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Meet Prof Jan Thomas

Prof Jan Thomas, Vice-Chancellor and President of USQ.

Mirror of the OER Foundation page available on the USQ web site

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has forged a reputation as one of Australia's leading providers of on-campus and distance education programs, with 75% of all USQ students studying by distance (online) education. The University's vision is 'to be recognised as a world leader in open and flexible higher education'. USQ has a commitment to provide the 'highest quality educational experiences to students, irrespective of their location or lifestyle' (University Strategy).

USQ's academic and organisational model is significantly different from many other Australian universities. Progressing from its role as a leading distance education provider, the University has diversified its operations to include a far greater mix of open and flexible programs that meet the education needs of its communities with:

  • openness and pathways to university - USQ's Open Access College provides 'front door' access to university opening up tertiary learning for those who may not have previously had such opportunities. Through a 'fee-free' Tertiary Preparation Program and a range of entry diploma programs, learners gain skills to begin a career and receive credit towards accredited degree programs.
  • eLearning and eResearch - since 2008 the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI) has been the centrepiece of USQ's goal to provide the highest quality educational experiences to students, irrespective of their location or lifestyle through eLearning systems and innovative pedagogical approaches, as well as the development of a set of technology platforms for eResearch.
  • OpenCourseWare - USQ became the first Australian member of the (OCW) Consortium in 2007 and provides 10 courses via OpenCourseWare, reaffirming its commitment to the concept of intellectual philanthropy and the encouragement of online students around the world to pursue lifelong learning.
  • flexible study options - USQ works with its students to help them reach their goals in the best way for them by offering flexible study options to fit in with their life, whether that be studying on-campus, via distance (online) education, full-time, part-time, over summer or through intensive mode workshops.