Merger of TAFE and uni a reality as agreement is signed

THE state's first dual-sector university has been formed, with an agreement being signed on Wednesday to merge Central Queensland University with the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE.

Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said he was thrilled to deliver the project, which had spanned three years of negotiation.

"This agreement is the final stage of approval to merge these two institutions," Mr Langbroek said.

"The merger provides the central Queensland community with the certainty that they will have a higher education provider delivering both TAFE and university programs to meet the changing skills needs of their region."

It's expected CQU will begin operating as a dual sector university from July 1 next year.

"A dual sector university will provide smoother pathways between vocational training and higher education programs, giving students more flexibility, more credit for prior learning, and faster course completion times," Mr Langbroek said.

Responsibility for the TAFE's six campuses at Mackay city, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Biloela, Yeppoon and Emerald and its three other centres of operation at Clermont, Barcaldine and the Trade Training Centre at Ooralea in Mackay will transfer to CQU.

CQ TAFE staff will transfer to the university with their current employment terms and conditions.

School leavers and other prospective students considering study with the TAFE or university should continue to enrol through the normal processes.