The Newman Government has given its approval to enter into an agreement to merge Central Queensland Institute of TAFE (CQIT) with Central Queensland University (CQU) to create a dual sector university.
Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said Cabinet had given final approval to merge the two institutions after more than two years of negotiations.
“This decision will provide the Central Queensland community with access to a quality education provider, delivering a full range of programs to meet the needs of the region,” Mr Langbroek said.
“We went to the election promising Central Queenslanders that we would resolve the issue of the merger sooner rather than later and I’m proud to say we’ve delivered on this promise.
“The Newman Government is committed to providing Queenslanders with a range of education and training pathways to ensure that they have every opportunity to reach their career goals and contribute to the state’s economy.”
Mr Langbroek said work would now commence on the details of the planned merger to ensure CQU could operate as a dual sector university from 1 January 2014.
“The community has been very vocal in its support for this merger and I have no doubt this outcome will enhance the training opportunities in the region,” he said.
“A dual-sector institution is expected to attract more students internationally and in Australia.”
As part of a merger agreement, responsibility for the TAFE’s six campuses at Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Biloela, Yeppoon and Emerald and its other six centres of operation at Clermont, Barcaldine, Blackwater, Moranbah, Dysart and the Trade Training Centre under construction at Ooralea in Mackay will transfer to CQU.
“Moving forward, it is anticipated that this merger will mean Central Queenslanders will be able to access both TAFE and university programs at a wider range of locations across the region,” he said.
“In the meantime, school leavers and other prospective students should continue to apply to either TAFE or the university through the normal process.”
Confirmation of the merger marks another milestone in the Newman Government’s plan to revitalise Queensland’s vocational education and training (VET) sector.
“We are determined to deliver real career outcomes for Queenslanders and this decision takes us a step closer to achieving this goal.”