Father and son bond over university study - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Father and son bond over university study

23 Jul 2019

Embarking on a career change and university pathway study at 60 years of age is not so daunting when your son is your study partner, according to one of USC’s newest students.

Ken Bundesen and his 18-year-old son Matthew Bundesen are among more than 160 new students starting study mid-year at USC’s Fraser Coast campus as Semester 2 gets underway this week.

“I’ve always wanted to go to university and it was a case of deciding to really get out of my comfort zone,” said Ken, a former Australian Navy writer who has worked as a payroll officer and as a Centrelink call centre operator in recent years.

“Being able to study with Matthew is a huge incentive as I can help and encourage him, and he can do the same for me,” he said.

This week the pair who live on a hobby farm at Sunshine Acres are attending their first lectures and tutorials for USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) program, which equips students with skills, knowledge and qualifications to gain entry to a degree program.

Ken plans to expand on his interest in climate change and enrol in a Bachelor of Environmental Science while Matthew wants to complete a Business degree, specialising in Management.

“We are excited about starting at USC together,” said Matthew, who gained a Certificate 3 in Retail and Hospitality after leaving Urangan State High School in Year 11 and is working as a pizza delivery driver.

“If anything, it will be like a bonding session for us, which we don’t really get to do so much nowadays,” he said.

Ken and Matthew will not have to look outside the family home if they need some added support and advice with their studies.

Ken’s other son, 21-year-old Nicholas, completed TPP last semester and will start a Bachelor of Nursing Science at the Fraser Coast campus in Semester 1 next year.

“We will go from having no-one in the family with a degree to hopefully having three enrolled in degree programs at the same campus next year,” Ken said.

“Now all I have to do is convince my daughter to study at USC as well and it really will be a family affair,” he said.

The number of new Fraser Coast students opting to start their studies mid-year has taken the total number currently enrolled at USC’s campus in Hervey Bay to about 650.

Father and son Ken and Matthew Bundesen are studying TPP together at USC Fraser Coast

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