By Justin Brosnan. Edited for online by Jacinta Lal
The University of Queensland is in discussion with the University of Southern Queensland over the sale of its Ipswich campus which has failed to attract substantial student numbers and enrolments in recent years.
The sale of the Ipswich campus and the proposed relocation of 2,000 Ipswich students to the St Lucia campus have raised concerns regarding the displacement of students and potential overcrowding at St Lucia.
Mayor of Ipswich Councillor Paul Pisasale says it is up to the universities to reach an agreement in the best interest of the students while maintaining quality education.
He says he wants to make sure he supports and ensures the quality and education is there for Ipswich and surrounding areas.
“I think they should look after their customers with the highest integrity,” Cr Pisasale says.
National Union of Students member and current UQ student Lawrence Mclean says UQ is allowing Ipswich campus students to complete their degree but to do so they must attend the St Lucia Campus.
“I believe that the university said they can finish their degree at UQ but they will have to move to St Lucia and that’s really not ideal,” Mr Mclean says.
He says a lack of enrolments and effort placed upon the Ipswich campus are the key reasons for its sale.
“My understanding is that University of Queensland hasn’t really been putting the effort into Ipswich campus,” Mr Mclean says.
“I think the University of Southern Queensland taking over would possibly be a better thing in the longer term.”
Mr Mclean says the St Lucia campus is already experiencing overcrowding affects such as long waiting lines for public transport, insufficient classroom space and limited parking.
He says UQ St Lucia’s campus lacks the appropriate infrastructure to support the inclusion of an entire campus-worth of students and this may be detrimental to academic performance.
He also says the decision to sell the campus is disappointing but may be in the best interests of the Ipswich community.
“Not building enough classrooms and haven’t got enough tutors and lecturers, they’re just making class sizes sky rocket to the roof, it’s possibly going to resolve in a lower quality of education,” he said.
“It’s probably for the best in the long term because it is going to resolve in students around the Ipswich area having a university which is more invested into the campus.
“But it is disappointing that students who are currently studying there will have to move to the St Lucia campus.”