University of the Sunshine Coast

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University of the Sunshine Coast
University of the Sunshine Coast - 2.svg
Established 1994
Type Public
Chancellor John Dobson OAM
Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill
Academic staff 722 (full-time equivalent excluding casual staff, as at 31 March 2013)
Students 8,904 (includes international and non-award students, as of Semester 1 2013)
Location Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Campus Urban
Affiliations Regional Universities Network
Website http://www.usc.edu.au/

The University of the Sunshine Coast is a public university based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Having opened in 1996 as the Sunshine Coast University College with 524 students, it was renamed the University of the Sunshine Coast in 1999. As at Semester 1 2013 the student body was ~8,900. About 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Brisbane, the campus is a 100 hectare flora and fauna reserve, adjoining the Mooloolah River National Park.

Campus Life living alongside Australian fauna (kangaroos)

Undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework and higher degree by research) programs are offered in both faculties (Arts and Business; Science, Health, Education and Engineering), with the majority of the university's research focussed in two main areas, sustainability and regional engagement. The university also offers dual degree programs in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE. Study areas are divided into seven disciplines: Business and Information Technology, Communication and Design, Education, Health, Humanities and Social Sciences, Law and Science and Engineering. The Law discipline area is under development, with the first intake to be Semester 1, 2014

The university is listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.

History[edit]

The first discussions about a university for the Sunshine Coast region began in 1973. In 1989, the Australian federal government approved its establishment. On 1 July 1994 the Queensland Parliament passed the Sunshine Coast University College Act 1994.[1][2]

The university was established in 1994 and opened in 1996, as the Sunshine Coast University College. The University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998[3] was passed in Queensland Parliament on 19 November of that year, legislating the independent status of the university. The university changed to its current name of the University of the Sunshine Coast in 1999. It was created by the Australian government to serve the growing population of the Sunshine Coast region, north of Brisbane, in Queensland. The University of the Sunshine Coast is the first greenfields university established in Australia since 1971.[citation needed]

Planning President Professor Paul Thomas AM became the inaugural Vice-Chancellor on 1 January 1996 with John Dobson OAM, who had been a University Council member since 1998, appointed Chancellor in March 2007, filling the role vacated by pastoralist Ian Kennedy AO. Kennedy had been Chancellor for the previous nine years. Dobson was formally installed as Chancellor by the then Governor of Queensland, Quentin Bryce, on 8 May 2007.

Thomas retired as Vice-Chancellor and President in July 2010, effective from December 2010. Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Greg Hill was announced as his successor, taking on the roles from 2011.

The student body has grown consistently since the university opened in 1996 with an intake of 524 students. At the 2012 semester 1 census, the university had 8,139 students (an increase of 4.8% on 2011).[4]

The university introduced paid parking at its Sippy Downs campus from February 2013, a move that garnered a negative response from some students and staff. Of the university's 2,400 parking spaces, approximately 450 (located 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the centre of campus) remain as free parking.

Rankings[edit]

Since 2010, USC has been the only public institution in Queensland to receive five stars for teaching quality in the independently ranked Hobson's Good Universities Guide. In the 2010 edition of the guide, the university also earned five stars for staff qualifications and graduate's satisfaction with the generic skills they learned while studying.[5][needs update]

In the 2011 edition, the university also earned five stars for graduate satisfaction with the generic skills learned while studying, and four stars for access by equity groups, Indigenous enrolments, gender balance, and for graduates’ satisfaction with their overall university experience.[6] However, the university only received one star for research grants, research intensity, toughness to get in, cultural diversity of the student body, success in getting a job, graduate starting salary and positive graduate outcomes.[7][needs update]

The 2012 edition of the guide, released in August 2011, also awarded the university five stars for its graduates’ satisfaction with the generic skills they gained while at university, and for Indigenous participation. The university scored four stars for access by equity groups, gender balance, and for graduates’ satisfaction with their overall university experience. Its ratings for graduates’ satisfaction also remained the highest awarded to any public university in Queensland.[8]

In 2007 the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) audited USC as part of their assessment of all Australian universities. AUQA is a national agency that operates independently of governments and the higher education sector. The report commended USC for "its significant achievements since inception" and awarded USC commendations for the quality of the university's learning and teaching, student support services, workplace integrated learning program and degree approval process. The Headstart Program - a program allowing Year 11 and 12 school students to study one or more courses at the University, while still completing secondary school - and Global Opportunities Program - the University's study abroad were also acknowledged in the assessment.[9]

Graduates have consistently given the university top marks for educational experience, with a 92 percent satisfaction rating in the 2007 Course Experience Questionnaire.[10][needs update]

The university's Global Opportunities Program received an award from the Queensland Government at the Celebrating International Education and Training Industry Showcase in August 2007[11] for promoting internationalisation.

