March 9, 2020. The University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC) officially opens its Moreton Bay campus, just two days before the COVID-19 pandemic is declared.
Despite the extraordinary challenges brought on by the COVID-19 lockdowns, enrolments at UniSC’s newest campus rise steadily, its student body growing faster than predicted.
This cements UniSC’s belief in the Moreton Bay region as a place of untapped potential, a place thirsty for learning.
Fast forward to April 2022, two years since UniSC Moreton Bay welcomed its first cohort.
More than 120 students cross the stage to receive degrees and certificates in front of a crowd of almost 500 guests.
It’s a celebration of growth, personal growth for graduates and physical growth for UniSC’s Moreton Bay campus, with a Stage Two expansion announced to meet the demands of a rising student population as well as extended research and academic activities.
And now, February 2023. UniSC Moreton Bay’s campus has 4090 students enrolled.
Three new buildings
Stage Two construction is well underway – due to be completed this year – adding three new buildings opposite the campus’s impressive foundation building, with a further 12,500 square metres for teaching, research, sporting activity and socialising.
UniSC is growing alongside the Moreton Bay region – which faces a 20-year economic and population boom.
UniSC Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett says with a projected population increase to 700,000 in 20 years, the opportunity to educate and equip people with the necessary skills to meet industry gaps is enormous.
“Our enrolments have exceeded expectations, largely due to pent-up demand before a university campus arrived, which is why we are seeing such a high number of non-school leavers enrolling,” Professor Bartlett says.
“We have not only been able to partner with businesses in the region to meet their needs and support rapid workforce growth, but also to invite businesses to co-locate with us at The Mill site in Petrie, a Priority Development Area.”
Value for the community
With seven out of 10 students who study in a region staying in that region to work, the immense value UniSC graduates contribute back to their local communities cannot be underestimated.
And as UniSC continues to grow alongside the community, the ways in which students, business and industry partners can grow together are more opportune than ever.
Growth continues at UniSC Moreton Bay campus, with the federal government announcing it will fund an additional 120 student places addressing national skills shortage areas of engineering, education and health from 2024.
“I look forward to welcoming the additional students in 2024 and to continuing our contribution towards eliminating or reducing barriers to participation in higher education in our regions,” Professor Bartlett said.
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