Southern Cross a five-star success

SOUTHERN Cross University has been awarded with a five-star rating in the 2009 Good Universities Guide.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark was understandably pleased it had been recognised in the category of 'entry flexibility'.

“This is exactly what we're about,” he said.

“The university has a number of ways that people can come to the institution.

“We have a program called 'Preparing for Success' to help people make sure they are up to the entry standard.

“We provide that course which has no HECS fees, and we also have a high intake of indigenous students.”

He said SCU had also been 'significantly ahead of the pack' in terms of mid-year enrolments, and that a lot of its students were people who were latecomers in their careers, rather than directly from school.

About one third of SCU's 15,000 students were enrolled as external students, which Prof Clarke said was the seventh highest in Australia.

“We have an IT platform called 'elluminate' where we do lots of engaging with external students,” Prof Clarke said.

“The feedback we get is that it gives them real flexibility. It's like podcasting in that they can access what they want, when they want.”

Prof Clarke said as well as accessing lectures, the software enabled external students to interact with each other.

“In the future we will be really trying to reduce the difference between internal and external,” he said.

In the key indicators of graduate employment, graduate satisfaction and educational experience, Prof Clarke said SCU had rated 'at or above average'.

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