The University of the Sunshine Coast is a modern higher education institution located in Queensland, Australia. Established in 1994, what was then known as the Sunshine Coast University College opened its doors to 524 students in 1996 and was granted full university status two years later, inheriting the name it uses today.
The Sunshine Coast is a scenic 100-kilometre stretch of coastline, beach resorts, villages, forests and hinterland which attracts millions of tourists annually. As well as attracting many visitors, the Sunshine Coast trebled in population between 1986 and 2016, and it finally got its own higher education institution after Queensland State Parliament passed the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998.
The main campus is situated at the old cane farm by Sippy Downs, 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, Australia’s third most populous city, and well-connected by road, with the motorway nearby and a dedicated shuttle bus linking the university’s sites.
Among the USC-owned campuses is one in Hervey Bay, two and a half hours north, which offers courses such as business, commerce, animal ecology, sport, science and nursing. It is near Fraser Island, the biggest sand island worldwide, where USC runs a Research and Learning Centre to facilitate field trips and research.
Having performed well among universities in Queensland, USC often performs well in Australian rankings, and its research has been noted as being particularly good in numerous areas. Its sub-tropical campus buildings have won dozens of architectural awards. The university’s sports facilities, which now include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, have also been highly praised.