Central Queensland University

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Central Queensland University (coat of arms).png
Coat of Arms of CQUniversity
Motto Doctrina Perpetua
Established 1967 (established), 1992 (university status)[1]
Type Public
Chancellor Mr Rennie Fritschy[2]
Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman[3]
Students 20,000
Location Brisbane, Bundaberg, Emerald, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Noosa and Sydney, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, Australia
Campus Urban and regional
Nickname CQU, CQUni
Affiliations Regional Universities Network
Website http://www.cqu.edu.au/
CQUniversity Australia logo.svg

Central Queensland University (alternatively known as CQUniversity) is an Australian public university based in Queensland. Its main campus is in North Rockhampton, Queensland. However, it also has campuses in Bundaberg, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay and Noosa, as well as a study hub in Cairns and a research hub in Adelaide. It has metropolitan campuses in Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast and Brisbane. As of 2012 the metropolitan campuses hosted both international and domestic students.


CQUniversity started out as the Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia) in 1967, and after two years under the name of the University College of Central Queensland, in 1992 became an official university named the University of Central Queensland. In 1994, it adopted the name Central Queensland University. In 2008, it became CQUniversity in recognition of the institutions' expansion beyond the Central Queensland region.


CQU’s antecedent institution, the Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia), was established in Rockhampton in 1967 as a regional branch of the Queensland Institute of Technology (Brisbane).[4]

However, the first steps to establish a university in Rockhampton were taken as early as the 1940s. In 1941, the Queensland Labor Premier, William Forgan Smith, introduced section 17 of the National Education Co-ordination and University of Queensland Amendment Act, which provided for the creation of university colleges outside Brisbane.[5] In 1944 and 1945, a series of Rockhampton delegations lobbied the Queensland government for a university college, but after the University of Queensland established a network of provincial study centres in the late 1940s the issue became dormant.[6]

Rockhampton’s university campaign resumed in the 1950s as Central Queensland became an emerging heavy industry base, with developing coal mines and Gladstone emerging as a light metals centre.[7] In the Queensland parliament in November 1956, the local member for Rockhampton (H R Gardner) stated “more adequate facilities for technical education” were required for the region and, appealing to the philosophy of a “fair go”, he urged that Rockhampton people be given “the same opportunities as those in Brisbane”.[8] In 1958, P J Goldston, an engineer (later, Commissioner for Railways,) mooted the possibility of a Central Queensland university with Rockhampton engineers and after further community discussion, the Rockhampton Mayor, Alderman R B J Pilbeam, called the first public meeting on 3 March 1959 at which the Central Queensland University Development Association (UDA) was constituted.[9]

The UDA presented university proposals to government and, in 1961, the Queensland government reserved 161 hectares (400 acres) of government land at Parkhurst (North Rockhampton) on the Bruce Highway near the Yeppoon turnoff as a tertiary education site.[10] Establishment finally was resolved in March 1965, when the Commonwealth government’s Martin Report (on expansion of tertiary education) was tabled in parliament by Prime Minister Menzies―who announced the foundation of a new style of tertiary institution at both Rockhampton and Toowoomba.[11] The new institutes―Rockhampton’s was named The Queensland Institute of Technology, Capricornia (QITC)―were affiliated with the main Queensland Institute of Technology campus in Brisbane and lacked the autonomy of universities, being controlled by the Queensland Education Department.[12]

When the QITC first opened in February 1967, there was no extensive campus to greet the handful of staff and initial intake of 71 full-time and part-time students.[13] While building progressed at Parkhurst, the first classes held on the top floor of the Technical College in Bolsover Street were a makeshift affair with no laboratories, library facilities or stock.[13] By 1969, most staff and students had transferred to the Parkhurst campus, still a bushland site in progress―in the summer months, the campus was often ringed by spectacular bush fires or deluged with torrential rain: cars slid in the mud or were bogged and the QITC’s foundation Principal, Dr Allan Skertchly, ferried people in his 4WD across floodwaters.[14] Some students slept temporarily on mattresses in the canteen while waiting for the first residential college to open.[15]

Despite these humble beginnings, the focus on vocational professional courses meant the first graduates found ready employment―with accounting firms, CSR, Mt Isa Mines and regional electricity boards―one mathematics student, Peter Nothling, even joined the European Space Agency.[16]

