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Student numbers smash forecasts

Posted: 8am 19 Feb 2021

USC Moreton Bay, Queensland's newest university based at Petrie, will soon have 3000 students enrolled, far more than originally forecast for its second year.

Despite the impacts of COVID-19 on international student numbers, the influx of domestic students at USC Moreton Bay has helped a 10 percent enrolment increase overall for USC, which has campuses from Brisbane to the Fraser Coast.

USC Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett says the campus was going from strength to strength, with USC become the university of choice for the region’s residents.

Fast growing

“The plan was for Moreton Bay to have 2400 enrolments this year and it has already reached 3000,” Professor Bartlett says.

Orientation activities will be held at USC Moreton Bay next week (February 24-25) to welcome 1400 new students for Semester 1, 2021 which starts on Monday March 1.

Professor Bartlett said after just one year of having a campus at Moreton Bay, USC now had the highest market share of QTAC first preferences for the region.

Bright future

“USC recently became the university of choice for first preferences in Moreton Bay and it’s a sign of things to come as people in the regions embrace the opportunity to study closer to home,” she says.

“It’s good news for the economy here too. The study and research programs at the Moreton Bay campus have been tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of this region to help build capacity and drive growth.

“We also know that the vast majority of graduates from here are likely to stay and work in the region.

Domestic focus

Professor Bartlett said USC’s growth could be attributed to more than just a new campus.

“It is also due to USC’s ongoing focus on domestic students and lower exposure to the international market, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on people’s career planning,” she said.

“The pandemic has led to an increased interest in university study from school leavers, who otherwise might have travelled overseas, but also from non-school-leavers – up almost seven percent this year – who may be looking to change careers.

“For example, our health-related enrolments are up 30 percent on this time last year, which is likely due to the increased certainty of health careers during a pandemic.”

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