The introduction of a physiotherapy degree at Charles Sturt University Port Macquarie Campus has met with a healthy student response.
The head of the School of Community Health, Associate Professor Megan Smith, said 54 first year students was a good outcome.
“We didn’t know what the uptake was going to be like and we are really happy with that response,” she said.
Three staff members are on board with specialist skills in physiotherapy, physiology and anatomy.
Staff numbers will grow in line with student numbers.
Associate Professor Smith said hopefully graduates would become practitioners in the area and more broadly in the region.
Physiotherapy student Chelsea Case came from Cooma to study at the Port Macquarie campus.
Chelsea’s dancing background and the experience of her cousin, who is a paraplegic, were factors behind Chelsea’s decision to study physiotherapy.
Chelsea chose CSU Port Macquarie due to the coastal location, warm climate and family connections here.
“I want to better people’s lives through developing their ability to move and function,” she said.
Port Macquarie’s Alexis Nicholson always wanted a career in the health field.
She started a CSU health and rehabilitation science degree online with the intention of transferring into physiotherapy if the degree came to Port Macquarie.
All the pieces fell into place.
Alexis said physiotherapy appealed as she was fascinated by the human body.
Meanwhile, 20 students are enrolled in the Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at the Port Macquarie campus.
Head of CSU's School of Exercise Science, Sport and Health Professor Frank Marino said exercise and sports science was a rapidly growing industry which continued to require high level skills and knowledge.
The Port Macquarie campus welcomed more than new 400 students with a range of academic and social activities to help them settle into university life.
Orientation Week kicked off on February 20.
Highlights include academic sessions, library tours and social events.