1970s onwards[edit]

After the passage of the amended Education Act in 1971, QITC became an autonomous, multi-functional college under the control of its own council and took the name of Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education (CIAE).[17]

A highlight of the decade was the construction in 1976–77 of an impressive, three-storey Library building at the centre of the Rockhampton campus. Designed by architect Stephen Trotter, the building’s striking external feature was a sculpted facade created by artist Kevin Brereton.[18] CIAE Director, Dr Arthur Appleton, proclaimed the Library to be a “milestone” which confirmed that the Institute had “come of age as a public institution”.[19] The transformation of the campus also saw extensive landscaping of the grounds[20] and the Institute becoming a vibrant arts hub through its Creative Arts Theatre, vacation summer schools in the creative arts, an avant-garde film program,[21] the development of an art collection[22] and presentation of exhibitions such as Gil Jamieson’s “epic 72-foot (22-metres) Australian landscape”, shown first in the CIAE Library prior to exhibition in the prestigious Adelaide Festival Gallery.[23]

Along with creating a traditional university campus experience in a natural setting, the CIAE also developed engineering and science projects which were implemented locally and recognised nationally―from solar energy research and post-cyclone timber testing to research into cattle dogs, the sponsoring of the first National Northern Beef Outlook Conference and research into the proliferation of water hyacinth.[24]

And already the emphasis was shifting beyond Rockhampton : the CIAE’s next momentous move was into distance education―it became the first college in Australia to introduce a Bachelor of Science externally in 1974.[25] Probably few people at the time envisaged the massive ramifications of this small-scale operation in the Science School―it was the harbinger of the CIAE’s future growth as a distributed institution all the way down the Australian East Coast from Cairns to Melbourne and ventures in international education.

By 1979, external enrolments at the CIAE had jumped to 825 and by 1985 distance education had become a major campus operation, exceeding internal enrolments and offering 12 courses involving some 100 subjects and processing 23,980 study packages annually.[26]

Between 1978 and 1989, the CIAE’s established branch campuses in Central Queensland at Gladstone, Mackay, Bundaberg and Emerald.[27] An additional regional campus was added in Noosa in 2001.[28]

Expansion in the 1990s[edit]

The CIAE became the University College of Central Queensland in 1990 and gained full university status in 1992. At that time it was known as the University of Central Queensland. The name was changed in 1994 to Central Queensland University.[29]

After the Australian government approved the enrolment of full-fee paying students in Australian institutions in 1986, the CIAE (and subsequently the university) began trans national education ventures with many countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Fiji. Through a public-private partnership with CMS (which CQU fully acquired in 2011) the university opened its first international campus in Sydney in 1994, followed by international campuses in Melbourne in 1997, Brisbane in 1998 and the Gold Coast in 2001.[29][30]

2000 onwards[edit]

In 2001, the university appointed Queensland’s first female Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glenice Hancock, who retired in 2004.[31]

From 2002 to 2007, the university won numerous Queensland Export awards (education category) and two National Export Awards for education (2002 and 2005); and in the Good Universities Guide won the most 5-star ratings of any regional university in Australia in 2003 and five 5-star ratings in 2006 and 2007.[29]

By 2006, the university was operating its four Australian International Campuses at Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne along with a campus in Suva, Fiji, while two other major offshore partnerships proceeded in Shanghai and Singapore, and diminishing operations in Hong Kong. The university restructured its international activities in the period 2006 to 2009 and rebranded its image in 2008, changing its name from Central Queensland University to CQUniversity.[32]

In the 2000s, CQU also has been responsive to the needs of the Australian communities and regions it serves and has emphasised programs in the natural resources sector and mining, engineering, nursing, education, accounting, sustainable development and intercultural education.[33] One of these learning program success stories has been Professor Kerry Reid-Searl, who received a 2012 Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching Award for her highly imaginative simulation teaching technique, using human-like props to prepare nursing students for practice.[34]

The success of CQU’s vocational professional programs has also been reflected in its five-star rating in the 2009 Good Universities Guide in the category of Graduate Starting Salaries. CQU graduates earn higher salaries than any other public university in Queensland (according to Graduate Careers Australia 2007) and are employed at a rate of 89.9%, compared with a national average of 84.5%.[35]

