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University of Southern Queensland

University of Southern Queensland
USQ coat of arms.png
Former names
University College of Southern Queensland (1990–1992)
Motto Per Studia Mens Nova
Motto in English
"Through study the mind is renewed"
Type Public
Established 1967 (see Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education)
Chancellor John Dornbusch
Vice-Chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie
Administrative staff
1573 total staff FTE (2016)
Students 27563 (2016)
Location Toowoomba, Ipswich and Springfield, Queensland, Australia
Campus Urban
Affiliations Regional Universities Network
USQ logo.png

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is a medium-sized, regional university based in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia,[1] with three university campuses at Toowoomba, Springfield and Ipswich.[2] It offers courses in law, health, engineering, the sciences, business, education, and the arts.[2] USQ has been a leader in distance learning by leveraging technology since the 1970s, which has allowed it to serve rural Queensland and international communities[1] through its on campus, off campus, and external programs.[3]:41 It was winner of the Australian University of the Year Award in 2000-2001.[4]

It operates three research institutes and seven research centres which focus on a wide range of business, agricultural, scientific, environmental, and technological issues.

The institution was established in 1967 as the Darling Downs campus of the Queensland Institute of Technology. In 1971, it became the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, then the University College of Southern Queensland in 1990 and finally the University of Southern Queensland in 1992.


Queensland Institute of Technology (Darling Downs) opened on 2 February 1967 in Toowoomba. It had 140 foundation students.[5] In 1971, the institute became the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (DDIAE), an autonomous multi-purpose college. DDIAE, managed by its own College Council, began offering distance education in the mid-1970s. By 1980, there were more external students than those on campus and DDIAE educated 75% of the country's international students in the 1986-1987 school year.[5] From 1980 to 1990, DDIAE grew significantly from 1,000 to 8,000 full-time student equivalents (EFTSL).[5] It became the University College of Southern Queensland (UCSQ) in 1990,[5] under the sponsorship of the University of Queensland.[6]

In 1992, the institution became the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) when it gained full university status.[5] USQ was a founding member of the Regional Universities Network that was launched in 2011.[7]


Toowoomba campus

USQ ensures that, as a regional university, its curriculum serves local and regional employment needs, it engages in regional social and economic development, and serves the regional community.[1]


About 4,000 students attend the Toowoomba campus,[8] It is one of Australia's most well-equipped and modern campuses, having Harvard style lecture theatres and syndicate rooms in the School of Business Phoenix Building. In addition to its campus library holdings, it has extensive online databases.[9] The campus has Olympic standard basketball courts, high tech gymnasium equipment, an aerobics center, and netball courts at the Clive Berghofer Rec Center. It has the country's largest, most traditional Japanese garden.[8] Three co-educational residential colleges located on its Toowoomba campus: McGregor, Steele Rudd, and Concannon. Together, they accommodate more than 400[10] or 450 students.[9] Housing includes meals, internet, phones, and weekly cleaning service.[11]

Springfield campus buildings, 2014

Springfield campus

USQ's Springfield campus is located at Springfield, a suburb of approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Brisbane CBD. The campus has an auditorium, on campus accommodation, and a tavern. Phoenix Radio is its online community radio station serves the Greater Ipswich region and also provides training for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Media program.[12]

Ipswich campus

University of Southern Queensland, Ipswich campus.

USQ Ipswich[a] is located in the growing region of south east Queensland, 55 minutes from the Brisbane CBD. USQ Ipswich offers degrees in nursing and paramedicine as well as tertiary preparation programs. The Campus features an award winning library complete with a rainforest garden and water feature designed to increase air quality and provide an ideal learning environment.[14]


Faculties and academic departments

Business, Education Law and Arts (BELA) [15]

  • School of Arts and Communication
  • School of Commerce
  • School of Law and Justice
  • School of Management and Enterprise
  • School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
  • School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education

Health, Engineering and Sciences (HES) [16]

  • School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
  • School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
  • School of Health and Wellbeing
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
  • School of Psychology, Counselling and Community

Academic profile

Flexible educational programs

It provides on-campus education that serves Darling Downs, Wide Bay, and Southern and Western Queensland.[3]:41 as well as flexible learning programs, through online learning or via off campus and overseas education partners[2][3]:41 in southern Africa, Fiji, South-east Asia, Sweden, Norway, and The Emirates. It operates the European Study Center in Bretten, Germany.[3]:41

USQ was voted the World’s Best On and Off Campus University in 1998 by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE)[17][18] The university's studying platform,[4] was commended by the Australian University Quality Agency as an international learning leader.[4] USQ won the Australian University of the Year Award in 2000-2001.[4][5] USQ has 14 fields of research rated at high-qualified world standards by Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) in 2015. USQ is ranked in the top 5 business programs in Australia by Financial Review Group in 2015. It was the first learning institution to be granted an ISO 9001 Quality System Certificate of Registration in the world.[4]

