Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This time every year I reflect on the impact and achievements of CQUniversity over the preceding 12 months and think to myself, “how on earth can we possibly top that next year?”  And yet somehow we do, year-on-year, with 2016 being no different. We have gone even bigger and better in just about every aspect of the University in 2016, and it is amazing to think that next year we will somehow find a way to top it. I’ve come to realise that this is who we are now – this is what a great university does. A continuous drive for improvement and impact and all the necessary components working together to make good things happen. I think that we should all be proud of how this is playing out in the lives of our graduates, and the impact it is having on our communities. Especially this year. I won’t list the dozens of achievements from the year instead, I encourage you to watch this short video that captures them all. 


Thank you to everyone who has been involved in CQUni's success this year. I very much look forward to working with you all again in 2017.

A very Merry Christmas, and safe and happy New Year to you all!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

First blog in quite some time

I’ve only just returned to the office after three months off on long service leave, so I thought it was high time that I get back to my blog. Anita and I had a brilliant time travelling across Australia in the first few weeks, before travelling to Europe and Africa. It was a great experience to be able to unwind like that and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity.

Anita and I trying to figure out which direction Rockhampton is

While I was away our Provost Hilary Winchester took over as VC and unsurprisingly did a fantastic job. I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about work when the Uni was in Hilary’s capable hands. Sadly though, Hilary finished up at the University following my return and will now embark on the next phase of her career doing consultancy work within the higher ed sector. Hilary will relocate back to Adelaide and will be missed by all here at CQUni. We certainly owe a great deal of thanks to Hilary for her leadership and vision.

Hilary (centre right) with some of our Townsville campus staff

Since returning I have definitely hit the ground running, travelling to Melbourne during the first week, followed by north Queensland and Sydney this week. It’s great to see so much happening and so many of our projects coming to fruition.

I also had the chance to meet with student leaders at the student leadership conference in Brisbane last week

Some of the highlights include the opening of our new state-of-the-art research labs at the Central Queensland Innovation and Research Precinct (CQIRP), the signing of the lease for our new campus in the Perth CBD, the signing of an MOU to deliver our ag program out of the Rural Industries Skills Training (RIST) in Hamilton Victoria, addition of creative and performing arts programs to our Cairns campus and the rapid construction of the next phase of our Townsville campus.


Construction of the second stage of our Townsville campus si moving ahead at a rapid pace

We have also been fortunate enough to see our people win numerous awards and to top it all off we improved our world university ranking with Times Higher Education, appearing in the top 500 bracket.

It sure is great to be back and I look forward to updating you about more of our exciting initiatives, including our growing social innovation agenda. There may only be a few weeks until Christmas but there is certainly no slowing down at CQUni!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Governments must fund regional powerhouses

About this time last year I wrote an opinion piece about the value of regional Australia and the need for governments at all levels to back these communities and the industries that support them.

For far too long our regional cities have suffered at the expense of their metropolitan cousins – losing out on much needed funding that would bring about community and industry re-invigoration and create much needed jobs. This is despite the fact that for the last decade a large percentage of the Nation’s GDP has in fact come straight out of our regions – most notably from mining and agriculture.

Now we find ourselves in the situation where the resources boom has reached its inevitable wind-down and what does regional Australia – in particular central Queensland (where much of this activity occurred) have to show for it? Well not a lot really. There have been relatively few upgrades to infrastructure, no boost to industries outside of mining, our hospitals are still lagging behind and participation in higher education among regional students is still behind that of students who grew up in the city. This is simply just not good enough and it is high-time that our politicians started to realise the potential and worth of our regions and the people who call these communities home.

Residents of regional Australia also need to make a stand and demand a better deal - Just like I said last year - As the resources boom slows, there has never been a more important time for regional economies to back themselves and look at new ways to diversify growth in other sectors. We will seal our own fate if we let our confidence waver.

