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Southern Cross Uni numbers jump, led by demand for Early Childhood Education

Student reading to a child


Jessica Nelson
19 April 2023

Southern Cross University has welcomed its largest cohort of new students as it moves completely to a new teaching model based around six-week terms.

With enrolments increasing almost 10 per cent compared to the same time last year, the University has been transitioning to the new format over the last two years. The new learning model – called the Southern Cross Model – delivers a deeper, more engaged learning experience that increases student success, so far delivering an 11 per cent increase in student grades and 16 per cent increase in subject completion rates from 2019-2022.

Senior Manager of Student Management at Southern Cross Uni, Paul Robinson, said the stellar start to Term 1 showed people were continuing to bolster their skills and credentials alongside a strong job market.

“Among new students our most popular course is the Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood) with new student numbers increasing six-fold, showing Southern Cross is the university of choice for international and domestic students pursuing a career in early childhood education and care services,” he said.

“This postgraduate course has skyrocketed in popularity now that international borders are open and students can build on their Bachelor degree to upskill and pursue their career.

“Other popular courses among new students include Bachelor degrees of Education, Nursing and Information Technology as well as our award-winning Preparing for Success Program (PSP) which is a pathway course to University for people who have been away from study for a while or perhaps didn’t finish high school or achieve the required grades but are now ready to pursue university studies.”

Mr Robinson said the most popular course across Southern Cross University, including both existing and commencing students, is now the Bachelor of Education, with the Bachelor of Nursing a close second, followed by the Bachelor of Information Technology, then the Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood) and the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

“Other courses that made the list for biggest increase in equivalent full-time student load include the Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours, Master of Teaching, and the Bachelor of Engineering Systems (Honours) and the Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management,” he said.

With main campuses at the Gold Coast, Northern Rivers and Coffs Harbour, as well as a burgeoning online cohort, Southern Cross is living up to its reputation as a leading young university in teaching and research, after making the top 200 young universities globally in the latest Times Higher Education rankings.

Media contact

Sharlene King, Media Office at Southern Cross University +61 429 661 349 or

The first five years of a child's life are so important from an education and learning point of view, as well as from a social point of view. My name is Kelly. I am the director and early childhood teacher at Laidley Kindergarten. I have been studying with Southern Cross University and I have just finished my honours degree.

SCU provided the programs that I wanted that were accredited and were early childhood focused. So not sort of looking at dual areas, but specifically looking at the area that I wanted to. Our pedagogy is play based. We focus very much on meeting the children where they're at right now and their interests and using those to then support their learning and development over the year.

The most amazing thing with children is when they, they get it, they get this little light bulb moment. So it might be writing their name and from the start of the year to the end of the year, you know, they practice. And you can see the difference between term one and term four, but that proud moment of when they actually get it, I think that's amazing and I think it's really

amazing that they wanna share it with me. That I'm the person that they're going to say, you know, this is what I've done. Look what I've done, and can you tell my mum and dad about this? The whole early childhood industry is moving towards that professionalisation, theoretical side of things, and the practical learning that you do in a university degree really helps to provide you with that much more information to be able to teach, um, in a really quality way for children in the early years.

What children teach you is to wonder, the wonder of everything. It doesn't matter whether it's big or small or you see it every day, or it's the first time you've ever seen it. I think that amazing wonder that they have, the want to learn more and to understand and the why, the why question. I think that's probably what children teach us the most.