In March 2008 the university was one of 99 organisations nationally and one of 10 in Queensland to earn an Employer of Choice for Women citation.[12] The citations are awarded annually by the Federal Government's Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA). It has received the citation for six consecutive years to 2010.[13]

Since 2006, the university has been awarded 17 citations from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, recognising outstanding contributions to student learning.[14] Six of the citations were awarded in 2009, with a further six citations awarded in 2010.[15] In 2011, a further five USC staff earned ALTC citations[16]

Campus and locations[edit]

The main University of the Sunshine Coast campus is at Sippy Downs in Queensland, Australia. The university also has teaching facilities in Noosa, and operates an education and research facility at Dilli Village on Fraser Island. The Sippy Downs campus is about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Brisbane. It is a 100-hectare flora and fauna reserve, and borders the Mooloolah River National Park.

The Sippy Downs site was previously a sugar cane farm, at the geographical heart of the Sunshine Coast and its shires, close to the Bruce Highway and other major transport routes.

The buildings on campus have received 30 awards[17] for planning, architecture and construction. In 2000 the university received the Royal Australian Institute of Architects President's Award,[citation needed] and in 1997 the Library was awarded the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings.[citation needed]

All buildings on campus focus on environmentally sustainable design to suit the subtropical climate of the Sunshine Coast. Buildings have been designed for passive lighting and natural ventilation to minimise the use of non-renewable energy.[18][19]

In May 2007, the university opened two new buildings, the A$12 million science building and A$13 million Chancellery. In July 2007, the A$10 million indoor sports stadium was opened by Federal Education, Science and Training Minister Julie Bishop. A year later, Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan opened the A$13 million Health and Sport Centre, which has testing and research laboratories, a gymnasium and public psychology clinic.[20]

In August 2010, construction started on a $5 million semi-industrial shared space facility for engineering and paramedic science students. This opened in May 2011 and has specialised equipment and large, open spaces suitable for medical emergency simulations and a wide variety of engineering tests and experiments. It also has several laboratories and tutorial rooms.[21] Also in August 2010, the construction of a child care centre on campus was announced, which will provide 75 child care spaces from early 2011.[vague][22]

In November 2010, construction started on the university pool complex, which includes a 50m heated Olympic swimming pool for research and community use. The complex was officially opened on 19 October 2011, by Queensland Sport Minister Phil Reeves. Funding for the $2.1 million project was provided by the Queensland State Government, the university, community donations, and through in-kind support.[23]

Art gallery[edit]

The University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery hosts a range of exhibitions focusing on contemporary art and design.

Leonard SABOL, "Between" sculpture with USC Health and Sport Centre in background

The annual exhibition program includes:

  • new media (including computer-based design)
  • photography
  • painting, drawing and sculpture
  • illustration
  • student exhibitions

The Gallery is in the heart of the University campus, with more than half of the annual attendance being educational visitors (USC students and staff, U3A, TAFE, primary and high school students).[24]

University art and sculpture collection[edit]

Since its inception, the University of the Sunshine Coast has worked to develop an art collection focusing on contemporary Australian art with an emphasis on Queensland artists. Many of these works can be viewed throughout the University campus. The University collection includes several sculptures in public spaces on the campus.[25]

The University's collection of contemporary Australian Art includes one of the most significant collections of Western and Central Desert Australian Aboriginal Art on the Sunshine Coast.[26]

Organisation[edit]

In 2012, the faculty structure at the university was revised, from three faculties each with a different number of schools contained therein, to two, each with three schools:

  • Faculty of Arts and Business
    • School of Business
    • School of Communication
    • School of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering
    • School of Health and Sport Sciences
    • School of Nursing and Midwifery
    • School of Science, Education and Engineering

The University Council is the governing body with the Chancellor presiding over Council meetings. The Council has 19 members including the Chancellor drawn from the university staff, student body and wider community.

The Academic Board is the university's senior academic body. It advises the Council concerning teaching, scholarship and research matters, formulates proposals for the academic policies of the university, monitors the academic activities of the university's faculties, and promotes and encourages scholarship and research at the university.