For the past two weeks, I have been making a stand with CQUniversity’s Chancellor, Mr John Abbott to lobby for a better deal for the Gladstone community by highlighting the critical need for better investment in the City’s trade training facilities.

We have put forward plans for a $16.4 million redevelopment project proposal which the University hopes will get support from both sides of government, at all levels.

Stage 1 and 2 of the proposal includes a state-of-the-art TAFE Trades Training Centre, hair and beauty salon and modern hospitality training centre that would include a commercial kitchen and restaurant, at the Gladstone Marina Campus.

A Stage 3 proposal has also been put forward to develop an advanced Community Health Precinct that specialises in health training and the delivery of allied and public health services, as well as an aged care facility, located at the existing Gladstone City Campus in Derby Street (former CQ TAFE campus).

Should we be successful in attracting a funding commitment, the projects would lead to a new era in the delivery of education and training in Gladstone and create new jobs in the process. Combined with the location of Gladstone and its access to a world-class port the region would be in a prime position to provide education, training and research to support industries like agriculture, tourism and hospitality.

The Gladstone community both needs and deserves this investment in its future. Gladstone has been a powerhouse that has contributed to the national economy exponentially over the years yet the trade and vocational facilities inherited from the Queensland State Government following the merger between CQUniversity and CQ TAFE are below adequate. When you compare the facilities with those of the trades training centres in Brisbane the difference shows just how disproportionate funding in regional education and industry has been over the years.


It’s time to change this and I believe that expansion of CQUniversity’s operations at the Gladstone Marina campus would be a positive thing for this important region going forward and I hope that our politicians will commit to supporting this project and the local community by making it a reality. Our kids, our businesses and our future deserve much better. 





Friday, May 20, 2016

Uni Experience and a chance meeting with the PM

Hundreds of students this week got a taste of CQUni life at University Experience events held across our campus network. 

The events give students in Year 12 the opportunity to visit one of our campuses, find out what uni life is all about, talk to staff and current students, and participate in activities that will prepare them for study. 

The events are a great way to prepare our future students and to help those who are still unsure about what to do after school, make a decision about their future. I'm told a lot of fun was had by all and that the students this year were full of questions about post-school education and training options in their local regions. Congratulations to our marketing team for hosting these events and helping these students with their decision-making. 

Students in Townsville also managed to get a little a little bit extra out of their uni experience day, when they bumped into our Prime Minister outside the CQUni Townsville campus, stopping him for a quick selfie and a chat while he was out and about on the campaign trail.










Friday, May 6, 2016

CQUni Melbourne campus a shining light of social innovation

I'm very proud of our Melbourne campus this week for hosting an extremely successful event, focusing on social innovation, as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week 2016. 

The public event allowed more than 100 aspiring social innovators to team up with and hear from socially innovative organisations including Engineers Without Borders, social enterprise developers Social Traders, and the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

The key purpose of the event was to challenge attendees to identify opportunities to create innovation and change in their world by giving them practical advice and frameworks to make a difference.

Participants also heard inspiring accounts of real-life social change from presenters Dr Andrew Ingham (School for Social Entrepreneurs), Mark Daniels (Social Traders) and Jane Hadjion (Engineers Without Borders).

The session also involved an interactive brainstorming session that saw participants tackle four big issues including asylum seekers, public health, the environment and education, by developing and delivering four big ideas for each. 

CQUniversity is a university that is truly is setting the agenda for social innovation in education, with core values to empower its students, staff and communities to drive positive change.  And, our Melbourne campus is certainly leading the way when it comes to engaging our community. 

We'll see more great events like this going forward, both at our Melbourne campus and at other campuses around our national footprint. In particular, there will be an event held at the Melbourne campus on 17 May, 2016 that will look into homelessness within the city. 

The event 'Sleeping on the streets of the world's most liveable city' will look at why more and more people are sleeping rough on Melbourne's streets. The session will also explore what types of simple and effective strategies may be implemented to by every member of the community to alleviate this situation. 

