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ACU expanding into city

Student support: Members of the McAuley United Club, which offers support to international students, during orientation week at Brisbane Australian Catholic University campus. Photo: Veronica Kopinski

Student support: Members of the McAuley United Club, which offers support to international students, during orientation week at Brisbane Australian Catholic University campus. Photo: Veronica Kopinski

BRISBANE’S Australian Catholic University’s expansion into an inner-city facility for postgraduate events is among reasons for an ongoing sense of optimism at one of Queensland’s fastest growing university campuses.

ACU Brisbane associate vice-chancellor Professor Jim Nyland said the facility, occupying an entire floor of Cathedral House in the St Stephen’s Cathedral precinct, was “an exciting initiative which had already captured a lot of attention”.

Prof Nyland made the comment after welcoming international students to the ACU’s Banyo campus on Monday, February 17.

The students also heard about a range of facilities available at the campus including the McAuley United Club which offers support to international students as well as access to a new set of national clubs and societies.

The welcome was part of a range of activities for Orientation 2014, which was running from February 10 to 21.

Prof Nyland said the campus’ above-average growth, new facilities including “an iconic $25 million building under construction” and a new partnership with Brisbane Roar soccer club had also given a flying start to the 2014 academic year.

“The ACU’s Brisbane campus is one of the fastest-growing in Queensland,” he said.

“We’re around 5000 students now. Growth this year is projected to be in excess of 14 per cent. This compares with an average growth of 2.4 per cent at other campuses.”

International students are also starting to be drawn to the campus with about 600 enrolled.

Prof Nyland said the Brisbane Roar had entered a partnership with ACU after looking at other universities.

“They were impressed at our campus’ physiotherapy facility – possibly the best in the country,” he said.

“Our facilities will enable services such as pre-season fitness screening, support for their youth team and elite athletes and consultancy with our staff.”

The new building, at this point known as Building T, is described as “a state-of-the-art teaching facility with world-class laboratories linked to teaching in physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy and educational research”.

Prof Nyland said the ACU’s “multi-million-dollar” postgraduate facility in the St Stephen’s Cathedral precinct would host its first event in June.

“Queensland Catholic Education Commission will be holding a research colloquium attended by about 100 senior professionals,” he said. “Other events planned include a boardroom business lunch series, and a Mater Hospital leadership and management program.”

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