SCU enrolments increase

Annie Groves of Maclean is looking forward to going to university, but is not looking forward to the costs associated with being a student.
Annie Groves of Maclean is looking forward to going to university, but is not looking forward to the costs associated with being a student. Jay Cronan

A UNIVERSITY degree could help you get a career with higher wages, but it also means spending a lot of money on textbooks and course fees.

In light of this, has the cost of university and the Global Financial Crisis had an impact on the number of Australians enrolling in University?

Figures from the University Admissions Centre [UAC] show an increase in applications from 79,504 to 81,148 this year.

Prospective students have also flocked to information sessions at Southern Cross University campuses on the North Coast and Gold Coast this week.

Southern Cross University's head of marketing Janet Hanlan, said students had travelled from as far afield as Gilgandra, Bathurst and Maitland to attend the sessions.

"On the whole our applications are tracking well and our total preferences are up by about 7%. Across the sector applications are up, particularly amongst school leavers," she said.

Annie Groves, 19, of Maclean attended an information day in Lismore about studying a Bachelor of Primary Education.

She was under no illusions about the cost of attending university.

"I'll be eating two-minute noodles and spaghetti and going back home to do washing and eat Mum's food," she said with a laugh.

But Ms Groves said the SCU campus was "not too far from home" which would make her adjustment to university life easier.

"For us rural kids we're at an immediate disadvantage because we have to move away from home," she said.

"But it's a wonderful campus so I would love to study here."

More than 1500 courses are open for 2012 admissions, with final applications closing on Thursday, February 2.

While undertaking university study involves a strong financial commitment, Ms Hanlan said higher education can prove an extremely rewarding experience for some students.

"It's an adult learning environment so they learn different skills and obviously the employment prospects are far better for people with degrees and their earning capacity over the lifetime is greatly improved."

Topics:  southern cross university

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