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$32 million federal funding boost to Southern Cross University


Brigid Veale
7 December 2011
Southern Cross University has secured $32 million in federal government funding.

The successful bid, against the federal government’s Structural Adjustment Fund, reflects the University’s commitment to create new pathways to higher education for all students throughout its footprint.

A key feature funded through the bid is a state-of-the-art Personal Learning Environment (PLE). The PLE will provide the technology for students to access quality learning experiences, combining online and face to face delivery wherever students are located throughout the University’s footprint. It will provide a standardised level of audio-visual capabilities and multi-location interactive delivery.

The funding will also be used to build the headquarters of the recently announced SCU College, to be constructed at the University’s southern Gold Coast campus at Coolangatta and serving students throughout the University’s footprint, delivering pathway programs via an innovative higher education model in partnership with Gold Coast Institute of TAFE and North Coast TAFE.

“This is an exciting development for the University and for our communities,” said Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee.

“This significant investment in cutting edge technology coupled with new learning sites and TAFE partnerships in New South Wales and Queensland represents a significant advancement in education opportunities for the communities we serve.

“Our innovative approach means more students can aspire to a University education. We will support students who have the ability, but not the level of preparedness to go to University. What we are providing is a highly supportive stepping stone into University for these students,” said Professor Lee.

Professor Lee paid tribute to Janelle Saffin, federal member for Page and University council member, for her support of the bid.

SCU College will be headquartered in a new, purpose-built facility at the southern Gold Coast campus.

It will offer Associate Degrees in a number of key disciplines including business, health, science and arts, through a network of learning centres from Coffs Harbour to the Gold Coast and via distance education. The learning centres will include Murwillumbah, Kingscliff, Casino, Maclean, Grafton, and Ballina.

Students successfully completing their Associate Degrees through SCU College will articulate seamlessly into the University’s degree programs.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Bill MacGillivray, who has been leading the development of SCU College, said recruitment was under way for a College Director and it was anticipated the first courses would be available from Session 2, 2012, starting in June.

“We have had strong community support for this initiative. We are committed to providing innovative ways for people who have the aptitude and ability to undertake higher education, to gain access to the benefits that university qualifications bring to their lives and the lives of their families,” Professor MacGillivray said.

Photo: Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee.