CQU News | 11 September 2013
The Queensland government has given the green light to the merger of Central Queensland University (CQU) and Central Queensland Institute of TAFE to create Australia’s sixth dual sector university, spanning both higher education and vocational education and training.
CQU vice-chancellor Scott Bowman says the decision will change the face of post-school education and training in the central Queensland region:
Our dual sector university will transform the lives of so many people in the region, by providing them with seamless access to the full range of post-school education and training options and allowing them to ‘skill up’ for the unique workforce needs of the region. Some students will use pathways from VET to higher education, while our degree students can access additional trade qualifications to ensure they are the most employable and comprehensively-skilled graduates in the nation.
Bowman said CQU’s next major step would be the creation of a dual sector project board comprising personnel from both institutions, which will oversee the transition of staff and students to the new institution, and the creation of new education and training pathways between higher education and VET.
The Commonwealth government contributed $74 million through the Education Investment Fund and structural adjustment funding, while the state government put in $150 million in assets and other funds.
Projects that will soon get under way as part of the Commonwealth funding envelope include a major overhaul of the flagship Mackay TAFE campus (estimated value $10.2m), a new state-of-the-art engineering hub in Mackay (estimated value $16.6m), stage two of the CQUniversity Health Clinic in Rockhampton (estimated value $14m), and a unification of teaching technology across the entire University and TAFE networks (estimated value $12.1m).
CQU expects to begin operating as a dual sector university from Term 2, 2014.
CQU will train the best boilermakers and hairdressers and educate the best engineers, teachers and physiotherapists and also undertake world class research in areas such as agriculture and health.