QUT students won't lose credits with takeover
THE University of the Sunshine Coast vice-chancellor Greg Hill has confirmed it will continue and credit all existing courses when it takes over the Queensland University of Technology Caboolture campus.
The governing Councils of QUT and USC have agreed to move towards a transfer of QUT's 1000 student-strong Caboolture campus to USC from January 1, 2018.
It comes after USC recently received federal funding for its Petrie campus expansion at the old Paper Mill site, which is due to open in 2020.
Both universities said they are committed to the future of higher education in the Caboolture region, and are resolved to act in the best interests of students, staff and the community.
"Some people have got fears that the campus will close down when Petrie opens in 2020, but it won't be the case,” Mr Hill said.
"We have no intention of reducing the provision of courses ... there's a full nursing degree, and education degree and we'll continue those.”
Mr Hill said rumours that students would lose credit for classes completed at the QUT were false.
"That's a load of rubbish. With something like this, our primary interest is students,” he said.
"If they want to stay with QUT, that's fine. For example, students who are now in second year, they will have to graduate with QUT degree.
"We're negotiating with QUT and we expect those students to stay at Caboolture. It might mean USC will have to teach QUT courses, but it'll certainly not come as a disadvantage students ... from 2018 they will be with USC.”
The option to take over the QUT campus only eventuated a couple weeks ago when USC was approached by QUT and the decision was made public on Thursday.
Mr Hill said the biggest obstacle to be ready by January 2018 would be filling vacant staff positions, should QUT lecturers decide not to stay at the campus.
But he was confident the transition would be smooth after doing a similar take over at the 800 student-strong University of Southern Queensland Hervey Bay campus.
"Given we'll need to teach the students from now, our preference is that those (QUT teachers) came across with us (to USC), and if they don't want to then they'd have to work that out with QUT,” he said. "We're confident we can do it; we did exactly the same thing with the USQ Hervey Bay campus for 2016.”
USC's Sippy Downs campus currently takes in 1500 students from the Moreton Bay Regional Council region and 400 of those are from Caboolture.