Concerns over merger funding

SUPPORT for the merger of Gladstone TAFE and Central Queensland University appears to be unanimous across industry and politics, however Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham is concerned about funding.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has supported the concept of an amalgamation between Central Queensland Institute of TAFE and CQUniversity Australia, which has been welcomed by CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman.

Ms Cunningham said while the venture had been proven a success, as evident when a technical college in Brisbane merged with a university, what the TAFE and the university needed was funding.

“The $10 million (Education Minister) Geoff Wilson talked about, according to Energy Skills Queensland, was allocated to them for disbursement and has been all but spent,” Ms Cunningham said. “Not one provider (RTO) in Gladstone was allocated any funds.”

However, Gladstone Industry Leadership Group chief executive officer Kurt Hiedecker believes the merger will also attract funding allocations.

“This move should not only maximise the benefits from training dollars but also should simplify the movement of students between CQ Institute of TAFE and CQUniversity,” he said.

Last week, Professor Bowman joined Central Queensland Institute of TAFE director Nik Babovic to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to progress student pathways and articulations.

Both organisations have enjoyed a long-standing working relationship in Central Queensland and are committed to promoting and creating pathways for lifelong learning in the region.

“We've put a proposal to the Queensland government to amalgamate with CQIT ... which they are analysing,” Professor Bowman said.

“And we've put an $80m bid to the Federal Government to help make this happen.

“The MOU that we signed today is a good step toward that amalgamation.”

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