The university also achieved a five-star rating in the 2009 Good Universities Guide in the Access by Equity groups category. CQU has been at the forefront of Indigenous tertiary education in Australia, with an Indigenous student population double the national targets in 2012, the year it appointed its first Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement).[36]

CQU also received acclaim for its innovative effort to open up legal studies to regional and disadvantaged groups through Australia’s first online Bachelor of Laws, which it began offering in 2011, with a first-year enrolment of around 100 students. Former High Court Judge The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG has stated that the degree’s accessibility and flexibility would broaden participation in studying law, particularly for students from regional areas and from Indigenous, ethnic and disadvantaged backgrounds, “who might otherwise find it difficult, or impossible, to enrol in a law course” and could “retain talented and qualified employees in regional and rural Australia.”[37]

The first two decades of the 21st Century have also seen continuing dynamic growth for CQU with a renewed focus on research and the establishment of CQIRP (CQ Innovation and Research Precinct) and a proposed merger with CQ Institute of TAFE, which would see it transition into a dual-sector institution from 2013.[38] Several of its research centres (Centre for Rail Engineering, the Process Engineering and Light Metals Centre, the Centre for Environmental Management and the Institute for Sustainable Regional Development) have an emphasis on supporting growth and prosperity in CQU’s home region of Central Queensland.[39]

Research successes include successful cattle cloning by Professor Gábor Vajta;[40] and Professor David Midmore’s and Honorary Fellow and research officer Andrew Rank’s achieving the gazetting on 9 October 2010 (after almost a decade of research and submissions) of the natural sweetener, Stevia rebaudiana, as a natural low-calorie ingredient in foods and beverages. Professor Midmore has stated stevia may become “a significant tool/ingredient for community use in the fight against obesity and the associated metabolic syndrome and diabetes (type II).”[41]

Dual Sector[edit]

In 2010, CQUniversity announced its intention to become Queensland's first "dual sector" university (and the first in Australia in more than a decade), offering a combination of higher education and vocational training, through a merger with the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE (CQIT). At the time, the project won support from then-Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, who described the proposal as "one of the most exciting developments in post-school education that we have seen in Queensland for many years." One of the main intentions behind the proposal was to add higher education provision to the coal and gas-rich Bowen and Galilee Basins west of Rockhampton, and to provide a "one-stop shop" for mining industry participants.[42]

In December 2011, the Federal Government announced that CQUniversity had been successful in gaining $73.8 million in funding to support its merger with CQIT and to strengthen the university's engineering offering. The university announced that it would fund a $16.6 million engineering precinct in Mackay, a $14 million public-access allied health clinic in Rockhampton, and a $12.5 million makeover of the Mackay TAFE campus through the funding allocation.[43]

In September 2012, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman announced the state's in-principle support for the CQUniversity-CQIT merger, pending further due diligence of financial and governance issues. Mr Newman stated that the negotiations between the two entities would be finalised by the end of 2012.[44]

The Newman Government gave its final approval for the merger to proceed in December 2012.[45]



CQUniversity is governed by the CQUniversity Council, comprising the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and various elected and appointed representatives.[46][47] Operationally, CQUniversity is managed by the Vice-Chancellor.[48] Schools are managed within a central faculty, the Higher Education Division, which is overseen by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Higher Education).[49]

CQUniversity students are represented by the CQU Student Association (CQUSA) which is governed by a board of elected students from across the CQU campus network. The CQUSA provides academic advocacy and support and a range of campus support services for students based at the CQU regional and international campuses. Postgraduate representation is provided by the CQUniversity Student Association's CQUniversity Postgraduate Research Students Committee.[50]

University management[edit]

CQUniversity is led by Professor Scott Bowman who is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University. Professor Bowman was appointed to the position of Vice-Chancellor and President in 2009.[51] Professor Bowman is an experienced pilot who often travels between the University’s many campuses in his Jabiru J230C.[52]

The Vice-Chancellor and President works in close collaboration with the University Council, and also with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, providing leadership and strategic direction for the University.[53] The Vice-Chancellor is appointed by the University Council and reports to the Council through the Chancellor.

