Uni and TAFE merger gets support

THE proposed merger of Central Queensland University (CQU) and Central Queensland Institute of TAFE (CQIT) has recieved support from the State Government.

Premier Campbell Newman said Cabinet had today given in principle support to the merger of the two institutions.

"I'm committed to ensuring that Queensland school leavers have access to as many pathways as possible to achieve the qualifications they need to begin their careers in our state's economy," Mr Newman said.

"The merger of CQU and CQIT will ensure that they work together to provide Central Queenslanders with a quality education offering and help address the skills shortages in the Central Queensland region.

"By joining the brands together, it is predicted that a dual-sector institution will attract a greater number of students from both the international and domestic student markets.

"This is about strengthening our commitment to developing skills and bui lding a strong economy for Queenslanders."

Mr Newman said that in coming to its decision Cabinet considered the Ernst and Young Due Diligence Report which outlined some concerns around the proposed merger.

Cabinet support is conditional on CQU and CQIT addressing concerns around financial and governance issues raised by Ernst and Young in the Report.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said there had been strong support for the merger from the local community.

"We went to the election promising Central Queenslanders that we would resolve the issue of the merger sooner rather than later and I'm proud to say we've delivered this in our first six months," Mr Langbroek said.

"The dual sector proposal received strong support from community leaders including Members of Parliament and the business community."

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