This event is free to attend and open to the public. For more on this event and others like it make sure you keep an eye on our events calendar on the CQUni webpage




Friday, April 29, 2016

DIY Power Tool Dangers

It was great to read this story (Research into D-I-Y accidents finds power tool users need better safety training) in UniNews yesterday. Not only was it a fascinating story about an even more fascinating research project but it shows how staff from our vocational and higher education areas have come together to work on education and research projects. 

In this instance, CQUniversity Metal Fabrication Teacher Gary Balderson and Dean of the School of Education and the Arts, Dr Bill Blayney, looked at the connection between the rise of Do-It-Yourself related injuries and product awareness. Something that I think is relevant to many people who aim to tackle projects around the home - and something that many Queenslanders will be doing as we approach a long weekend this week. 

The uptake of Do It Yourself (DIY) home renovations has rapidly increased across Australia with a subsequent increase in injury rates.  Currently, there is no requirement by suppliers to provide product awareness training for hobbyist/DIY consumers. There is growing concern about the impact of injury to the health and well-being of the individual and also the negative financial issues that impact on the community. In fact, the survey found two-thirds of the respondents were reading the instructions, but only 40% understood what they were reading!

This type of research is important and practical and is a great example of a comprehensive university like CQUniversity in action. It's great hearing about these projects and I really look forward to witnessing more examples of our VET and higher ed staff and students working together like this in the future. 


Friday, April 22, 2016

CQUni and Taipans continue partnership

I was delighted to announce today that CQUniversity would be extending its partnership, as naming rights sponsor of the Cairns Taipans for another three years. 

CQUniversity has partnered with the Taipans for four years now, first as a Taipans Academy supporter and then as naming rights sponsor from 2014. In fact, In CQUni's first year as the club’s major sponsor, the Snakes claimed their first minor premiership in NBL history. At the same time, CQUniversity was also expanding its presence in the Cairns region by announcing plans to extend the distance education study centre to a full campus. 

Our partnership with the Taipans brings with it many opportunities for community engagement and also allows us to deliver players and academy members with pathways into study. Importantly our sponsorship allows us to support the Taipans’ Indigenous Program, driven by former NBL player Kerry Williams.

Another fantastic part of our partnership moving forward is that there is a chance for up to three Taipans players and two support staff to gain a scholarship to study with us and there is solid potential for a PhD research student to be embedded with the club.

I am really proud of this partnership and firmly believe that we will see more and more community benefit emerge as a result. I can't wait for the new season to start later this year. Go Snakes! 


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Top 150 Under 50

Some more great news this morning as CQUniversity adds another highlight to its growing list of achievements for the year. I’m delighted to announce that we have officially been recognised by the Times Higher Education World Rankings (for the first time) within the world’s top 150 universities, under 50 years old.



This is a significant achievement for our university and shows that our hard work and determination, to transform CQUniversity from a strong university to a great university is paying off!

Over the past six years we have worked incredibly hard to increase our physical presence across Australia, grow our student numbers, deliver world-class research, improve our learning and teaching, and provide a great experience for our students.

In fact what we have achieved in such a short period of time is truly outstanding. We now have more than 30,000 students, delivery sites in every mainland state of Australia and some of the best graduate outcome rates in the nation. Most importantly though, we are Australia’s most inclusive and engaged university and will continue to measure our success by who we embrace rather than who we exclude.

What’s more today’s announcement follows on from several other significant achievements over the past 12 months, including being recognised within the world’s top 600 universities, being awarded five stars for inclusiveness, internationalisation and online/distance learning by the global QS Stars ratings system, achieving our highest ever Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) rankings, and most recently being recognised by international social innovation group Ashoka U as Australia’s first Changemaker Campus.

CQUniversity has a long proud history, both with CQ TAFE, which has been around for more than 125 years, and as the Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia), which was established almost 50 years ago. We have made a great impact on the communities we serve and next year we will celebrate 25 years since we achieved full university status. It’s very exciting to think about what the next 25 years have to offer and the difference we can make to the world around us.