The Vice-Chancellor and President is supported by an executive team including:

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & Research)[54]
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International & Services)[55]
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Higher Education)[56]
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Vocational Education and Training)[57]
  • University Secretary[58]
  • Chief Financial Officer[59]

University Council[edit]

The CQUniversity Council is the governing body of CQUniversity and was established under the Central Queensland University Act (1998).[53]

The principal responsibilities of the Council under this Act include:

  • The appointment of key university staff
  • Management and control of university affairs and property
  • Approval of the University’s strategic direction
  • Management and control of university finances[60]

The Council has 15 members and must endeavour to advance the interests and aspirations of CQUniversity. Membership to council includes official members, appointed members, additional members, elected members and Secretary to Council.[61] Council meetings are held bi-monthly.

Academic & Research Division[edit]

CQUniversity’s Academic & Research Division led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic & Research is responsible for driving the University’s academic, research and engagement plans.[62] The Academic & Research portfolio encompasses the Office of Research, Office of Learning & Teaching, Indigenous Engagement and Community Engagement.

International & Services Division[edit]

The International &Services Division, led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, International & Services is responsible for the activities which support the provision of academic and research activity across CQUniversity. Within the University Services Portfolio lie the Directorates of Marketing, Facilities Management, People and Culture, Library Services, Information Technology, Commercial Services and the University Ombudsman.[55]

Industry & Vocational Education and Training Division[edit]

The Industry & Vocational Education Division is led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Industry & Vocational Education. The Division is focused on developing and supporting the merger between CQUniversity and CQ TAFE, creating Queensland’s first dual sector university.[57]

Along with this the division also supports the management and operations of Queensland Centre for Professional Development (QCPD) which is a business centre of CQUniversity, established to respond to the training, professional development and education needs of local industry. QCPD works across all Central Queensland regions. The Centre provides education and training solutions, workforce development services, skills analysis and research linkages from Certificate 1level to PhD, with a strong focus on industry engagement and partnerships.[63]

The Division also supports university access programs including the Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) program.[64]

In 2012, CQUniversity also acquired a Registered Training Organisation called HealthTrain. One of the key features of the venture will be the ongoing seamless pathway opportunities for individuals to move between health related vocational and higher education programs, regardless of which state they live or work in.[65]

On 7 November 2012, the Division launched the inaugural Dual Sector Research Symposium in Rockhampton, which focuses on key growth areas and understanding the contribution CQUniversity can make to the local region, related to education and training requirements.[66]

Corporate Governance Division[edit]

The Corporate Governance Division is led by the University Secretary and is responsible for the management of governance processes within the University through the Council and sub-committees. The division is made up of five directorates including Governance, Internal Audit, Corporate Communications and the Academic Registrar.[58]

The Governance Directorate has day to day carriage of governance activities.[67] The Internal Audit Directorate operates as an independent appraisal function which forms an integral part of the University's internal control framework.[68] The Corporate Events Directorate is responsible for the management of projects and University events, including Graduation Ceremonies and provides high-level executive support to the University Secretary.[69] The Corporate Communications Directorate is responsible for promoting, supporting and enhancing the University's reputation, activities and achievements, through strategic communications.[70] The Academic Registrar’s Office leads and manages activities related to student administration including access, accommodation and development.[71]

The University Secretary is also responsible for the management of the Vice-Chancellor and President’s Office.[58]


CQUniversity has 10 schools, each of which are managed by specialist Deans.[72]

The schools are:

  • School of Creative & Performing Arts[73]
  • School of Commerce & Law[74]
  • School of Education[75]
  • School of Engineering & Built Environment[76]
  • School of Health & Human Services[77]
  • School of Humanities & Communication[78]
  • School of Information & Communication Technology[79]
  • School of Management & Marketing[80]
  • School of Medical & Applied Sciences[81]
  • School of Nursing & Midwifery.[82] Retrieved on 12 September 2012.

