TAFE-Uni linked launched in $200 million push for the bush
The Federal Education Minister has officially opened Queensland’s first dual sector university.
The launch comes after state and federal governments agreed on a deal to merge CQUniversity and TAFE campuses across central Queensland.
The merger will see the combination of $130 million in TAFE assets with $74 million in federal funding backing the new entity.
The federal funds will pay for a large range of new buildings, facilities and services across campuses.
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne officially unveiled the partnership at the CQUniversity campus at Ooralea, south of Mackay this week.
Vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman told reporters that it was all about getting the best services to students in regional areas.
“TAFE students will get access to all the university facilities and degree students are going to get access to TAFE training,” Mr Bowman said.
“The Federal Government's put in about $74 million, the State Government has put in about $130 million because they've put in all their infrastructure at the TAFE and the university has put in all its infrastructure, which is valued at $200 million, so this is a really big project with a lot of resources going into it.”
The mergers are intended to pool otherwise disparate resources, allowing high school students to go on to study accounting, engineering and other degrees near their home towns, rather than having to move to the city.
Engineering degrees will be more easily available after the merger.
Professor Bowman said it was just one of the new opportunities..
“In Mackay, we're looking forward to delivering a new engineering building on the Ooralea Campus, which will allow aspiring local engineers to complete their entire degree without having to leave the region," Prof Bowman said.
“It also provides new opportunities for local people with trade qualifications to up-skill and to improve their job prospects in the shifting economy.
“This merger makes CQUniversity the biggest regional university in Australia, and all our campuses and communities are set to benefit from the new networks, system upgrades and new pathways that it will deliver.”