New uni designed to fit

Posted May 8, 2015

Prof Scott Bowman_CQU_May15

CQUniversity Vice Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman, is adamant the trades and tertiary education provider will find its own market share in north Queensland.

The recent campus opening follows hot on the heels of a study centre opened just across Flinders St in Townsville’s CBD late last year. It will service an initial 600 distance education students.

CQU is one of five big providers of distance education in the country offering a range of external courses from paramedic to engineering.

Engineering courses are offered at James Cook University.

CQUniversity offers engineering with laboratories on Mackay, Rockhampton and soon to be Cairns campuses.

There would be scenario where the two universities would compete for students, said Professor Bowman.

“If we find there’s a lot of demand here, there’s no reason why the next expansion can’t be into engineering laboratories,” Professor Bowman said.

“On the other hand, we have a great university here with James Cook University that offers engineering (and) has engineering facilities. I mean why would you go head to head with a university that is already established. we’re here to complement the education that is already here, not to try and fight with it.

“Will engineering laboratories come. Maybe. Let’s see what the demand is.”

CQUniversity’s investment into Townsville was well founded said Professor Bowman.

“If you have a look at Brisbane and Sydney and Melbourne you find around 65 and even 67 per cent of school leavers go onto university,” he said.

“In Townsville you’re somewhere around 30-35 per cent. So there is a real gap between the number of people doing university in the cities compared to the regional towns. So we’re looking at how do we actually fill that gap and catch up. In fact, in the last few year in Fitzroy, which is Rockhampton, we caught up by six per cent.”

“Where there will be a demand in Townsville for us is people who want to do university and have lots of other work commitments. So they may be working full time, they may be carers, they may have children, they may have elderly relatives.

“So they can’t commit to going to university nine- too five five days a week. One of the things we offer is flexibility … and having the benefits of coming to meet students or talk to their tutors.

“The model we’ve come up with is a blended approach. You can have all the benefits of distance education, be studying on line and going at your own pace but you can also some to these fantastic facilities, you can do your residential schools here … you can can come and meet your fellow students, you can have study groups here. We’ll be sending professors here to give lectures. So we’re trying to give the best of both worlds.”










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