CQUniversity vice-chancellor Scott Bowman and Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek finalise the merger paperwork.
CQUniversity vice-chancellor Scott Bowman and Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek finalise the merger paperwork. Contributed

Focus to be on Gladstone after TAFE and uni merger

"AT LAST, after three-and-a-half years in the making!"

The excitement of CQUniversity vice-chancellor Scott Bowman was palpable as the State Government signed off on an agreement on Wednesday to merge CQUniversity with CQ TAFE.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek met with the vice-chancellor to finalise the arrangements, which saw responsibility of the six TAFE campuses in the region, including Gladstone, as well as three other operation centres, transferred to CQUniversity.

Mr Bowman said he hoped to have the dual-sector university fully operational by the start of the second semester in 2014.

"We're looking for July 1 next year to be fully merged with TAFE," he said.

"It's really exciting to have the uni and TAFE together, especially in Gladstone.

"There's much more scope to run some new programs and others that weren't feasible to run individually can now go ahead."

Mr Bowman said there would be a substantial focus on Gladstone, with the Oil and Gas Training Centre at the TAFE site also going ahead, as promised before the election.

"These changes will really revitalise the university and we're going to be quite unique, the first dual-sector uni in Queensland, so that puts us way ahead of the game," he said.

The vice-chancellor said the university was also looking forward to working closely with private registered training organisations and industry in the region.