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Combined $194m campus less than month away

WITH less than four weeks to go until Central Queensland Institute of TAFE and CQ University merge, both institutions are feeling the heat.

The merger will result in $120 million in TAFE assets from the State Government and $74 million in federal funding being combined to form Queensland's first dual sector university.

"It's full bore because we have to run our normal business, but we're also putting on our offerings for next semester and next term," CQ Institute of TAFE director Gary Kinnon said.

Mr Kinnon said everyone from the TAFE faculty managers to teachers, administrators and cleaners would be affected by the merger.

But not one job will be lost, he said.

For staff at the Gladstone TAFE campus, relief is in the air, according to training business manager Suzie Lane.

"It's been a long time coming, so I suppose there's a sense of relief that we're actually now rapidly moving towards what will be our new world," she said.

But despite the slight nervousness that surrounded heading into unknown territory, she said business was largely going to remain as usual.

"We'll come to work and it'll have a new business name but that's about all," Ms Lane said.

Some movement of staff may occur, but most of the vocational courses will remain at the TAFE campus on Derby St, while tertiary courses will be based at the marina campus.

"Moving into CQ University, it's a big entity and a positive entity," Ms Lane said.

"With all the changes in the VET sector, it's good to be involved with someone who's got energy and enthusiasm for moving forward."

CQUniversity acting vice-chancellor and deputy vice-chancellor (industry and VET) Nik Babovic said the new comprehensive university would make central Queensland an education destination for students across Australia, and allow more local students to study within the region.

"Our partnership with CQ TAFE builds on a 125-year history of supporting local students to be the best they can be, and connecting them with the local employers," he said.

"The merger is happening on July 1 and we've been working at breakneck speed to get all of our systems right for go-live."

CQ TAFE graduate Beau Murphy works at Rainbow Valley Early Learning Centre and is considering furthering his education at CQUniversity.
CQ TAFE graduate Beau Murphy works at Rainbow Valley Early Learning Centre and is considering furthering his education at CQUniversity. Brenda Strong

Childcare worker looks forward to new opportunities

CHILDCARE worker Beau Murphy adores working with kids.

Already well equipped for his job with a diploma from TAFE, he now has his sights set on a degree from CQUniversity.

The 20-year-old is inspired by his colleagues at Rainbow Valley Early Learning.

"I work with a lot of educated professionals, and it blows me away how much these guys know," he said.

Mr Murphy said the merger of TAFE and CQUni would be a good thing for Gladstone.

"It'll be a good opportunity for TAFE to have more resources and professional qualifications around the place," he said.

The aspiring professional said he was always trying to better himself, and studying was an important part of that mission.

He said the biggest advantage in TAFE's approach was the ability to study while holding down his job.

He hoped the university experience would also have this flexibility, and planned to make inquiries and begin next semester.

TIMELINE:

AUG 2011: Queensland Government signals support

DEC 2011: Federal Government commits $73.8million

DEC 2012: Queensland Government approves merger

SEPT 2013: Agreement signed between CQ University and CQ TAFE

JULY 2014: Merger takes effect

Topics:  cqit, cquniversity, higher education, tafe




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