Research[edit]

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s research focus is on regional engagement[vague] and sustainability issues. In 2009, research efforts concentrated on applied genetics in primary production, regional sustainability and the health professions.[citation needed] The university has two core research groups; the GeneCology Research Group and the Sustainability Research Centre and an engagement centre, the Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise.

The Coast Research Database provides open access to the University of the Sunshine Coast's research output. The database ensures the research output of the university is accessible to local, national and international communities.[27]

The university's research centres actively seek grants and funding, with the Sustainability Research Centre securing more than $2 million in funding in 2008, leading to the submission of more than 100 research papers.[citation needed] $1.3 million of that funding was drawn from the CSIRO’s Collaborative Fund. In May 2009, a separate research team secured an AUSAID grant worth more than $500,000.[citation needed]

In June 2011 the university was announced as one of 12 projects to receive Australian government funding under the Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) program. In the period 2011-2014 the university will receive $5.45 million to fund research in water, sustainability, forestry and aquaculture.[28]

Australian Research Council grants[edit]

The university received two Australian Research Council Discovery grants, worth more than $1 million, in the 2012 funding round announced in November 2011:

  • Scott Cummins was awarded a $656,377 ARC Future Fellowship for his study of primordial germ cell migration in perciform fish, titled: "Decoding the rules of fate, attraction and cell migration in perciform fish". The ARC grant will be coupled with Dr Cummins' ARC Discovery Project Grant for $145,000 over 2012 to 2014 for research into snail hypometabolism, enabling him to build a significant team of researchers conducting world-class research in the field of the biological sciences.[citation needed]
  • Roland De Marco, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and joint chief investigator in a project called “New mesoporous materials for use in high temperature proton exchange fuel cell membranes”, gained a three-year ARC Discovery Project grant of $420,000, with $40,000 each year going to support a PhD student at the university. The research involves using synchrotron radiation techniques to develop innovative fuel cell materials with the potential to provide high energy and high stability alcohol fuel cells.[citation needed]

Other 2011 ARC funding:

  • Kate Mounsey won a $375,000 competitive grant for research into the contagious skin infection, scabies, titled: "A porcine model to provide new insights on scabies immunopathology". Her study was one of 277 projects selected from 2,159 applications nationally for funding under the ARC's new Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme. The ARC grant will be coupled with Dr Mounsey's award of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project grant of $483,510 (in collaboration with USC’s Associate Professor Shelley Walton) on a related project over the same timeframe.[citation needed]
  • The university was announced as a partner in three successful ARC Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities grants, involving Cummins (via the University of Queensland), De Marco (via Curtin University) and Senior Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology, Ipek Kurtboke (via the University of Queensland).[citation needed]

Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise[edit]

The Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise (CHASE) undertakes research and related activities in preventative health and rehabilitation, and understanding and enhancing sports performance. Projects include consultancies and tenders, conducting short courses and conferences and contributing to policy debate in areas such as biomechanical assessment, physiological profiling, sports coach education, and the implementation of healthy programs.[29]

GeneCology Research Group[edit]

The GeneCology Research Group operates in the areas of genetics, ecology, genomics and physiology and the interaction between these. The research group researches sustainable production of aquaculture, horticulture and forestry systems, biodiversity conservation and sustainable urban forestry and horticulture.[30]

In 2009, Professor in Aquaculture Biotechnology Abigail Elizur and Associate Professor in Aquaculture Genetics Wayne Knibb were involved in a project that resulted in the first-ever captive spawning of Southern Bluefin Tuna.[31] The project was voted the second most important innovation of the year by Time Magazine, behind NASA's Ares rocket.[32]

Sustainability Research Centre[edit]

The Sustainability Research Centre focuses on sustainable communities and sustainable environments, and the institutions that relate to them. The research focus is based around coastal management, climate change, water management, natural and cultural heritage, innovation, adaptive growth, and community wellbeing.[33]

University-based organisations[edit]

The University of the Sunshine Coast has one subsidiary company – Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast Pty Ltd. At the northern end of the campus, this is the first stage of a planned technology park precinct for Sippy Downs.[34] The Innovation Centre comprises a business incubator for start-up technology businesses and a business accelerator for established technology, knowledge-based, and professional service firms.

