Milestone year beckons at Griffith

Griffith University is facing one of its most dynamic and exciting years with an unprecedented building program of more than $320 million in full swing during 2012.

The new facilities, along with a sustained research and teaching focus and rewarding student life will help Griffith maintain its reputation as one of the leading universities in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

The physical transformation of its Gold Coast and Nathan campuses in particular will be highlights, according to Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor (pictured).

The multi-story Griffith Health Centre (artist’s impression above) and teaching facility will be a signature building of the Gold Coast campus.

With construction under way it will quickly become an imposing figure on the campus boundary.

Directly opposite the new $1.76 billion Gold Coast University Hospital, the $150 million Health Centre will take its first students in 2013.

“So students who in 2012 apply to join one of the many health programs on offer at Griffith in 2013 will be the first occupants of this magnificent new facility,” Professor O’Connor said.

Also on the Gold Coast campus:

– The new International Building ($27.5m) opens in January

– Plans for the expanded library move forward ($20.5m)

– One of the engineering buildings will be extended ($1.5m)

At Nathan, construction begins in 2012 on the Sir Samuel Griffith Centre, a six-star green-rated building that will become a landmark of the original Griffith University campus.

“This is on top of the Campus Heart and Link Bridge ($10.675m) project which should be completed for O-Week starting February 20,” Prof O’Connor said.

Other works at Nathan include refurbishment of buildings and laboratories and construction of tunnel walkways, totalling more than $7m.

At the Mt Gravatt campus, the new Griffith Aquatic and Fitness Centre ($3.65) will be officially opened in 2012.

“But it is not all about creating wonderful teaching and learning and research spaces,” Prof O’Connor said.

“The quality of work going on in these spaces is quite exceptional and something the University is particularly proud of.”

Griffith University was rated a top 10 research university in 2011, based on analysis of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment of its work in different Fields of Research.

“We look forward to the outcomes of ERA’s 2012 assessment,” Prof O’Connor said.

Griffith University will continue to offer more than 300 degree courses and host more than 40,000 students across its five campuses in 2012.

“One significant change is the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice being offered for the first time on the Gold Coast,” Prof O’Connor said.

The Tourism Confucius Institute will also open in 2012 on the Gold Coast and represents a significant partnership with the China University of Mining Technology.

“It is the first Confucius Institute in the world devoted to tourism and will provide Chinese language teaching and training and tourism research.”

Griffith University will continue to offer a rich and rewarding student experience including the likes of:

– The Griffith University Paradise Regatta rowing competition on the Gold Coast

– Griffith Exchange Program which allowed 250 students to do part of their studies at 100 different partnership institutions across 33 different countries last year

– Live student performances at the Griffith University Conservatorium of Music at South Bank and student art exhibitions at the Queensland College of Art, also at South Bank.

“The Griffith story goes on, such is its depth and breadth, and 2012 will add many more significant pages to that story,” Prof O’Connor said.