Major areas of study[edit]

CQUniversity runs programs in a wide range of disciplines, including Business,[83] Engineering,[84] Information Technology,[85] Learning Management (teaching),[85] Midwifery and Nursing,[86] Music and Theatre,[87] Paramedic Science[88] and Psychology.[89]


CQUniversity offers students a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in business related disciplines including Accounting, Professional Communication, Hospitality Management, Tourism, Property, Management and Islamic Finance.[90] More than one third of students studying business at CQUniversity are from non-English speaking backgrounds.[91]


CQUniversity offers a number of undergraduate and post-graduate study options in Engineering related fields including Engineering (Mechanical, Civil, Mining and Electrical), Accident Forensics, Built Environment and Rail Operations.[92] Students can also choose to study an engineering co-op program which exposes students to hands-on learning experiences and paid work placements.

CQUniversity Engineering graduates have higher than average graduate starting salaries.[93]

Information Technology[edit]

CQUniversity offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Information Technology, Multimedia Studies and Information Systems.[94]

Learning Management[edit]

CQUniversity offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programs within the education discipline including Learning Design and Learning Management, Graduate Diplomas and Research Higher Degrees.[95]

Within the Learning Management programs there is a strong focus on Indigenous Education.[96]

One quarter of all CQUniversity Learning Management students study externally. CQUniversity graduates have higher than national average graduate employment outcomes.[97]

Nursing and Midwifery[edit]

CQUniversity delivers students with a number of undergraduate and postgraduate study options related to nursing and midwifery.

CQUniversity nursing studies have a strong community engagement focus.[98] Students can elect to undertake a two-week study tour in Nepal where they work with local medical staff . CQUniversity is also recognised as a leader in mental health nursing research.[99]

A new distance education program in Noosa is also working towards training midwives who will go on to work in regional communities.[100]

In 2012, Nursing Academic Professor Kerry Reid-Searl was recognised with a National University Teaching Excellence Award, for her innovative use of human like props which help to prepare first year students for clinical placements.[101]

CQUniversity nursing graduates have higher than average starting salaries for graduates.[102]

Music and Theatre[edit]

CQUniversity offers undergraduate programs in Music, Theatre and Creative Enterprise.[103] The Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) is part of the School of Education and Creative Arts and is responsible for all aspects of music and theatre across the University.[104]

Australian performers Peter Saide, Paul Tabone and William McInnes are all past students of CQUniversity.

Paramedic Science[edit]

The Paramedic Science program is part of the School of Medical and Applied Sciences. The program prepares students for the practice and delivery of pre-hospital and trauma care. The program can be studied on-campus or by distance education.[105]

In 2012, CQUniversity also acquired a fully functioning ambulance vehicle to be used as part of the program.[106]

Allied Health[edit]

CQUniversity offers a number of health related programs as part of the School of Medical and Applied Sciences. As part of the Health Science program graduates can go on to specialise via post-graduate study in disciplines including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry and Speech Pathology.[107]

Students also have the opportunity to carry out work placements in a brand new $6 million, state-of-the-art, allied health clinic located on the CQUniversity Rockhampton Campus, which was opened in 2012.[108]


CQUniversity offers a number of undergraduate, postgraduate and higher research programs in disciplines including Social Work, Psychology and the Arts.[109] Programs are offered -on campus or via distance education.

Closely related to the University’s humanities programs, CQUniversity’s Institute for Health and Social Science Research focuses on multidisciplinary studies that address the needs of local communities. The primary focus of research is on informing, monitoring and evaluating programs, interventions and behavioural changes that promote healthy, safe and viable communities.[110]


CQUniversity has a variety of campuses, study centres and research sites across Australia. At present there are five campuses located within Central Queensland (Rockhampton, Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Emerald), campuses in Noosa and the Gold Coast in South East Queensland, capital city campuses in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne which cater to a mix of international and domestic students, a study centre in Cairns, a research site in Adelaide, South Australia[111] and a delivery site in Geraldton, Western Australia.[112]

Rockhampton campus[edit]

The Rockhampton campus is CQUniversity's largest campus. It offers a diverse range of programs and study options. Program areas on offer include creative and performing arts, business, engineering and built environment, science and the environment, medical, health and recreation, information technology and education.[113]

Students at the Rockhampton campus have access to seven computer labs, many of which can be accessed 24 hours a day, and wireless internet access across the campus site. The campus also has a 25-metre swimming pool, athletics oval and well equipped gymnasium. The Capricornia College is located at Rockhampton campus and provides accommodation for up to 320 students.[114]

