A NEW era in education on the Fraser Coast has begun, with the University of Sunshine Coast officially planting a footprint in Hervey Bay.
On a humid Hervey Bay Monday, USC acting vice-chancellor Birgit Lohmann received the keys to the University of Southern Queensland campus.
"We're really excited, we hope the students are excited and we hope our new staff are excited," she said.
Prof Lohmann said the merger between the two universities had been smooth and about "two thirds" of staff had elected to join USC from USQ.
USQ senior deputy vice-chancellor Janet Verbyla wished USC the "best of success" for the new campus and reminded the community USQ would still remain on the Fraser Coast.
"We might be leaving the campus but not the region" she said, referring to the USQ Hub in Maryborough.
Early enrolment and campus establishment concerns were in the back of Prof Lohmann's mind at the formal handover yesterday.
"We're expecting on the first day of semester about 300 students studying with us," she said.
" It will take some time to build because it takes time to build a cohort"
The key handover signalled the end of the University of Southern Queensland's 18-year ownership of the Hervey Bay campus.
Along with most USQ courses, USC will offer a new Bachelor of Sport Studies.
The USC's orientation day will be held on February 19.