USQ vice-chancellor Bill Lovegrove.
USQ vice-chancellor Bill Lovegrove. The Chronicle

$10m facilities upgrade plan at USQ

THE University of Southern Queensland (USQ) gained a substantial Christmas bonus this week when it scored more than $10 million in Government funding.

USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Bill Lovegrove yesterday announced the university received an $8 million grant from the Rudd Government.

That was on top of the $1.6 million awarded last Thursday to establish easier pathways for students from TAFE to enrol in USQ courses, as well as a $480,000 grant for cancer research.

Prof Lovegrove said the money was an “excellent surprise” in the lead-up to Christmas.

“We're delighted to have the money and it will add to what we already have,” he said.

Prof Lovegrove said the $8 million would help build better learning and teaching facilities.

While he said it was too early to say exactly how the money would be spent, he said it was likely some would go towards building the new “student-hub” near the refectory and towards a new sciences building.

The funding will also go towards improving student management systems, which will provide every new student with a student relationship officer to liaise with in regards to their study.

“Building good relationships with our students is fundamental to our future,” Prof Lovegrove said.

He said the funding was part of the Federal Government's approach to the current financial crisis and its flow on effect into Toowoomba's economy would also be significant.

“Every time we attract a new international student they spend two to three times as much money in the local region as what they pay to study,” Prof Lovegrove said.

All universities were awarded grants based on the number of students.

USQ will receive the $8 million on July 1 next year.

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