USQ Fraser Coast students Michael Murphy (left) and Rick Eberts get ready for the year ahead.
USQ Fraser Coast students Michael Murphy (left) and Rick Eberts get ready for the year ahead.

USQ students enjoy orientation day

THE HAPPIEST of balances may just have been struck at USQ Fraser Coast.

Orientation day at the Old Maryborough Road campus had a youthful flavour like never before yesterday, as the number of school leavers preparing for university life almost matched up with the number of mature aged students.

“It would be nice to have that balance,” Provost Ken Stott said.

About 210 new students filed into the university’s main lecture hall for the orientation information session and welcome, among them Hervey Bay boys Rick Everts and Michael Murphy.

“Pretty good and very handy,” Rick said of the university-on-his-doorstep experience.

“I wanted to go wherever was closest that had what I wanted to do.”

He wants to study astrophysics and while the bulk of the Hervey Bay science faculty is made up by nursing students, Rick, 19, also gets to take the first steps along his student journey – a journey that could take nine years.

Michael Murphy, 19, from Urangan is not as certain about the direction of his future, so studying philosophy at USQ is probably not a bad idea.

“I’m not sure why. It’s something to do. It’s a step up from working at Woolworths,” he said.

About 94 per cent of the campus’s 700 students will be from either Hervey Bay or Maryborough. The university enrolled 60 students when it opened its campus gates in 1997.

“We’re still operating as a conventional university campus but we’re also working to give students more flexibility to enhance their learning,” Professor Stott said.

The innovations include the capacity for high quality distance learning and supporting these students in smaller tutorials.

The university will offer a number of last-minute course places today and on Friday after USQ extended the application window by a week.



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