Strong future for university

ABOUT 2400 people who have pronounced their preference for CQUniversity will have received a letter of offer from CQUniversity by today or Monday to enrol in one of about 60 different undergraduate programs in Term 1, which starts March 1.

That is pretty powerful — and promising for Central Queensland.

Central Queenslanders are driving what I would describe as renewed interest in their local university.

It appears that more of us are feeling that university is within reach and achievable. And it is.

Nearly 7000 people dropped in, called or emailed CQUniversity last year, seriously inquiring about CQUniversity courses and services on offer here in Central Queensland.

That’s about twice as many as in all of 2008.

We expect to have 1000 people who aren’t quite ready to start a full uni degree enrolled in our bridging programs this year, too.

In addition, more top-performing school leavers have found that their best opportunities are here, locally.

I recently spoke with several young local men and women who could have gone anywhere in Australia (they had OP1s) and chose to come here to CQUniversity to learn from some of the best teachers in the country and acquire real work experience.

We’re also working for Central Queenslanders to make university more affordable in 2010, offering financial aid and merit scholarships to students and making some free accommodation available for qualified new students studying full time at CQUniversity.

Staff here want CQUniversity to be the most engaged, supportive and responsive university in the country, focused on making higher education more accessible and relevant to everyone in Central Queensland.

And that will continue throughout the year.

CQUniversity is now entering a period of renewal, growth and engagement with our communities.

New programs are being developed in Central Queensland this year in medical sciences and health services, which will address a critical shortage of local professionals.

Law, too, is expected to be developed as a degree.

We’re also expanding our arrangements with other learning providers and engaging more industry and business to provide undergraduates with on-site work experience, increasing the reach of our successful integrated workplace-learning model (the Co-op) and making integrated workplace learning a component of more and more of our programs.

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