The Innovation Centre provides serviced office space, high speed optical fibre Internet connection, business development coaching and support. As of July 2010, the Innovation Centre has supported the start-up and growth of around 80 businesses, mainly in ICT, cleantech and creative industry sectors.[35]

Notable alumni and staff[edit]

Brendan Burkett OAM - Medal winner at four Paralympics

Student accommodation[edit]

Three student accommodation complexes are next to the campus in Chancellor Park. Varsity Apartments, UniCentral and The Village are privately owned and operated. All are within walking distance of the campus, linked by pedestrian pathways.

Each accommodation complex has furnished apartments, some with Internet connection. The general layout in an apartment is a shared kitchen and living room, with four single bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and toilet. The complexes are gated and have barbecues, pools and outdoor sports courts (such as tennis/basketball and volleyball).[39][40][41]

Public transport[edit]

University of the Sunshine Coast is serviced by TransLink bus routes, operated by Sunbus. Services depart to Caloundra, Nambour, Maroochydore and Kawana, with connecting services to Noosa at Maroochydore's Sunshine Plaza interchange, and connecting to rail services at Landsborough Station. Services enter and depart from the new bus station via the Green Link.[42]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Establishment of the University of the Sunshine Coast[dead link]
  2. ^ Sunshine Coast University College Act 1994, retrieved 2009-05-25 
  3. ^ University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998, retrieved 2009-05-25 
  4. ^ "Key statistics". Usc.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  5. ^ USC gains top marks for teaching quality[dubious ]
  6. ^ USC gains five stars for teaching quality[dubious ]
  7. ^ "How Sunshine Coast rates and compares". Gooduniguide.com.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  8. ^ USC gains five stars for teaching[dubious ]
  9. ^ Australian Universities Quality Agency Audit 2007 - USC
  10. ^ 2007 Course Experience Questionnaire, conducted by Graduate Careers Australia - Overall Satisfaction Index, broad agreement[vague]
  11. ^ Department of the Premier and Cabinet - 2007 Industry Showcase[dead link]
  12. ^ 2008 Employer of Choice for Women list[dead link]
  13. ^ 2010 Employer of Choice for Women list[dead link]
  14. ^ "Office for Learning and Teaching | Welcome". Altc.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  15. ^ "Office for Learning and Teaching | Welcome". Altc.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  16. ^ "Office for Learning and Teaching | Welcome". Altc.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  17. ^ Architecture awards[dubious ]
  18. ^ "Australian Institute of Architects - University of the Sunshine Coast Building H". Architecture.com.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  19. ^ "University of the Sunshine Coast Chancellery". Architectus. 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  20. ^ Milestones 2007-2008[dead link]
  21. ^ "Boost for engineering, paramedic science". Usc.edu.au. 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  22. ^ "Childcare centre to be built at USC campus". Usc.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  23. ^ "Minister to launch USC pool construction". Usc.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  24. ^ USC Art Gallery Retrieved 13 Dec 2011
  25. ^ USC Art and Sculpture Retrieved 13 Dec 2011
  26. ^ Western and Central Desert Australian Aboriginal Art on the Sunshine Coast Retrieved 13 Dec 2011.[dubious ]
  27. ^ "Coast Research Database". Research.usc.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  28. ^ USC receives $5.45 million to boost research[dubious ]
  29. ^ The Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise[dead link]
  30. ^ "The GeneCology Research Group". Usc.edu.au. 2013-09-10. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  31. ^ "USC research features in Time Magazine". Usc.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  32. ^ iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page (2009-11-12). "The Tank-Bred Tuna - The 50 Best Inventions of 2009". Time.com. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  33. ^ "The Sustainability Research Centre". Usc.edu.au. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  34. ^ Sunshine Coast Regional Council current projects - Sunshine Coast Business and Technology Precinct, retrieved 25 May 2009 
  35. ^ Innovation Centre - companies[dubious ]
  36. ^ Associate Professor Gary Crew Retrieved 12 January 2012
  37. ^ "Queensland : Winners 2005, Young Achiever Awards". Awards Australia. 2005. Retrieved 11 Jan 2012. 
  38. ^ [1] Kristy Munroe - Surf Lifesaving Ironwoman
  39. ^ "Apartments". Varsity Apartments. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  40. ^ Apply Now. "Student Accommodation Facilities". UniCentral. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  41. ^ "Accommodation". The Village. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  42. ^ About the University of the Sunshine Coast bus station and green link[dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°43′01″S 153°03′44″E / 26.71694°S 153.06222°E / -26.71694; 153.06222