Notable facilities include the $10.7 million refurbished Engineering Precinct with labs for fluids, thermodynamics, thermofluids, geotech, concrete and structures, and electronics. There is also a new lecture theatre, a postgraduate area, a materials-testing area, an acoustic test cell, a soils store, and a multi-purpose project-based learning lab.[115]

A $9 million public-access health clinic on campus caters for up to 160 clients per day. The clinic allows students to work with qualified health professionals in the areas of oral health, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology.[116]

Mackay campus[edit]

CQUniversity's Mackay campus is located on Mackay's southern outskirts and is about six kilometres from the city centre. CQUniversity's presence in Mackay has grown considerably since the first intake of students in 1987 and the establishment of the campus in 1992. Today, the Mackay campus serves as a base for hundreds of students and staff, and houses a wide range of facilities, including lecture theatres, a performance theatre, tutorial rooms, computer laboratories, a nursing laboratory, video-conference rooms, recording studios, student accommodation, a bookshop, a refectory and a library.[117] On-site accommodation is provided at the Mackay Residential College.[118]

New nursing, midwifery and chiropractic laboratories also provides student with practical learning experiences through the use of clinical equipment including birthing baths, nursing beds and chiropractic equipment.[119]

The $41 million TAFE Trade Training Centre, currently under construction on campus, will cater for 1500 students doing apprenticeship programs in electrical, plumbing, carpentry, furnishing, metal fabrication, mechanical fitting and light and heavy automotive training, as well as skills training for the building, construction, mines, minerals and energy sectors.[120]

On-site accommodation includes modern fully self-contained rooms at the Mackay Residential College.[121]

Bundaberg campus[edit]

CQUniversity's Bundaberg campus is located on a 23-hectare site on Bundaberg's southern outskirts, adjacent to the city's airport and six kilometres from its CDB. The campus specialises in small class sizes and individually focused learning and teaching.[122] Campus facilities include a library, bookshop, campus refectory, a 200-seat and a 100‑seat lecture theatre, four computer laboratories, nursing clinical laboratories and videoconferencing rooms.[123] In 2012, Bundaberg Regional Council and CQUniversity signed an accord as a formal expression of their commitment to have Bundaberg recognised as a 'University City'.[124]

Since 2007, students have had access to a $4.7 million academic and research building which includes a state-of-the-art 64-seat scientific laboratory, sound studio and multi-media and science research facilities.[125] A forensic crash lab has also been set up at the campus to support learning for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Accident Forensics.[126]

From 2013, CQUniversity Bundaberg will offer commercial pilot training through a partnership with the Australian Flight Academy.[127]

Other Queensland campuses[edit]

CQUniversity's Gladstone campus is located within the Gladstone Marina precinct and is home ot the university's two largest research centres, the Process Engineering and Light Metals centre and the Centre for Environmental Management.[128] Its other Central Queensland campus, Emerald, is located within the town's Australian Agricultural College site and has a library, after hours computer access and a Student Services Officer.[129]

CQUniversity Noosa was first established in 2003 as a hub in the small Sunshine Coast village of Pomona, offering courses in Learning Management.[130] In 2007, the Campus relocated to Goodchap Street, Noosaville and underwent a $2.5 million expansion which has doubled the campus's student capacity from 600 to 1200 students. In keeping with the local area profile, the campus specialises in a Bachelor of Tourism.[131]

A Cairns study centre was established in July 2012 to cater to around 350 CQUniversity distance education students in the Far North Queensland region. The centre allows students to form study groups, access e-library and internet resources, sit exams, lodge assignments, participate in live lectures broadcast via high-speed internet, and make academic enquiries.[132]

Metropolitan campuses[edit]

The Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney campuses are operated by wholly owned CQUniversity subsidiary C Management Services Pty Ltd (CMS), which is governed by a Board of Directors that regularly reports to the University Council.[133] Originally, this commercial entity was owned 50% by CQUniversity and 50% by a private company Campus Group Holdings, which runs many educational institutions in its portfolio. As of early 2008, CQUniversity is now a 100% stakeholder in CMS, with CMS still being kept and run as a private commercial enterprise, only fully owned by the university. The CMS operation is now being run as a 'government owned private corporation' due to being owned by CQUniversity via a takeover funded by a Queensland Treasury loan.[citation needed]

