For information on Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses, or research in Education, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Management, Science, Technology and Engineering
The University of the Sunshine Coast is a public university based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Having opened in 1996 as the Sunshine Coast University College with 524 students, the institution was renamed the University of the Sunshine Coast in 1999. In 2011, the student body was ~7,700. Located approximately 100 km north of the state capital, Brisbane, the campus is a 100 hectare flora and fauna reserve, adjoining the Mooloolah River National Park.
Undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework and higher degree by research) programs are offered in each faculty, with the majority of the university's research focussed in two main areas, sustainability and regional engagement. The university also offers dual degree programs in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE. Study areas are divided into six disciplines, these being Business and Information Technology, Communication and Design, Education, Health, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Engineering.
The university is listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. The university's CRICOS provider number is 01595D
Since 2010, USC has been the only public institution in Queensland to receive five stars for teaching quality in the independently ranked Hobson’s Good Universities Guide. In the 2010 edition of the guide, the university also earned five stars for staff qualifications and graduate's satisfaction with the generic skills they learned while studying.
In the 2011 edition, the university also earned five stars for graduate satisfaction with the generic skills learned while studying, and four stars for access by equity groups, Indigenous enrolments, gender balance, and for graduates’ satisfaction with their overall university experience. However, the university only received one star for research grants, research intensity, toughness to get in, cultural diversity of the student body, success in getting a job, graduate starting salary and positive graduate outcomes.
The 2012 edition of the guide, released in August 2011, also awarded the university five stars for its graduates’ satisfaction with the generic skills they gained while at university, and for Indigenous participation. The university scored four stars for access by equity groups, gender balance, and for graduates’ satisfaction with their overall university experience. Its ratings for graduates’ satisfaction also remained the highest awarded to any public university in Queensland.
In 2007 the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) audited USC as part of their assessment of all Australian universities. AUQA is a national agency that operates independently of governments and the higher education sector. The report commended USC for "its significant achievements since inception" and awarded USC commendations for the quality of the university's learning and teaching, student support services, workplace integrated learning program and degree approval process. The Headstart Program - a program allowing Year 11 and 12 school students to study one or more courses at the University, while still completing secondary school - and Global Opportunities Program - the University's study abroad were also acknowledged in the assessment.
Graduates have consistently given the university top marks for educational experience, with a 92 percent satisfaction rating in the 2007 Course Experience Questionnaire.
The university's Global Opportunities Program received an award from the Queensland Government at the Celebrating International Education and Training Industry Showcase in August 2007 for promoting internationalisation.
In March 2008 the university was one of 99 organisations nationally and one of 10 in Queensland to earn an Employer of Choice for Women citation. The citations are awarded annually by the Federal Government's Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA). The university has received the citation for six consecutive years to 2010.
Since 2006, the university has been awarded 17 citations from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, recognising outstanding contributions to student learning. Six of the citations were awarded in 2009, with a further six citations awarded in 2010. In 2011, a further five USC staff earned ALTC citations.