CQUni-TAFE merger gets go-ahead
THE Queensland Government has given the green light for CQUniversity’s bold expansion plan to merge with the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE.
The move frees the two educational facilities to begin their own discussions.
The merged entity would manage the education of around 35,000 students and service an area three to four times the size of Victoria for both vocational and tertiary studies.
A year after The Morning Bulletin broke the story about the plans, Premier Anna Bligh yesterday announced it had state government’s backing.
The merger would create Queensland’s first dual-sector university.
CQUniversity is Rockhampton’s largest employer and has more than 1700 staff across all campuses.
Vice-Chancellor and President Scott Bowman said the decision would allow the university to better respond to the region’s unique and evolving skills needs.
“This latest development should be welcome news not just for staff and students of CQIT and CQUniversity, but for every employer, every business and every industry in the region,” Mr Bowman said.
“A dual-sector university will deliver a seamless stream of both academic and vocational learning pathways that can finally begin working together more strategically, rather than competing or working in isolation.”
Ms Bligh said the project would create great opportunities for local students.
“The merger would combine the strengths of TAFE – practical skills training and job readiness – with the strengths of higher education – theoretical knowledge and links to research,” she said.
“The region is on the brink of a building and construction boom with $70 billion worth of developments expected to come on line in the next two years.
“It’s estimated the CSG and LNG industries will create 41,000 jobs over the next 20 years.
Kirsti Kee, acting Director, CQIT said the merger would create a wider range of opportunities for students and staff.
She said she wasn’t concerned about job security issues for staff members.
“If we’re going to keep delivering training to students we’re going to need staff,” Ms Kee said.
“We have an excellent group of staff who are well qualified, to give that training.”
CQUniversity has more than 15,000 students and 1700 staff across 10 campuses.
CQIT delivered to 19,366 students across seven campuses in 2010/2011.