Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dual-sector approval: a great day for Central Queensland

Today was a big day for the University, the Central Queensland Insitute of TAFE, and the community. Huge actually. We passed a very important milestone in our journey to becoming Queensland's first dual-sector university, with Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announcing approval for the merger between CQUniversity and CQIT to proceed. Premier Bligh (pictured above with CQIT Director Kirsti Kee and myself) was at our Rockhampton campus this morning to make the announcement.

This doesn't mean we have merged yet - it's just the starting pistol for negotiations to proceed. The real work starts today. We have to make sure any amalgamation of the two institutions works in the best interest of staff and students of both organisations. We also need to ensure that any amalgamation achieves the best possible outcome for skilling this unique region more effectively; local employers, businesses, industry and the community as a whole will be huge beneficiaries of this dynamic new education and training model if it's done right. And I am confident it will be done right; we simply wouldn't be proceeding with it otherwise.

For the duration of our journey to dual-sector status thus far, we have received strong support from the region's schools, industry, employers, local groups like Capricorn Enterprise and GAPDL in Gladstone, local mayors, staff, students, government, and the wider community. This support has helped us get this far, and the continued support of the community will see us reach our goal in the end. Thanks to everyone involved in getting us to this point, I'm looking forward to keeping you updated as we move forward from here. And to our colleagues at CQIT, I'm excited and energised about working with you to build a stronger institution together.

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