USQ and ANU form partnership
THE University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has joined forces with the Australian National University (ANU) in a union that academics hope will boost opportunities for Ipswich people with uni prospects.
USQ’s Springfield campus was the stage of last week’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions, signalling a beginning to a partnership in teaching, research and enrolment.
While Canberra’s ANU is recognised as the nation’s major research institution, USQ would bring its expertise in online distance education to the table, according to Vice-Chancellor Bill Lovegrove.
“We want to bring those two strengths together to benefit students,” Mr Lovegrove said.
“We are going to increase opportunities for students to work across both universities, eventually to take on what they call jointly-badged degrees.
“There will be a range of opportunities for students and we will have new degrees developed across the two universities.”
A range of collaborative initiatives will cover degrees in business, law, teacher education, science and climate change.
There are already five USQ students researching in Canberra over summer and three ANU students at USQ.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Ian Chubb said the union would help his institution gain wider recognition and help provide a chance for people who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to study at university level.
“If the Federal Government has a national policy to achieve a higher average of participation in university courses than the national university should be playing its part in helping them deliver on it,” Mr Chubb said.
“We have a pathway into commerce ready to go. We have some USQ subjects in our masters’ degrees – in our smorgasbord of courses – and our students can take those subjects off campus.”
Mr Chubb said the two universities would try to construct programs so that Ipswich students could complete a substantial part of their degree at the Springfield campus before travelling down the Canberra to complete studies.
He said this could save students thousands of dollars while still giving them a pathway into ANU.
“I’m confident that when some of the bills get through Federal Parliament, when common sense prevails, that we can support students who come from somewhere else to study – that the Government will have a policy that will support students who move away from home,” he said.
Mr Chubb said he was pleasantly surprised by the facilities at Springfield.
“I didn’t have in my mind’s eye what I saw today,” he said.
“I’m sure it will grow because it is in a growth corridor and there is a community here that I’m sure will increasingly be thirsty for higher education.”