I'm still seeing my friends all the time and i am doing well in all my courses.

It's just super manageable and you're just engaged with what your professors are actually talking about. Because of the new way that everything's structured the other two days of my uni learning is done online which is super convenient. All of the tutorials are recorded. You feel really motivated to do the work because it's all online. The modules have been structured so that they're online and they're interactive you can type under the questions and the professors have made little interactive learning games.

In this unit structure you're engaging in deeper learning because you're not skimming over things so you're just completely focused on one unit if you're studying half time and two units if you're studying full-time like me. So I would definitely recommend it. You just feel like you're actually learning a lot more and getting a lot more out of it.

Learn more about the Southern Cross Model at scu.edu.au/southern-cross-model

Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University +61 429 661 349 or scumedia@scu.edu.au