For more information about the World’s top 150 universities under 50 please click here.




Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Old Rocky Favourite Returns

After a hiatus of more than a decade, the infamous Bird Cage has reopened at CQUniversity Rockhampton North campus. The revamped and modernised facility will add to a recent resurgence of campus life, with more vibrant events and activities now happening throughout the year. This is a really exciting development for our staff and our students - many of whom are now studying on campus. 

Operating as a licenced venue and cafĂ©, the Bird Cage is now open to CQUniversity staff, students and campus visitors. Initially, it will open from 11 am to 5 pm from Monday to Wednesday, with longer hours on Thursday (until 7pm) and Friday (until 9pm). It is also licenced to operate until midnight for special events.

Back in the day the Bird Cage was a favourite for many students, a place to relax and meet friends (and probably miss a few too many lectures and tutorials) and now a whole new generation of students will get to have this same experience. The space is fantastic and the massive outdoor deck is sure to be a real winner. Patrons can also bring their own food or select something off the menu meaning, so it really is a place for everyone to enjoy at any time. 

I am really proud at what our facilities team have developed, in fact I think it's one of the best and biggest uni bars I have ever seen. I know our students will absolutely love it and I look forward to bumping into a few of them there on my breaks. 

For a sneak peak have a look at our virtual tour below.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

CQUniversity - Australia's first Changemaker Campus

I am absolutely thrilled to finally share the news with you that CQUniversity has officially been recognised as a Changemaker Campus by global social innovation group Ashoka U!

This is an incredibly exciting development for CQUniversity as we are the first and only Australian university to join this prestigious group. In fact, there are only two Changemaker Campuses in the Asia Pacific Region – us and the Singapore Management University.

To provide a bit more background, the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus consortium is a dynamic, global network of leading colleges and universities who commit to advancing social innovation at their campus and beyond. These institutions collaborate with each other to break down barriers to institutional change and foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation. The group is made up of only 30 institutions around the world including Arizona State University, Brown University, Duke University and Singapore Management University. 





Social innovation is a concept that seeks to find innovative and sustainable solutions to social needs or problems. There are many definitions of the concept but ultimately the philosophy is driven by the simple need to improve lives and create positive change within the world around us – something that many of us are already doing without even realising.

Our acceptance into this exclusive group comes following a rigorous two year selection process that assessed CQUniversity’s social innovation credentials, plans and corporate values. Our focus on social innovation and becoming a Changemaker Campus is a natural extension to the University’s values of inclusiveness and engagement, and our mission to create connections across our local, national and international footprint for the mutual benefit of the University and our valued stakeholders – whether that’s in Melbourne, Mt Isa, or Mumbai.

At CQUniversity, we have always been engineers of profound social change – this includes activities such as the delivery of distance education (something we started doing almost half a century ago), research and program design that is informed by engagement with community and industry, the delivery of access education, and providing students with multiple opportunities to engage with the world around them. Put simply, social innovation is about helping our people answer the question “How can I change the world?” 

The solution requires entrepreneurialism, innovation, creativity and audacity to do things differently. It is the sheer boldness and creativity of our approach to education that gives CQUniversity its identity, and it is simply extraordinary that we have captured the imagination of the Ashoka U network of Changemaker Campuses. This is an achievement we should all be extremely proud of!

To learn more about our social innovation agenda and Ashoka U please go to www.cqu.edu.au/about-us/history/social-innovation and www.ashokau.org





Monday, March 7, 2016

A celebration of past achievements and those still to come – Farewell Rennie and welcome aboard John!

We celebrate a significant milestone this week at CQUniversity, as we officially farewell our current Chancellor Mr Rennie Fritschy and welcome our new Chancellor Mr John Abbott.

Rennie has served the CQUniversity as Chancellor for 12 years and during his tenure he has made a fantastic contribution to the University and the Central Queensland community.

