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Australia's best-kept education secret revealed on the Gold Coast


Sharlene King
13 August 2017

After years of attracting students via word-of-mouth, Southern Cross University has decided to hold its first Open Days in more than a decade - and the first at its Gold Coast campus; lifting a veil on one of the best-kept secrets in Australian higher education.

Extraordinary opportunities for students to scuba dive, fly drones or to immerse themselves in world-class practical labs with a beach view has led to Southern Cross becoming one of the fastest-growing universities on the Gold Coast, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said.

“With a host of new courses, a new state-of-the-art learning facility on the Gold Coast campus and new programs in train to support thousands more students onto campus, it’s time to let prospective students across Australia know what Southern Cross has to offer,” said Professor Shoemaker.

“There is no University in Australia right now that is more exciting to be a part of than Southern Cross.

“We are developing courses that can’t be found at many other universities and are introducing a unique new teaching calendar, giving students opportunities to speed up or slow down their study schedule so it suits them.

“We don’t know of any other universities in Australia that have gone a decade without an Open Day and at a time when we are transforming the value that students can get from a degree, it is high time we started letting people know about the education and research underway on our campuses.”

The University’s Gold Coast Campus, adjacent to Gold Coast International Airport and within walking distance of world famous Kirra Beach, will open its doors to the public from 10am-3pm on Sunday 13 August, followed by Lismore Campus on 20 August and Coffs Harbour Campus including the internationally-renowned National Marine Science Centre on 27 August. 

“Southern Cross has been named in the top 50 of Generation Y universities by Times Higher Education, and has nine areas of research ranked well above world standard – the highest possible ranking,” Professor Shoemaker said. 

The University’s new streamlined academic year transforms opportunities for students, said Professor Shoemaker: “We are the first in the country to have a trimester calendar which then divides exactly into 6x6 week teaching periods, empowering our students to speed up or slow down their studies, on-campus or online”.

Building on Southern Cross University’s world-class research, the University is already seeing strong interest in many new degrees, including the new Engineering Degree in Coastal Systems Management. 

“It addresses real-life climate, environmental and flood issues in a ‘living laboratory’ where rivers meet the sea. There is nowhere else in Australia where you can do this special degree,” Professor Shoemaker said.

The University’s Open Days are an opportunity for prospective students, parents and interested members of the public to tour and get hands on with the University’s world class facilities, including allied health labs, creative arts studios and engineering technology. 

Visitors wanting to find out more or develop their own personalised Open Day schedule can visit for more information.