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Health students begin pilgrimage

Antony Perry

21 February 2018: Three brand new cohorts of students are on the path to joining Australia’s future health workforce.

The University of Canberra has added three new health degrees to its course offering in 2018, introducing a Bachelor of Vision Science, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and a Master of Speech Pathology.

It is the first time occupational therapy has been offered as an undergraduate course in the ACT.

Tuggeranong College graduate Sarah Stevens, 18, is one of 33 students enrolled in the bachelor degree. She said she was relieved she could undertake her studies in her home town.

“If the University of Canberra didn’t add occupational therapy at the undergraduate level, I would have had to have gone interstate or studied for a lot longer before becoming qualified,” Ms Stevens said.

“It’s such a relief to be able to study in Canberra and remain close to my family and friends. It really is the best of both worlds.”

The introduction of the new degrees comes as the University ramps up the development of a world-class Health Precinct on its Bruce campus.

The University of Canberra Hospital, a specialist rehabilitation facility with research and teaching spaces for the University’s staff and students, will open to the public in July, while construction of the Canberra Specialist Medical Centre, which will include radiation and oncology services, is underway.

In 2014, the University opened the Health Hub, which is home to various medical providers as well as the University’s highly successful student-led clinics.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp said having state-of-the-art medical facilities on campus would allow the University to continue offering students the highest level of training.

“We’re constantly striving to provide the best opportunities for our students,” Professor Klomp said.

“Students who study with us not only receive the highest standard of classroom teaching, but they also have access to practical learning opportunities in the various world-class health facilities located on campus in our rapidly developing Health Precinct.”