SCU aerial photo of site.
SCU aerial photo of site. contributed

OPINION: SCU opens up opportunities, enriches community

THIS year, we are celebrating 20 years since the formation of Southern Cross University, through an Act of Parliament on January 1, 1994.

We have been marking this significant milestone with a series of events throughout the year, culminating with the 20th Anniversary and Alumni Reunion at our Lismore Campus next Saturday.

This promises to be a wonderful celebration for our alumni and the whole community. It is also a timely opportunity to reflect on how far we have come.

Southern Cross University is a key regional university, firmly embedded in the fabric of this community. During the past 20 years, our presence has grown to include the North Coast, Mid North Coast and southern Gold Coast. 

We have introduced new disciplines and made ground-breaking discoveries. We should not forget that it was SCU researchers who discovered the genes that give rice its fragrance and that control the temperature at which rice cooks; and determined that Migaloo was male.

Most importantly, SCU provides local people with the opportunity for a quality education.

For many of our current and former students, they are the first in their family to go to university. Southern Cross has the highest percentage of first-in-family students in the nation. That is an incredible achievement, and the benefits to our region and our society are profound.

There have been major changes to the way in which universities deliver education during the past 20 years, and we are now in the midst of a new period of change which is still navigating the political process.

Whatever the outcome, we as a university and a community, should not lose sight of our fundamental goal. And that is to open up opportunities for education and to enrich our communities through the quality of our graduates and the creation of new knowledge and new ideas.

I invite you to join the celebration on Saturday, August 30.

*Professor Peter Lee is Vice-Chancellor of Southern Cross University

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