It was during Rennie’s tenure that we embarked upon the Strong to Great agenda. This ambitious plan for reinvigoration and renewal was completely driven by a philosophy of engagement with our local communities. What the Central Queensland region told us was simple; the region needed to diversify its economic reliance on traditional industries and that we needed to act to with urgency to overcome worsening workplace shortages – particularly within the healthcare sector. To do this we needed to switch more people – especially young people within our regions, on to post-school education and close the gap that existed between metropolitan and regional university participation rates - particularly among recent school leavers and students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The University set out to deliver on this social charter and acted upon it as if it were a crisis situation. In the years that followed the University introduced dozens of new programs and reinvented existing courses. To support this more than $200 million dollars has been invested in refreshing existing facilities and building new ones, and we also increased our investment in research, student support, technology and learning and teaching quality.

The University also welcomed the history-making merger with CQ TAFE in 2014, which is arguably one of the most significant things to happen in the history of education and training in Queensland. This move also meant we could work across the entire spectrum of post-school education and create synergies between vocational and tertiary education.

More than five years after we embarked on this journey the results are becoming clear. CQUniversity has grown to become one of the largest regional universities in Australia, with more than 30,000 students currently enrolled. We now also have the largest geographical footprint of any other university in the country, with 24 delivery sites including campuses, study centres and partnerships with third party university centres in Western Australia and New South Wales.

Best of all though, we are Australia’s most inclusive university, with the highest percentages of students from low socio-economic, first-in-family, mature age and Indigenous backgrounds. Importantly CQUniversity now has one of the highest domestic student growth rates in Australia (with 40 percent growth in the last seven years).
This is all great news for CQUniversity but it is also great news for the community as this success has and will continue to drive broader social change. Already we have witnessed the first wave of new health professionals graduate and enter the workforce – many of whom have taken jobs in Central Queensland or within regional and remote communities across Australia. And we are starting to see equity emerge with regards to university participation rates in the CQ region, compared to that of the cities. More of our young people are embarking on securing a trade or a university qualification!

We will continue to witness the positive effects of this strategy for many years to come and we must thank Rennie for his contribution and vision related to this. Rennie, on behalf of everyone at CQUniversity and the Central Queensland region I would like to thank you for this valuable contribution!

Personally, I would also like to thank you for being a fantastic friend and mentor. I hope your retirement heralds an exciting new chapter in your life and I wish you and Noelene all the very best for a happy future.


And to our new Chancellor, Mr John Abbott, I look forward to working with you starting from next Monday. You have already made a considerable contribution to the University over many, many years, first with your involvement at CIAE and now as a member of Council, so I have no doubt you will continue to influence positive outcomes for the University. The most exciting thing though, is that you will provide leadership to the University during our next phase of growth and importantly play an instrumental role in CQUniversity emerging as one of Australia’s great universities. 


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A memorable week

Wow! What a week last week was. The week was full of major milestones including the Building 34 opening in Rockhampton, with none other than the Prime Minister.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham also visited us in Mackay,  officially opening the brand new $16.6 million Rennie Fritschy Engineering Building at the Ooralea campus. And on top of this we also celebrated the launch of the University’s new postgraduate programs in Domestic and Family Violence Practice in Brisbane. The Queensland State Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Shannon Fentiman was the guest speaker at this event and importantly used the occasion to announce $3.7 million in new funding, over five years, for CQUniversity’s Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (CDFVR).

Opposition Leader, the Hon. Bill Shorten was also in Mackay last Friday and we were happy to show him around our fantastic facilities and update him on our activities in the region.

I’m sure you’ll agree it was a big week for political visits and I think this is a testament to the fantastic work CQUniversity is doing. The word is certainly getting out and I’m very proud to host our pollies and promote the difference we are making across Australia.

Of course, in acknowledging the great work CQUniversity is doing, I must also acknowledge the contribution of our Chancellor, Mr Rennie Fritschy. Much has been achieved under his leadership and his contribution will be felt for many years to come. Last week we also held our final farewell function for Rennie in Mackay, which was a wonderful way for just just CQUniversity but also the community to celebrate and recognise his service to our university.