It maintains high educational standards through a program of centralized, staff-driven decision-making, discipline-based management, and quality assurance practices.[3]:7 A 2002 audit found that its quality assurance program could be more effective with improved systems of central monitoring and reviewing.[3]:7


USQ's research institutes are: [19]

  • Digital Life Lab (DLL) )[5]
  • Institute for Agriculture and the Environment (IAgE)
  • Institute for Resilient Regions (IRR)

USQ's research centres are: [19]

  • Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development (ACSBD)
  • Centre for Crop Health (CHH)
  • Centre of Excellence in Engineering Fibre Composites (CEEFC)[5]
  • Centre for Health Sciences Research (CHSR)
  • Computational Engineering and Science Research Centre (CERSC)
  • International Centre for Applied Climate Science (ICACS)
  • National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA)[5]

The University of Southern Queensland has three research institutes[2] and seven research centres[19] which focuses on issues such as agricultural technology, rural health, environmental management, biotechnology, education leadership, web based services, and fibre composite materials.[3]:41 Based on competitive grants won, industry funded research collaborations, and Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) ratings, USQ has significant and core research strength in the broad area of agriculture and the environment. This core research strength has generated over $10 million in new grant and industry funding, announced by vice-chancellor Bill Lovegrove in 2008,[20] and is the driver of USQ’s ERA "world class" ratings in Agriculture & Veterinary Science and Physical Sciences.[21] USQ has also made commitment to green energy by "taking action to offset its energy requirements with the construction of overhead solar panelling over one of the University’s largest carparks on its Toowoomba campus."[22] "Producing 1.9 megawatts of electricity the first stage of USQ’s Sustainable Energy Solution will also see roof mounted solar panelling collectors and battery storage systems installed across its Toowoomba campus buildings."[23] Professor Jan Thomas said “Not only will the solar solution deliver a measurable reduction in energy related costs for the University but it will also provide a significant platform for research, learning and teaching with students and staff able to study the proficiencies of the renewable energy network against load variations and supply demands...Building and construction projects will demand more efficient use of resources and energy supplies and this project is another way USQ will be able to provide its graduates with skills and knowledge that they can take into industry."[24] USQ has also built projects in the fields of construction industry and space research:

University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Australia, research into the use and benefits of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) bars to reinforce concrete has been adopted in the design of the Toowoomba City Hall refurbishment project...Dr Allan Manalo, who heads USQ’s research into FRP bars as internal reinforcement to concrete structures through its Centre for Future Materials (CFM), says the application of FRP for the project is a major milestone in the university’s research into composite materials for civil infrastructure...FRP has excellent properties, such as corrosion resistance, lightweight and high strength, which have helped it gain a growing acceptance in the construction industry. Over the past five years, Manalo and his research team have been studying the use of concrete and FRP bars in building a high strength, sustainable and maintenance-free infrastructure.[25]

Receiving a boost through ARC funding, a project led by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) will look at how to make fly ash produced by coal-fired power stations into ‘green’ cement. The funding will allow the project to employ extra research staff and PhD students to develop a geopolymer-based green cement which will enable the construction industry to decrease its reliance on Portland cement. Unlike Portland cement, geopolymer does not rely on limestone and clay, both non-renewable resources, and does not require heating to around 1450 degrees Celsius for calcination, the process which also drives out carbon dioxide. This project includes researchers from USQ, CSIRO and international experts.[26]

ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) funding has enabled the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), in collaboration with The University of New South Wales and The University of Sydney, to start building a dedicated multi-telescope facility at Mount Kent Observatory on Queensland’s Darling Downs. On the other side of the world, in Arizona, USA, a four-telescope array known as MINERVA (Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array) scours the northern hemisphere skies for new worlds among the stars. Now Australian astronomers at these universities, with International partners Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics and the University of Pennsylvania, are building a complementary MINERVA-Australis facility. USQ astronomer, Associate Professor Jonti Horner, who is a participant on the LIEF project, said MINERVA was designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting in the habitable zone of bright, nearby stars.[27]

Student enrolment

It serves people who are highly motivated in higher and in-depth study and research while working in a wide range of disciplines. Its student population includes full-time and part-time working students from both Australian urban and rural areas. There is also a significant number of students from other countries. In many graduate programs, such as law, agriculture, and civil engineering, students are mostly working persons who want to engage in research related to their working field. Total student enrolments in 2015 [28] were 28,203, of which 19,796 students studied online/externally. The on-campus enrollments were: 377 at USQ Ipswich, 2352 at USQ Springfield, and 4738 at USQ Toowoomba. It had 2226 on-campus students and 2179 external international students in 2015.[29] Based upon the results of the 2013 International student barometer survey, USQ was named the top university for international student satisfaction in Australia that year.[2]

