OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: USQ paramedicine student Jade Ellen.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: USQ paramedicine student Jade Ellen. Cordell Richardson

Paramedic student shows uni not just for schoolies

USQ Ipswich will hold its annual Open Day today from 10am and encourages prospective students of all ages to attend.

While it is expected most attendees will be school leavers, USQ student ambassador Jade Ellen is keen to encourage learners of all ages to pay a visit.

"Our youngest students are actually 15 years old and still in Year 10, and the oldest is 76. It really is a learning environment for all ages,” she said.

For Ms Ellen, 29, the ability to access her chosen university degree without an ATAR will make a huge difference to her future. The paramedicine student is the first in her family to attend university and said the alternative entry pathways and student support services have made the transition to student life much easier.

"We have relationships officers, and every time I rang them with a problem, they had a solution - there was such an incredible support network,” she said.

Running alongside the Health for Life Festival, USQ Open Day visitors can tour the campus, listen to talks from staff, take part in free health checks and enjoy an interactive cooking demonstration with Masterchef contestant Ben Ungermann.

Ms Ellen was astonished by her orientation week experience, which inspired her to become an pen ay volunteer.

"I wanted to be a part of that network of support for people who felt like I did, like it was too late in life or too long between school and university,” she said.

USQ vice-chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the day would give future students and their families the chance to explore the university's specialised facilities, meet the support team and learn about the future from academics.

"It is important for us to show what resources we have on offer, but also the support systems in place for our diverse and multi-cultural student cohort.”

USQ Ipswich Open Day is today, from 10am to 1pm at USQ Ipswich, 11 Salisbury Rd, Ipswich.



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