Please scroll down and click on the images below to have a look at our photo galleries from the many happenings last week. 

BUILDING 34 OPENING WITH THE PM

OPENING OF THE RENNIE FRITSCHY ENGINEERING BUILDING IN MACKAY

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POSTGRAD PROGRAM LAUNCH

CHANCELLOR FAREWELL EVENTS






Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Brief stop in India to meet alumni and SBT kids

This time last week I was in India as part of a short trip overseas. I stopped in India on the way back from the Middle East to attend alumni events and to also visit the children at the Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT). As always it was a great visit. India is a wonderful country.

It’s always inspiring to catch up with our Indian alumni as so many have gone on to achieve remarkable things and most importantly are now helping others to do the same. It’s also fantastic to hear about how proud they are to be an alumnus of CQUniversity and hear their stories of studying in Australia. It’s great to see this cohort is still so engaged with their university and even better that they have so many ideas in relation to our Strong to Great vision.

With CQUni Alumni

Whenever I visit India I also try to organise some time at the Salaam Baalak Trust. CQUniversity has a long running partnership with SBT and we are proud to support the work they do, giving some of Delhi’s most disadvantaged children a new life. CQUniversity contributes financially to the Trust and also sponsors the SBT City Walk program run by some of the Trust’s older children. Along with this we also fund a number of scholarships for SBT students to attend university in India – something that is life changing for the recipients. Hearing about their study success is always a highlight!

The Salaam Baalak Trust also changes the lives of other students as well – those of our students who visit during study tours. Each year groups of education and nursing students travel to India to work with the staff and children at SBT and all of them say how the trip not just enriched their learning experience but so too changed their lives.

With the amazing children at SBT

Currently, another group of CQUniversity students (engineers) are also in India as part of an Engineers Without Borders tour. The tour is made up of 45 students from universities across Australia and 17 of these students are studying engineering at CQUni. This opportunity sounds incredible as they will be working with community leaders in Pune (near Mumbai) to identify community challenges and design solutions for them. At the end of two weeks they will deliver these solutions back to the community. The whole experience is based on human centred design and will focus heavily on social innovation. I would have loved to join them, even for just a few days to share this experience but unfortunately time didn’t permit.  Fortunately, our university photographer and cameraman is touring with them though so in a few weeks I should be able to share some great photos and footage of this.


I think it’s so great that before the study year even begins some of our students are already discovering the world and finding ways to make a positive difference. Looking forward to hearing their stories and seeing the images. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Partnership leads to scholarship

To begin the year I have been fortunate enough to travel abroad on university business to the Middle East and India.

The first leg of the trip was to Kuwait, to officially celebrate the ongoing partnership between CQUniversity and the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK). The partnership has seen CQUniversity establish an office at the college, with a staff member from CQUniversity permanently based there. Joahanne Flynn has been appointed to this role and will work to establish strategic research and learning and teaching linkages between the two institutions.

Most excitingly however, is that ACK will now be sponsoring selected graduating students, to study their masters or PhD’s in Australia, at CQUniversity. The first such student to receive a scholarship was Maryam Omar. While in Kuwait we presented Maryam with her scholarship and also got to spend some time with her, learning about her studies, work experience and goals for the future.

Thanks to the scholarship Maryam will travel to Australia this year to complete her masters of engineering at the Melbourne campus. Maryam is a very accomplished young woman having recently graduated from ACK with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) and a perfect GPA of 4.0 out 4.0. She has recently started work as an engineer and also happens to be a very talented cricket player. In fact Maryam was the captain of the Kuwait National Women’s Cricket team in 2013!

I really look forward to welcoming Maryam to CQUniversity and Australia in Term 2. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Mr Rennie Fritschy - Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

The good news just keeps coming this year, as today we learned that our Chancellor Mr Rennie Fritschy has been recognised in the Australia Day Honours List with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) award.

