SCU student experience ‘condemned’
THE student experience at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus was rated among the worst in the country, according to a National Union of Students (NUS) university ratings report, which described student life at SCU as ‘non-existent’.
Released yesterday, the NUS student experience study, based on five key factors, including student-driven campus culture, advocacy services and recognition of student bodies, gave Southern Cross a near fail.
This year, Southern Cross University slipped from the ‘Concerned’ Category 3 ranking in 2006 to the ‘Condemned’ Category 4, which student union representatives said resulted from voluntary student unionism in universities since 2006 and the disintegration of student unionism in Lismore.
The report didn’t include feedback from the comparatively thriving Tweed Heads and Coffs campuses – which unlike the Lismore campus have had continued student union activity since 2006.
Lismore SCU students rekindled the undergraduate student body LEXUS in July.
LEXUS president Nathan Apps agreed with NUS’ damning report of Lismore’s campus culture, but was positive for next year.
“The recent findings may just be the penny that will drop in the minds of SCU management, so that they may truly listen to their students and their needs,” Mr Apps said.
Southern Cross University student support services manager Dr Jonathan Munro said: “The university has set aside $400,000 to support student bodies across all our campuses next year, and the Lismore student association LEXUS will get a substantial portion of that.”
However, Mr Apps maintained it would take more than money to change campus culture.
“The student experience at SCU Lismore is lacking in culture, vibrancy and a sense of intellectual community,” he said.