Monday, August 27, 2012

The importance of regional universities

Just recently the new CQUniversity Rockhampton Engineering precinct won a prestigious Queensland Master Builders award for the best renovation/refurbishment over $5 million. Congratulations to construction contractor Paynter Dixon and our own Department of Facilities Management and School of Engineering & Built Environment on this win!

This type of recognition is always worth celebrating and having an award-winning building right here on the Rockhampton campus is certainly something to be proud of.

However, the thing I am most proud of is the investment the university has made in renewing the precinct.

The $10.7 million dollar refurbishment has given a new lease of life to the precinct, which up until recently was starting to show its age. Now a whole new generation of students will be able to make the most of specialist lab areas, state-of-the-art equipment, a lecture theatre and dedicated post-grad area.

In my mind this investment represents the university’s commitment to ‘putting its money where its mouth is’ and delivering world class engineering programs to our students. Delivering quality programs to our students also means local industries can benefit from access to local graduates who have the skills to meet the unique needs of their sector.

This refurbishment has now paved the way for further growth in the CQUniversity Engineering program, including the first year of the course being offered in Bundaberg in 2013 and the proposed construction of another precinct at the Mackay campus.

Investing in our university is an investment in the local community. Delivering programs relevant to the needs of the region means young people are less likely to move away from the area to further their education and as I’ve mentioned before students who study local are also more likely to stay local.

A thriving regional university is a building block in a thriving local economy and prosperous community which recognises and values the importance of education for all.

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