Friday, June 27, 2014

A more comprehensive future just days away

The time has finally come for all of us at CQUniversity to usher in a new era in education and training. Today is the last day of the last week before the University undergoes the most significant change in its history. On Tuesday the long awaited merger with CQ TAFE will become official and a more comprehensive university will be born, paving the way for a smarter more innovative approach to education and training in the region.

Tuesday, 1 July will be a day of celebration and every CQUni campus across Australia will mark this date and join in. While most of the benefit will be felt directly within the CQ footprint itself, there will be a flow on effect beyond the region with students able to explore many new opportunities and study pathways, regardless of their location.

Going forward students won’t just come to CQUniversity to complete a degree, students will come to us to complete enabling programs that will provide them with the skills and confidence to go on to further study, they will come to us to complete trade certificates, diplomas and short courses, and they will come to study degrees fresh from leaving school or to enrol in postgraduate study to take their career further. They will also come to us to up-skill, gaining specialised qualifications in  their area of expertise or to set the foundations to embark on a career change.

What’s more at any point in time during their study journey they will be able to seamlessly transition between different levels of study – for example engineering students might elect to complete a welding qualification on top of their degree or a sports science student might take up a fitness qualification in their first year of study allowing them to work in the industry while they are studying. Likewise, graduates might come back to study VET programs to further expand on their skills and knowledge in a particular area.

It is because of this new approach to education and training that our region can look forward to having much needed childcare professionals, engineers, scientists, midwives, enrolled nurses, tradespeople, service providers, community workers and allied health professions. Delivering skills and knowledge to these professionals will boost our local economy and build not just our region but others like ours, both here in Australia and overseas.

The merger between CQ TAFE and CQUniversity is a first for Queensland and each and every one of us that call central Queensland home, or who are a part of the CQUniversity and CQ TAFE community should feel very proud to be involved in this revolutionary approach.

On top of this I think the fact a regional university is taking a lead with this approach in Queensland is something very exciting!

Finally, between now and Tuesday there is still a lot of work being done behind the scenes to ensure a smooth transition, things like merging data between systems and getting all new systems up and running, welcoming 400 plus staff from TAFE, unifying programs and courses, building new state-of-the-art infrastructure, and getting the message out about how we are making this change for the better. I’d therefore like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication shown by so many staff across both organisations, during the merger transition process. Getting to this milestone would have simply not been possible without so many great people behind the cause.

Be sure to check my blog again next week for more updates on the merger!