Notable alumni

  • Teresa Hsu Chih - Singaporean social worker
  • Paul Lucas - former politician and Attorney-General of Queensland
  • Atul Khare - Indian Foreign Service officer, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Field Support
  • Sebastian Teo - Singaporean politician and President of NSP
  • Kev Carmody - singer and songwriter
  • Jason Gann - actor and writer
  • Adam Zwar - actor and writer
  • Nelle Lee - actress and writer
  • Joe Roff - rugby union footballer
  • Katrina Fong Lim - Lord Mayor of Darwin (3 April 2012-current date)
  • Jozef Erece - Youngest ever Law graduate in Australian history and youngest ever solicitor in the southern hemisphere [30][31]
  • Professor Sean Ryan - Head of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom
  • Dr Rael Lange - Director and Senior Scientist for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland, USA
  • David Fagan - Director of Corporate Transition, Queensland University of Technology
  • Dr Odette Best - Senior Lecturer (Nursing), Queensland University of Technology
  • Professor Lorraine Graham, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
  • Professor Peter Albion - Chair of the Toowoomba Chapter of the Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (1995-2001) and Vice-President of the Information Technology Council in the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education
  • Christian Thompson - artist
  • Ken Tonscheck - Australian pop-rock vocalist
  • Yoong Hui Chia - Founder and CEO of Ascenz, a risk intelligence company in maritime industry
  • Dr Janson Yap - Leader of Deloitte Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific’s Risk Advisory practice

See also


  1. ^ The University of Queensland (UQ) Ipswich Campus was transferred to USQ on 7 January 2015 following an agreement between the two universities. The decision to transfer the Campus was motivated by a desire to increase tertiary education opportunities in the region and to reflect the strategic objectives of each university.[13]


  1. ^ a b c OECD (28 July 2008). Higher Education Management and Policy, Volume 20 Issue 2 Higher Education and Regional Development: Higher Education and Regional Development. OECD Publishing. pp. 140–141. ISBN 978-92-64-04320-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "University of Southern Queensland". University Profiles. Australia's Universities. 2 Feb 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Report of the Audit of University of Southern Queensland" (PDF). Melbourne, Australia: Australian Universities Quality Agency. October 2002. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Alison A. Carr-Chellman (13 December 2004). Global Perspectives on E-Learning: Rhetoric and Reality. SAGE Publications. p. 183. ISBN 978-1-4522-3697-1. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Institutional Profile: University of Southern Queensland". International Council for Open and Distance Education. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Alice Erh-Soon Tay (1990). Australian law and legal thinking between the decades: a collection of 33 Australian reports to the XIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law presented in McGill University Montreal on 18-24 August 1990. University of Sydney. p. 319. ISBN 978-0-646-01827-0. 
  7. ^ "Formation of Regional Universities Network Announced". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Toowoomba Campus, USQ". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "University of Southern Queensland". Australia's Universities. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Residential Colleges: University of Southern Queensland". The National Education Directory of Australia. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Southern Queensland". International Programs. Study Abroad, University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "USQ Springfield facilities - University of Southern Queensland". Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  13. ^ "USQ to take over UQ Ipswich campus from today". Ipswich Queensland Times. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "UQ Resource Centre". Wilson Architects. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  15. ^ "Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts (BELA)". University of Southern Queensland. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences (HES)". University of Southern Queensland. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Marie O'Sullivan (2003). Academic Year Abroad. Institute of International Education. p. 91. 
  18. ^ "SEGi offers avenues for distance learning". New Straits Times. 10 August 2003. Retrieved 20 March 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ a b c "Research institutes and centres". University of Southern Queensland. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Jim Campbell 16 Dec 2008, The Morning Bulletin, []
  21. ^ National Reports, 2015, Excellence in Research for Australia, []
  22. ^ News & Events, 04 Nov 2016, University of Southern Queensland, []
  23. ^ Ibid.
  24. ^ Ibid.
  25. ^ NETcomposites, 16 May 2017, []
  26. ^ USQ-led team cements ARC Discovery funding, 6 November 2015, Australia Research Council, []
  27. ^ Research News, 01 February 2017, Australian Research Council, []
  28. ^ "USQ Annual Report 2015". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  29. ^ "University of Southern Queensland". Sydney, Australia: New Edge Consultancy Services. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  30. ^ []
  31. ^ []

External links