CQUniversity's Adelaide campus is home to the Appleton Institute, a multidisciplinary research group focusing on sleep and biological rhythms, applied psychology, occupational health and safety, human factors, risk management and cultural anthropology. The Institute is overseen by renowned fatigue and human factors expert Professor Drew Dawson and consists of a 30-person research team, all formerly of the University of South Australia's Centre for Sleep Research.[134] This team announced its intention to defect to CQUniversity in September 2011 as part of a $7 million deal, due in part to the "extreme relevance" of the group's research to the booming mines of the Central Queensland region.[135]

A Fiji campus was closed in February 2007 to allow resources to be directed towards expansion of the university's Pacific education services.[136] A further international campus was also built on a custom campus in New Zealand, but this campus was shut down at the end of 2008.[citation needed]

Research Centres & Institutes[edit]

CQU has numerous research centres, institutes and groups including:

  • Appleton Institute
  • Collaborative Research Network – Health (CRN)
  • Centre for Plant and Water Science
  • Centre for Environmental Management
  • Centre for Railway Engineering
  • Process Engineering and Light Metals Centre (PELM)
  • Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre
  • Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (CDFVR)
  • Centre for Physical Activity Studies (CPAS)
  • Centre for Mental Health Nursing Innovation
  • Centre for Longitudinal and Preventative Health Research
  • Capricornia Centre for Mucosal Immunology
  • Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR)
  • Institute for Resources, Industry and Sustainability (IRIS)
  • Power Engineering Research Group
  • Business Research Group[137][138]

The University is also a partner in the Queensland Centre for Social Science Innovation (QCSSI) together with the Queensland State Government, University of Queensland (UQ), Griffith University (GU), Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and James Cook University (JCU). The QCSSI is based at the St Lucia campus of UQ.[139]


As of 2011, CQUniversity had around 20,000 students enrolled across its various campuses as well as by distance education. Of these, around 12,000 are undergraduate students, around 5,000 are postgraduate students, and around 7,000 are international students.

Statistics suggest that 44.64% of CQUniversity students come from a lower socioeconomic background, while 67.84% are classed as 'regional/remote' and close to 3% are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. Students with a disability also made up 4.79% of the student population.[140] CQUniversity's Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman stated in August 2012 that CQUniversity was "proud to have the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds and double the national average of Indigenous students."[141]

International students can choose to study at CQUniversity campuses located at some of Australia's most popular urban destinations including Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney, or at CQUniversity’s regional campuses in Bundaberg, Gladstone, Noosa, Mackay or Rockhampton. International students studying at CQUniversity in 2012 originated from 111 different countries, with the largest cohorts originating from China, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Pakistan, Thailand and Bangladesh.[142]


CQUniversity offers a number of scholarships to current and prospective students, including the BMC Building My Career Scholarship[143] and the BMA Scholarship[144] in partnership with mining company BHP Billiton.

Notable alumni & past students[edit]

Some of the notable alumni and past students of CQUniversity and its predecessor institutions include:


CQUniversity's stated aim is to be Australia's most engaged university.[156] To this end, the university has appointed a Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community & Engagement)[157] and encourages staff to record their engagement experiences in a comprehensive engagement database known as E-DNA.[158] The University also runs an award ceremony known as the Opal Awards, which recognise staff for excellence in engagement.[159]

In March 2012, CQUniversity appointed former Queensland University of Technology and Monash University academic Bronwyn Fredericks to the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement).[160] Professor Fredericks, a Murri woman, is also the inaugural BMA Chair in Indigenous Engagement, a position funded by coal mining group BMA. Her stated aim is to pursue engagement with the Central Queensland region's numerous Indigenous communities to improve education outcomes.[161]

CQUniversity is a partner of Indian charity Salaam Baalak Trust, which rescues, cares for and educates street children. The university provides higher education scholarships to Salaam Baalak children and sponsors the charity's City Walk program.[162]

As part of its commitment to engagement, CQUniversity has become a member of the Talloires Network.[163]

University art collection[edit]

