Game changer: Cairns to be transformed by new CQUniversity campus

— 27 Jan, 2016 —

Game changer: Cairns to be transformed by new CQUniversity campus

Cairns’ elevation to the status of a two-University city was confirmed today following the major announcement of CQUniversity’s much-anticipated CBD campus, CQUniversity Cairns Square.

Located on the corner of Abbott and Shield Streets, the multi-million dollar campus will attract thousands of domestic and international students, create over 50 jobs, and generate an economic spin-off worth almost one-quarter of a billion dollars to the local economy.

The social, cultural and economic potential of Cairns is set to flourish with a wave of new course offerings, research facilities, international students, skilled graduates and competition brought about by the arrival of the CQUniversity CBD campus.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Scott Bowman said the time was right to expand into a multi-story, full-sized, face-to-face campus following the phenomenal growth of its Distance Education Support Centre in Florence Street.

“For a number of years we’ve been overwhelmed by the community’s response to our Study Centre, but we’ve always been limited by how much we could offer because of its size. We’ve been busting at the seams there for quite some time – it’s been incredibly popular with students, Prof Bowman said.

“A full-sized campus is the next logical step for us in Cairns.

“We run incredibly vibrant, multicultural CBD campuses in the heart of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne along a very similar model to what we will be building here. In many ways Cairns has an even stronger global brand than these cities, and certainly a more exciting future, so we know the model will work, Prof Bowman said.

Associate Vice-Chancellor (Far North Queensland Region) Jodie Duignan-George said the level of engagement CQUniversity has built up with Cairns over the years is a real advantage.

“The relationships we’ve forged with local schools, business, industry and community groups has guided our every move in Cairns, and our partnership with the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans has brought about a lot of good will with the community.

“There’s a good reason why CQUniversity has become the largest University in regional Australia, the most engaged educational institution in the country, and the first comprehensive University in Qld, and it’s down to our community engagement,” Ms Duignan-George said.

Today’s announcement is supported by a $1M commitment for engineering labs at CQUniversity Cairns Square earlier this week by the Queensland Premier and local MP Gavin King. This will allow the introduction of Cairns’ first four-year, on-campus engineering degree.

“The announcement by Campbell and Gavin is a huge vote of confidence in our new campus. Both have been incredibly supportive of CQUniversity over the years, in fact Gavin visited our Florence Street Study Centre the day after he was elected in 2012, Prof Bowman said.

“It feels like everyone in town has been pulling together to help with our transition to a full campus. The Federal Government gave support by granting us full campus status in Cairns late last year, and obviously the State Government’s support of $1M funding is tremendous.

“But support has really flowed from everywhere we look in this community – from groups like Advance Cairns, Study Cairns and the Chamber of Commerce, to all our local MPs along with the Mayor and Council, local school principals and business leaders – even the Cairns Taipans have pulled some strings for us!” Prof Bowman said.

By the numbers;

  • 2500 – Expected student numbers within five years, including;
  • 500 – number of international students within five years
  • $43,843 – the average expenditure value of each international student to economy
  • $15M – anticipated non-salary campus investment by CQUniversity over five years
  • 60 – expected number of campus staff to be employed within five years
  • $7.6M – estimated annual local staff salary expenditure within five years
  • $1M – investment by State Government in campus engineering labs
  • 714 – number of graduates locally produced each year by 2020
  • 17 – number of degree courses to be rolled out in year-one, 2016
  • 3000m2 – the initial floor space of the campus starting in year-one, 2016
  • $224M – estimated total economic spinoff impact on Cairns economy by 2020 (multiplier effect formula)

Fit-out of CQUniversity Cairns Square will begin in March, with the campus operational by Term Two 2015, and with a comprehensive roll-out of new courses ready for the 2016 student intake.

New campus facilities will include engineering labs; research facilities; high-tech classrooms, theatres and teaching spaces; meeting rooms; library; student recreational and social spaces; and staff offices.

New Bachelor Degrees courses intended to be offered at the CBD campus from 2016 include;

Paramedic Science; Professional Communications; Educations (Primary, Secondary & Early Childhood); Nursing; Property; Business; Law; Accounting; Medical Imaging; Agriculture; Aged Care; Masters of Business Administration; and thanks to State Government support, Engineering (electrical and mechanical)