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More students, more space as USC Gympie begins new year

17 Feb 2020

An increase in student enrolments and a brand new study space have set up an exciting start to the academic year for USC Gympie.

On Wednesday (19 February), USC will help about 150 new students make the best possible start to their university experience by staging a range of social and academic activities at Orientation Day.

USC Gympie’s largest ever intake of new students will take the overall number at the campus to about 320 when Semester 1 officially gets underway on 24 February.

In time for the new semester, USC recently completed a new informal learning space at the Gympie Education Hub.

USC Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Joanne Scott said the space was designed for quiet individual study and group work, with desktop devices wired to USC’s network and high-speed internet to optimise students’ academic experience.

“The start of a new academic year is always a special time on campus, so it is wonderful to be able to begin by offering enhanced study facilities to our new and returning students,” she said.

Gympie Regional Council committed $100,000 towards the informal learning space, which is the first stage of a proposed campus expansion project by USC.

It is located in a former TAFE building leased by the University from the State Government, who contributed $237,000 towards overall building improvements.

Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith said it was a welcome move for residents of the region.

“Anything that can make education more accessible to our local residents is strongly supported by Council,” he said.

“Over time, the expanding USC campus may even attract people from outside the region to move to and study in Gympie, which will bring longer-term benefits to our local economy.”

Nursing Science remains the most popular degree program among new USC Gympie students, and there has been strong growth in Headstart, which allows Year 11 and 12 students to complete university subjects.

Professor Scott encouraged Gympie’s newest university students to join Orientation activities at the campus.

“Orientation is a valuable introduction to university life for students, with essential program information sessions to find out more about their study programs,” she said.

“It is an opportunity to introduce themselves to their lecturers and tutors and learn about the services and support that USC offers to assist with their academic journey.

“Importantly, it’s also a chance to have fun meeting other students, connect with student support services and discover the sporting, social and cultural groups on campus while enjoying live music and a free lunch.”

The Orientation program at USC Gympie will continue Thursday (20 February) with a series of academic and study skills workshops, covering areas such as time and task management, note-taking, assignment analysis and research.

There is still time to apply to study a range of degrees and pathway programs at USC in Semester 1.

— Clare McKay

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