The university began collecting art in the 1970s and has since developed a collection of almost 600 art works, including international and Australian paintings, ceramics, prints and photographs. While there is not a gallery or museum space at the university, art works are displayed across the campus network and lent to other organisations, such as regional galleries and other universities, for display in temporary exhibitions. Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman has stated that some of the aims and purposes of the art collection displays are “to engage [national and international audiences] through the sharing of art” and to “inspire education and new creative pursuits” in viewing audiences.[164] Highlights of the CQU art collection (showcasing historical and contemporary Australian, Indigenous Australian, Pacific Islander and European works, including major paintings by John Coburn and Jon Cattapan) were displayed from 30 March to 23 May 2012 at the Rockhampton Art Gallery, attracting 3,840 visitors, one of the highest ever attendances for an exhibition at the regional gallery.[165][166]

University ratings[edit]

CQUniversity received seven five star ratings from the Good Universities Guide (GUG) in 2003, giving it most top ratings of any regional university in Australia.[167][needs update] This made it more highly rated than some older, traditional universities. In 2007, GUG awarded CQUniversity five separate 5-star ratings, including for "Positive Graduate Outcomes" for the fourth year in a row.[167] In 2012, the University received eleven, 5-star ratings, more than any other university in Queensland. These included "access by equity groups," "graduate salaries," "indigenous participation" and "graduate satisfaction."[168]

In the Melbourne Institute's 2006 rankings of Australian universities, CQUniversity was ranked thirty-second of 38 Universities ranked in Arts and Humanities, thirty-fifth of 39 Universities ranked in Business, thirtieth of 35 Universities ranked in Education, twenty-fourth of 28 Universities ranked in Engineering, 28th of 38 Universities in Science.[169]

In 2007,[clarification needed] CQUniversity was announced as being the number one destination and largest provider in the country for international students studying within Australia (Term 1 2006) by IDP Education Australia.[167] CQUniversity graduates receive among the highest starting salaries in the country.[170] CQUniversity received the highest possible rating for educational experience and entry flexibility.[170] CQUniversity "was one of only three Queensland universities",[171] (the others being Bond University and the University of Queensland) "to receive the highest rating for positive graduate outcomes"[171] according to the Good University Guide.

In 2012, CQUniversity lifted its rankings in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) audit from 28 (in 2010) to 21.[172] The University picked up three five-star ratings in 2012, up from its 2010 result of just two three-star ratings.[173] CQUniversity performed at or well above world standard in four areas of research according to ERA 2012, with nursing research continuing to perform at 'world standard', and research in applied mathematics, agriculture and land management, and other medical and health sciences deemed to be ranked at the highest levels of performance 'well above world standard'.[174]

CQUniversity is ranked the number one university in the world for mental health nursing research, according to SciVal and based on relevant articles published.[175][dubious ] The Regional Australia Institute also ranks CQUniversity as being in the top 10 organisations in Australia influencing regional development, alongside such prestigious organisations as the CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.[176]


In 2006, CQUniversity came under criticism by international students at the Melbourne campus describing themselves as "Cash cow" students after a majority of them failed a tax and accounting postgraduate subject. They complained of inadequate facilities and an inability to dispute their grading. The claims were disputed by the university who suggested that the subject was "tough". Former Victorian premier John Cain is quoted as saying that the Melbourne CQUniversity campus lacks the appropriate facilities expected in a tertiary institution, as it is run by a private company.[177][178]

CQUniversity was criticised in 2011 by a group of doctors and scientists, including Australian Medical Association (AMA) President Steve Hambledon, for the university's decision to offer courses in chiropractics. In a letter to the university, the group writes, "Your chiropractic students may well be exposed to excellent courses in anatomy and some basic sciences. However the inclusion of subluxation theory as evidence-based reality is unacceptable."[179] The university has since stated that its chiropractic program is fully accredited by Australia's peak chiropractic training body and that the group's criticisms were unfounded.[180] Former Australian Medical Association president Dr Kerryn Phelps spoke out against the group's criticisms, saying alternative medicine courses should be celebrated rather than being taken out of universities, to encourage a more efficient dialogue between traditional and alternative practices.[181] Monash University professor of medicine Paul Komesaroff also commented that the group had exceeded "the boundaries of reasonable debate" and were exploiting their positions in the community and engaging in censorship.[182]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 23°19′05″S 150°31′06″E / 23.31806°S 150.51833°E / -23.31806; 150.51833