$50m helps USQ lead the way

University of Southern Queensland’s senior video producer Eddie Flemming demonstrates how USQconnected, a virtual online classroom, will operate.
University of Southern Queensland’s senior video producer Eddie Flemming demonstrates how USQconnected, a virtual online classroom, will operate.

THE University of Southern Queensland is set to confirm its status as a world leader in distance education after receiving a $50million grant from the Federal Government.

The grant is the largest single government grant received by the university.

The funding will be used to launch USQconnected, a program that will integrate online and on-campus education and streamline the digital and online experience for all USQ students across all disciplines and courses.

USQconnected will foster a new generation of learning, with the primary aim of providing all students, regardless of where they might live, with access to specially developed study materials and greater online interactive learning opportunities by way of a borderless virtual classroom.

More than 20,000 distance education students will benefit from the grant and it will cement USQ's status as an industry leader in online education by allowing distance students to have a similar campus experience to full-time, face-to-face students.

The grant will enable USQ to offer a broader range of education programs and pathways no matter how a student is enrolled.

Outgoing USQ vice-chancellor Professor Bill Lovegrove said the grant would cement Toowoomba's reputation as Australia's education capital.

"We are already part of an education revolution in the changing way that we use the internet, smart phones and all forms of new technology," Professor Lovegrove said.

He said that the program would be the crowning achievement of his tenure as USQ vice-chancellor and ensure the university was well placed for the future.

"One of the causes I have been passionate about as vice-chancellor is to be part of a program that will allow those who might not have had the opportunity to go on to higher education the chance to enrol in a university degree," he said.

The grant also means that the university will be able to fast track key infrastructure at USQ Springfield with the construction of the Education Gateways Building, the major incubator for learning innovation and teaching enhancement across USQ.

Topics:  distance education education federal government funding technology university of southern queensland usq

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