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University of Southern Queensland
Motto Per Studia Mens Nova (Latin: "Through study the mind is renewed")
Established 1967
Type Public
Chancellor Mrs Bobbie Brazil
Vice-Chancellor Professor Bill Lovegrove
Staff 1396 total staff
Students 26,174 (2004)
Location Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Campus Urban
Website www.usq.edu.au

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is based in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. The institution was established in 1967[citation needed] as the Queensland Institute of Technology (Darling Downs), in 1971[citation needed] it became the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, and then the University College of Southern Queensland[citation needed] in 1990; and finally USQ in 1992[citation needed].

USQ has a substantial campus in Hervey Bay[citation needed] (Fraser Coast Campus) to the north of Brisbane, and has recently established a new campus at Springfield[citation needed] in Brisbane's outer suburbs (2006).

The University of Southern Queensland, in partnership with Canterbury Institute of Technology, offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs which are in high demand in the local and international job markets. USQ Sydney Education Centre has many years of experience servicing international students. Located near the heart of Sydney’s CBD, USQ Sydney Education Centre is within walking distance to the city’s main transport, education, sports, government and tourist facilities.

USQ has approximately 27,000 enrolments[citation needed], including over 7,400 international students. More than 100 nationalities[citation needed] are represented and about 5,000 international students[citation needed] study USQ programs while remaining in their home countries.

USQ offers programs at undergraduate and postgraduate level by on-campus, off-campus or online study. Some students choose different modes of delivery for different periods of their study.

Contents

History

In 1961 the Toowoomba City Council declared that 200 acres of land to the southwest of the main town centre would be reserved for educational purposes. This suburb was named College Heights on 25 September 1966 but was later renamed Darling Heights.

The Queensland Institute of Technology (Darling Downs) opened in Toowoomba in 1967 as a technical college offering 29 full-time technological diploma courses to 140 foundation students who studied full-time or part-time. The foundation principal was Mr J Wolfe who served until May 1967 when Mr Lindsay Barker became principal.

After the passage of the amended Education Act in 1971 the Institute became an autonomous multi-purpose college under the control of its own college council which subsequently determined that the new college would become the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education.

By 1973, accredited professional degree courses were offered in:

  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Science
  • Business Studies.

The School of Arts was formed in 1974. The Institute established the External Studies Department in 1978 and this soon became a recognised benchmark in its field with UNESCO selecting it as a demonstration unit. By this time external enrolments had begun to rival the number of internal enrolments.

The period spanning 1980 to 1990 saw a period of unprecedented growth of the Institute leading to the establishment of the University College of Southern Queensland (UCSQ) under the sponsorship of the University of Queensland. On 1 January 1992, UCSQ became the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) with Professor Barry Leal becoming the University’s inaugural Vice-Chancellor.

With the appointment of Professor Peter Swannell as Vice-Chancellor in 1996 the University underwent a further period of exceptional growth which included the establishment of a Wide Bay Campus, later renamed USQ Fraser Coast, and a Brisbane Centre in 1997, the USQ European Study Centre in Bretten, Germany in 1998 and the building of a number of landmark structures on campus. In 1998 USQ was voted the 'World’s Best Dual Mode University' by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) while Professor Jim Taylor, the then Director of the Distance Education Centre won the inaugural ICDE prize for individual excellence for his contribution to global distance learning.

In 1999, USQ launched USQOnline, and was named winner of the Best Exporter Award in the Government Category of the National Multicultural Marketing Awards held by the New South Wales Ethnic Affairs Commission. In 2000, USQ won the organisational category of the Queensland Government Multicultural Services Awards and was named joint winner of the Good Universities Guides 'Australian University of the Year (2000 – 2001)' for demonstrated leadership in establishing the e-University.

In 2003, USQ opened Stage II of its Wide Bay Campus, constructed a research and manufacturing facility for Fibre Composites and established USQ International College, Fiji. Following the retirement of Professor Peter Swannell in 2003, Professor Bill Lovegrove was appointed as Vice-Chancellor. By the end of 2003 USQ had in excess of 25,000 enrolled students from 133 countries and a full-time equivalent of 1400 staff. Since 1992, USQ’s capital works expenditure has exceeded $107 million. The University has an estimated annual economic injection into the economy of the region in excess of $150 million per annum.

