Wednesday, July 1, 2015

One year on: Australia's most comprehensive university

This time last year, I was in Mackay to kick-off the official celebrations to mark the merger between CQUniversity and CQ TAFE. It had taken so much work by so many people to get to that point; years of negotiation and months of planning, to ensure everything was ready to go on 1 July, 2014. This time last year there was certainly a lot of anticipation and excitement in the air (as well as uncertainty). Now, one year on it's almost as if things were always this way

Overall I don't think the merger could have gone any better, nor our outcomes in the past year been any more successful. Of course we still have our challenges to work through, however, since the merger, I believe that each and every person at CQUniversity has gotten on with the job of making CQUniversity one of Australia's great universities.

With so much happening its sometimes easy to forget about the many achievements of our university, our students, our alumni and our colleagues. Which is why I thought today, the first anniversary of the merger, was the perfect day to provide a brief snapshot of just some of the remarkable achievements witnessed in the past year. I hope these will remind you of why CQUniversity is a great place to be and how we are making a real difference in the many communities we serve.

Expansion in the North and West
In the past year CQUniversity has extended its national presence, opening a study centre and campus in Townsville, and study centres in Charters Towers, Perth and Karratha. 

New campuses
As well as the new Townsville campus, we have also just moved into a brand new campus in Melbourne and are currently putting the finishing touches on our new Cairns campus.

More comprehensive options
The exciting thing about the merger was that CQUniversity could deliver more study and pathway programs than ever before. In just the past 12 months 30 new VET courses have been developed and are being delivered to students in CQ and beyond. Whether people are starting their careers, changing their careers or adding to their skills, CQUniversity can deliver like never before. 

Health Clinic Stage 2
Stage 2 of the CQUniversity Health Clinic was completed thanks to funding made available as part of the merger. The facility now provides a real life setting for health students to train in and delivers the public with affordable access to healthcare in the CQ region. 

Teaching Awards
A record number of awards have been given out in the past year with with the highest ever number of teachers in the higher education division being recognised for excellence in learning and teaching. Along with this teachers from the IVTAE division have also been recognised for excellence at regional and state level training awards. 

Building MackayA $16.6 million engineering precinct being constructed on the Mackay Ooralea campus will give both the University and students a huge boost and provide the region with one of the most cutting edge engineering precincts in Australia. What's more, Mackay Regional Council has also approved $10 million in funding for Stage 1 and 2 of a new sports precinct at the Ooralea campus. There also also other exciting capital works projects being undertaken at the Mackay City campus.

A Big Idea
Three CQUniversity Engineering students with a Big Idea, beat out competitors from Go8 universities to win the national Big Idea comeptition that promotes social innovation. This achievement was made even more remarkable because this was the first time a team from CQUniversity entered the competition. The team's winning entry was based on emergency shelter houses made out of recyclable wooden pallets. 

Beef Week
This year CQUniversity was a major supporting partner of Beef Australia 2015, which is one of the most important events on the global Beef Industry calendar. As well as promoting our credentials as a leading agricultural research university the event also delivered valuable opportunities for branding, engagement, student recruitment and publicity. 

Cyclone Recovery
Cyclone Marcia closed campuses across central Queensland and caused damage to both Rockhampton campuses but with the help of a large group of student and staff volunteers, both sites were back up and running, business-as-usual within a week. 

Giving Back
One of CQUniversity's pillars of greatness is giving back and with so many great staff and students, this concept is easily achieved. Just this year CQUniversity has contributed almost $40,000 to Rotary, with these funds being directed to disaster relief in Vanuatu and Nepal. 

EDNA IICQUniversity's brand new engagement database was launched this year and already has more than 500 entries! This new database will allow us to record important internal and external engagement interactions and showcase why we are Australia's most engaged university. 

Indigenous Engagement
The University's Office of Indigenous Engagement continues to deliver great outcomes thanks to the programs they run and the engagement work they carry out in the communities we serve. Important activities include the AIME mentoring program and delivering support to our Indigenous students across Australia. In fact this year we will have more Indigenous students graduate than ever before.

CQUniverse Campaign
A brand new marketing campaign was launched last year to promote the countless study and pathway options available at CQUniversity, right across Australia. The campaign has been one of the University's most successful to date with record domestic undergraduate growth and our biggest ever STEPS cohort joining the University this year. 

From significant research grants, new research opportunities and engagement, recognition and accolades for our research staff,  and the delivery of research that is relevant to communities and industry, there really should be a whole broadcast just dedicated to our research highlights since the merger! Because of this CQUniversity is fast emerging as one of Australia's great research universities. 

New Research Institute and Centres
From significant research grants, new research opportunities and engagement, recognition and accolades for our research staff,  and the delivery of research that is relevant to communities and industry, there really should be a whole broadcast just dedicated to our research highlights since the merger! Because of this CQUniversity is fast emerging as one of Australia's great research universities. 

Cairns Taipans Sponsorship
CQUniversity last year announced that it would become the naming rights sponsor of the Cairns Taipans NBL team. The team went on to become runners up in the competition and the sponsorship delivered countless engagement opportunities in Cairns and beyond. The sponsorship also provides CQUniversity with opportunity to profile its brand across Australia and New Zealand. 

HEPP Projects
In 2015, CQUniversity announced funding for 21 projects aimed at raising university aspirations among disadvantaged students. The funding worth $5.1 million is part of the Commonwealth’s Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP). Projects funded under this initiative will span the entire student journey, including raising aspirations of high school students (and their capacity to succeed), and providing targeted support services during the study journey. The projects will also help to connect students with industry and secure employment opportunities.

First Geraldton Graduation
Earlier this year CQUniversity celebrated the graduations of the first cohort of students to study with CQUni through the Geraldton Universities Centre. 

April Fools
A story  about 'Mooobile Wi-Fi' using cattle ear tags to boost Wi-Fi signals in the bush turned out to be a spoof but it succeeded due to an element of truth and shined a light on the many serious agricultural research projects being carried out at CQUniversity. The story reached more than 1 million people across the globe and was named as one of Australia's best April Fools jokes by The Guardian Australia, Crikey and The Daily Telegraph.

Keeping CQUni Safe
The University has this year introduced new mechanisms to keep our staff, students and visitors safe and to more effectively communicate during emergency situations. The SafeZone App allows users to call for help and also sends notices and alerts in the event of emergency.

No comments: