Students to benefit as the UQ campus becomes USQ
IT'S the end of an era for one university and the start of something new for another.
The University of Southern Queensland is poised to take over the University of Queensland's Ipswich campus.
An in-principle agreement has been reached between the two universities, with a view to increasing tertiary education opportunities in our region.
If the decision passes through all legal and relevant approval stages, USQ should take possession of the campus from early January.
UQ vice chancellor Professor Peter Høj said the transfer would be a boost to the area.
Prof Høj said it would introduce a greater range of degree and tertiary preparatory offerings.
He said UQ Ipswich students and staff would be supported throughout the transition.
"There will be a two-year teach-out period during which UQ will continue to have access to the campus to enable students to complete their UQ degrees," he said.
"This is provided they complete their studies by the end of 2016."
UQ has occupied the Ipswich campus since 1999.
Prof Høj said UQ would continue to have a significant presence on campus, with intentions to continue key features, such as the UQ Health Care GP superclinic.
USQ vice chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said the transfer was an exciting development which cemented USQ's position as the university of the western corridor.
"It's one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, with emerging communities like Springfield and Ripley Valley," she said.
"Our presence in Ipswich looks towards the future and how we can facilitate the generations of students to come."
Prof Thomas said the transfer allowed USQ programs to expand and collaborate with local industry and business to meet education needs.
USQ has already invested more than $100 million into its Springfield campus which currently enrols about 2500 students.
Prof Thomas said the Ipswich campus would complement USQ Springfield, rather than compete with it.
"The future focus for Ipswich will be about strengthening the use of the campus," she said.
"This will be achieved by broadening enrolments, diversifying program choice and ensuring the range of programs available meets the employability needs of local business and the industry."
UQ Union president Josh Milroy said he was pleased current UQ students were able to finish their studies in Ipswich.