By KAT MULLARD
STUDENTS are lining up to study at Coffs Harbour this year, with Southern Cross University (SCU) experiencing a record number of enrolments.
According to Pro Vice Chancellor Academic and Head of Coffs Harbour Campus, Professor Zbysh Klish, numbers are way up, with close to 15 000 students enrolled at SCU in 2007.
"In the past two years we had a 60 percent growth rate, which will be exceeded this year. This goes against the national trend," he said.
"In Coffs,the demand for first preference is up by ten percent compared to the same time last year. The state trend is only one to two percent."
Prof. Klish attributes this student boom to a combination of destination and study options.
"Coffs Harbour is on a growth curve, it is an attractive place to live, and our courses here are attractive, too."
Our most popular courses include Technology, Education, Nursing, and Psychology, with enrolments for Primary Education up by 14 per cent, and the Bachelor of Nursing and the Bachelor of Psychology up by 10per cent.
In last year's Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) filled out by all university graduates, SCU had some of the best results in the country, rating high in the areas of overall satisfaction and good teaching.
Prof. Klish said this is good news for local businesses, with a recent economic study showing that the University adds about $40 million to the Coffs Harbour Economy every year.
These aren't the only benefits Uni-versity students bring to the local community, according to Prof. Klish.
"People don't realise the extent of the benefits of the university on the community. About 35 percent of students participate in community volunteer work. We added that up recently ? that represents 1500 hours of volunteer work done by students per year," he said.