In July 2004, USQ won the Commonwealth of Learning Award of Excellence for Institutional Achievement which recognises and honours excellence in distance education and open learning. The Commonwealth of Learning is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.

In December 2004, the University improved its distance education profile by being accredited with the Distance Education Training Council (DETC), an American public service organisation dedicated to identifying quality distance learning institutions. The accreditation is an expression of confidence in the educational programs, policies and procedures of the University by its peers, and brings the institution recognition through the extension of special status by several American states under their legislation and regulations.

In Semester One 2006 the USQ Springfield campus opened its doors to more than 350 students in Brisbane’s south-western corridor. The Campus is situated in an education precinct, known as Education City, which includes other educational providers, such as English as a second language providers, an ABC Childcare and Training Centre and the Bremer Institute of TAFE to name a few. The Campus offers programs in Business, Science and Arts and is well known for its intensive mode, which is very popular at the postgraduate level.

The USQ Historical Archives, established in 2007, documents and maintains a secure, publicly accessible collection which records all aspects of the University's history for the purpose of research and to preserve the USQ memory.

Governance and committees

The University's governing body is the Council. Members of the Council, representing University and community interests, contribute to the overall governance of the University by helping to set strategic directions and develop policy. The University of Southern Queensland Act 1998 establishes the Council and defines the functions and powers of the Council and the University, and sets limits on what the University and its authorities may do. The Council is advised by a number of key committees.

The Vice-Chancellor is the University's chief executive officer and responsible to the Council for the overall direction of the academic, administrative, financial and other affairs of the University. The Vice-Chancellor is supported by an Executive to whom most of the University's organisational units report.

The Academic Board is the University's senior academic advisory body. Its members include the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deans, senior members of the University, elected members, the president of the USQ Student Guild, and two other student representatives. The Board is responsible for making recommendations to Council on academic policy, regulations pertaining to the academic operation of the University and the implementation of approved policy.

Faculties and academic departments

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Business
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Engineering and Surveying
  • Faculty of Sciences

Maths Department restructure furore

On March 17, 2008, the University of Southern Queensland announced proposals to cut staff within the Department of Mathematics and Computing by more than 50%, planning to cut the existing faculty from 14 to 6. [1] This proposal was despite the federal government allocating additional funding specifically for mathematics and statistics which was approved in 2007 and flowing into USQ in 2008. Instead, the university administration retained the increased funding for their own administrative expenses.

The prominent expatriate Australian mathematician Terence Tao launched a publicity initiative to bring this to the attention of a broader audience [2]. Additional media coverage of this can be found at [3][4][5][6].

Residential Colleges

The University of Southern Queensland has 3 residential colleges located on its Toowoomba campus. All 3 colleges are co-ed and two (McGregor and Steele Rudd) have no religious affiliation. The 3 colleges are:[7]

  • McGregor - established with the support and initiative of the Darling Downs Association for Advanced Education in 1967, McGeregor is named after Dr Alex McGregor a former Mayor of Toowoomba, who had a significant influence on the development of tertiary education in the region. The college accommodates 200 students.
  • Steele Rudd - established with the support and initiative of the Darling Downs Association for Advanced Education in 1967. Steele Rudd is named in honour of Arthur Hoey Davis, pen-name Steele Rudd, a distinguished Australian and Darling Downs author. The college accommodates 130 students.
  • Concannon - owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba and managed on behalf of the Diocese by the University. Concannon College was built at the initiative of Bishop Edward Kelly and is named in honour of the Concannon family, in particular Monsignor Edward Concannon in appreciation for his work in education. The college welcomes students of any religious background, beliefs and cultures. The college accommodates 102 students.

It must be noted that the internet service offered on the colleges is very poor by most standards. There is a limit of 300MB a month before the connection speed is throttled to 56kbps and the student starts paying for the internet at $10/GB. However, the on campus internet allowance is 1GB per month with 24 hour access to computer labs.

Notes and references

External links

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