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Anna Bligh

Bligh approves of merged tertiary education institute ...

Anna Bligh 20%

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... for central Queensland


Premier Anna Bligh has given her tacit approval to a proposed merger between CQUniversity and the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE, which would result in the state's first one-stop higher education shop.


Ms Bligh described the intended amalgamation as "one of the most exciting developments in post-school education that we have seen in Queensland for many years''.


"If this facility is able to come together, what it offers people from all around Central Queensland is an opportunity to upgrade their skills without having to go from institution to institution, maybe not getting everything they've done at TAFE recognised by the university,'' she told ABC radio on Friday.


CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman yesterday pounced on Ms Bligh's blessing on the planned merger, which was last week underpinned by a memorandum of understanding signed by the university and CQIT and which could see the state's first dual-sector university operating by 2012.


He said CQU was still waiting on the government's response to its formal proposal and the outcome of an application for $80 million in funding to support the merger from the Federal Government's education structural adjustment fund.


"But we think we can start running the two organisations in parallel by the beginning of next year ... we could be fully amalgamated by the beginning of 2012,'' Prof Bowman said.


He said the merger will give the new super education provider 15 campuses from Mackay to Bundaberg on the coast and west to Barcaldine offering dovetailed vocational education and higher education courses enabling students to go from Certificate level vocational courses through to degree, masters and doctorate courses and vice versa and for students to undertake vocational training, including apprenticeships, at the same time as tackling a degree course.


He said the move would take higher education into regional communities which had never before had ready access to it.


TAFE Queensland and Department of Education and Training chief executive Deb Daly confirmed the viability of the proposal was being evaluated.


"Once this analysis is complete, further processes, including and evaluation of the service delivery impact on regional Queensland will be completed prior to a decision being made,'' she said.


strong>Margaret Wenham


Source: couriermail.com.au (September 21, 2010)

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