$284,000 grant for USC to boost regional study

MySunshineCoast | December 19, 2014 | University of Sunshine Coast

A new $284,000 grant will enable the University of the Sunshine Coast to lead a project in collaboration with seven other regional universities to find the best ways of delivering state-of-the-art education to students of the future.

Minister for Education Christopher Pyne this week awarded the funding to USC as part of the Australian Government’s efforts to improve teaching in higher education institutions and better meet the needs of students in the 21st century.

Mr Pyne said the grant would help USC improve the experience of students at regional universities through the development of new resources.

USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said the “category one” grants from the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) were prestigious and highly competitive, with only five awarded in this national priority area this year.

“USC’s success in leading this multi-institutional project is further testament to our strong leadership and commitment to advancing learning and teaching outcomes locally, regionally and nationally,” Professor Lohmann said.

It is the first time the University has won an OLT commissioned grant in this area.

The national project will be led by USC Professor Karen Nelson, who is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students), with Kylie Readman, Director of USC’s Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching. Associate Professor Jennifer Rowe will head the USC team.

Professor Nelson said the project, ‘Shaping the 21st century student experience in regional universities’, would discover and explore the unique features of the student experience in regional universities, foreshadow emerging trends and identify practices to engage students in learning relevant to life in this century.

Kawana-based Federal Member for Fisher Mal Brough said the funding was part of the Federal Government’s injection of $5.8 million for the higher education sector.

“The aim is to improve the student experience across all regional universities and assist the institutions to be globally competitive,” he said.  

Nambour-based Senator for Queensland James McGrath said: “The University of the Sunshine Coast is an awesome institution that’s just been going from strength to strength, and it’s great to see it receiving this money.”