I am delighted that Rennie has been recognised in such a way and it is particularly fitting that this award has come on the eve of his retirement.

The award recognises the significant contribution he has made to regional Australia, particularly Central Queensland, throughout his distinguished career spanning the alumina, nickel, petrochemical and textile industries, and of course as the Chancellor of CQUniversity.

As Chancellor, Rennie has applied his expertise in leadership and strategy development to make a significant and lasting impact on not just the University, but on communities in Central Queensland and beyond. His stewardship of the University has led to the development of new program offerings specific to the needs of the region, state-of-the-art learning and teaching facilities and a greater focus on our global outreach programs, and our social innovation agenda. The roll-out of new allied health programs in Central Queensland in recent years, for instance, is already changing these communities. We’ve begun seeing the first wave of skilled graduates entering the workforce, with at least 70 percent of them remaining in the region to live and work. I know this has been of one of Rennie’s most cherished accomplishments.

It has been strategic imperatives like this which have led to increased enrolments at CQUniversity, helping improve higher education participation within the region. In fact, during Rennie’s tenure as Chancellor we’ve actually seen the gap between metropolitan and CQ regional university attendance rates narrow markedly, which is tremendous social change.

Importantly, Mr Fritschy’s commitment to improving access to higher education for the demographic that CQUniversity mostly serves, including regional and remote, low socioeconomic, first-in-family and Indigenous students, has made positive ripples throughout the region. His tenure as Chancellor has seen CQUniversity emerge as the largest and fastest growing university based in regional Australia.

Rennie has helped take a strong regional university and transform it into a great national university.

On behalf of everyone at CQUniversity I would like to congratulate Mr Fritschy on this award. I am sure you will join with me in agreeing that he is thoroughly deserving of this recognition.



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

STEM program offers on the rise at CQUni

How great is it that program offers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are on the rise at CQUniversity?

In fact almost half of all offers made at CQUniversity were for programs delivered by the University’s School of Engineering and Technology, and School of Medical and Applied Science.

Traditionally, programs within the humanities and business have been the most favoured among new students but in the past few years we have seen things event up, not just here at CQUniversity but across the sector. There are so many diverse STEM programs available for students to study from medical science, sports science, food science, medical imaging and sonography, to civil, mechatronic and electrical engineering. These programs also offer students some exciting career pathways after graduation with these types of skills in high demand both in Australia and across the globe.

Another interesting trend emerging as part of these results is also that the percentage of female students entering into study STEM related study has also grown with almost 70 percent of offers made within our School of Medical and Applied Science going to female students. As we all know, STEM has been a traditionally male dominated field, so seeing this turnaround is a terrific result. I think it also shows that high schools are doing a great job encouraging female students to study STEM related subjects and breaking down the gender barriers in this area.

STEM is really emerging as an exciting field of study and I for one am looking forward to seeing how this area grows in the future and what new opportunities become available. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Good news to start the year

It’s wonderful to be announcing some great news so early in the New Year - two CQUniversity led projects have been awarded prestigious Federal Government, Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) grants.

Congratulations must go to Professor Kerry Reid-Searl and Associate Professor Trudy Dwyer who have been awarded a $300,000 grant, to develop a toolkit to facilitate work-ready nursing graduates. The project will help to boost patient safety through innovative simulation exercises involving dramatisation of key health scenarios and role-play participation by undergraduate nursing students.

Kerry and Trudy will lead the two-year project in partnership with academics from the Australian Catholic University, the University of Newcastle and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Further congratulations must also go to Professor Denise Wood and Professor Bronwyn Fredericks who have gained a grant worth $320,000 to carry out research that will bring about an understanding of the factors that impact on higher education outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.  The study will involve cross-sector collaboration and a participatory action research approach.

Denise and Bronwyn will lead the project in collaboration with academics from Charles Darwin University, University of South Australia, the University of Newcastle and James Cook University.

Well done to Kerry, Trudy, Denise and Bronwyn. A fantastic outcome and a great way to start the year!