STRENGTH TO STRENGTH: USC Pro Vice-Chancellor Joanne Scott welcomes students at the Gympie campus.
STRENGTH TO STRENGTH: USC Pro Vice-Chancellor Joanne Scott welcomes students at the Gympie campus. Renee Albrecht

USC Gympie numbers on the rise

THE University of the Sunshine Coast's Gympie campus has continued to strengthen after welcoming over 100 new students at an official Orientation program yesterday.

The new crop makes up an enrolment growth of 'more than 20 percent' since last year's figures, which gives the Gympie campus an estimate of 'around 270' students when Semester 1 begins next week.

USC Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Joanne Scott said the increase in numbers was a positive reflection of both the university's growing reputation and the region.

Gympie USC open day Mia Bezai, Wendy Bujayer and Georgia Glenn.
READY TO HIT THE BOOKS: Mia Bezai, Wendy Bujayer and Georgia Glenn at the USC Gympie Orientation program. Renee Albrecht

"We've seen an increase in enrolments here at the campus which is great news, and across the university we've also seen an increase in numbers,” Professor Scott said.

"Today is the start of the learning journey for these new students, and we're really looking forward to them having a fantastic time with their studies and success into the future.

"I think our university is going from strength to strength.

"Gympie is a key part of our university and will continue to play a really important role in future.

"I think it sends a great message about USC and about the community here.”

Professor Scott said USC "remain committed” to their aim of reaching 20,000 students by 2020, along with broadening options for local students and working toward being an "unsurpassed community asset”.

"We're continuing to offer some of the core programs that we know this community wants, like education, nursing and business,” she said.

"What we'll see each year is that we offer an even better learning experience for our students, that is absolutely always the focus.

"Here in Gympie, we see a strong connection between community and campus, which is really important to USC.

"It's important that this campus continues to flourish and continues to provide opportunities so local people can have a world class education and not have to leave home.

"I think Gympie's heading in a good direction, I'm seeing lots of enthusiasm, lots of excitement, and a real commitment to an exciting year.”

Gympie USC open day Lateesha Ottesen and Jessica McFarlane.
BUZZING: USC students Lateesha Ottesen and Jessica McFarlane at the Gympie Orientation program. Renee Albrecht

Yesterday's orientation included an official welcome along with workshops, tours, stalls, live music and a free lunch despite the inclement weather.

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said Orientation was a "chance to meet other students” and "find out about the various groups on campus that can help make their student experience here even more fulfilling and enjoyable.”