$54M STUDY BOOST
CQ University unveils major city-wide expansion projects
LESS than two years after CQ University set up in Cairns, it has outgrown its Shields St campus and plans to capitalise in a major way that will benefit the whole city.
Six projects incorporating performing arts, indigenous studies, aviation excellence and sports science are planned after consultations were held with key community members.
The university currently services 1000 students on campus and online but this will grow to more than 2500 after the expansion is complete.
The Cairns Taipans National Basketball League team will play a major part in the sports science program, only the fourth to operate in tropical areas around the world.
Aviation training and research will take place at Cairns Airport.
The move has been enthusiastically welcomed by city leaders who can see Cairns fast becoming an education hotspot.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman said the $54.7 million growth spurt would pave the way for even more expansion.
Federal funding is still being sought for some aspects of the program, but university heavyweights are confident it will be forthcoming due to the major economic benefits tipped for Cairns.
CQUNIVERSITY today reveals an ambitious $54.7 million plan to expand its presence in Cairns, with a new $30 million purpose-built campus in the CBD as well as a $16 million aviation and engineering centre at the city’s airport.
The university says it has outgrown its $15 million CBD campus in Shields St, opened less than two years ago.
Parts of the six-project plan are financed while the Federal Government will be asked for funding as well.
The proposal is designed to stimulate new industries in the Far North.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said the university had spent the past few years discussing with community and industry leaders about the role CQUniversity could play in kickstarting new industries, providing the skills for emerging workforces and diversifying the local economy. “The Cairns community made it clear that they look to CQUniversity to take a proactive lead in unlocking emerging industries through our engage- ment, research and unique workforce skilling,” he said.
“What we are announcing is a blueprint to implement the community’s vision for Cairns, the exciting new industries and opportunities that will make this region far more resilient and prosperous.
“While, the funding request is ambitious, the economic multiplier effect of this blueprint will continue paying out for generations to come.”
The Cairns Community Impact Plan comprises five new industry kick-starter projects centred around a much larger, permanent campus base capable of accommodating more than 2500 local and international students in the heart of the CBD.
“The new campus will cement CQUniversity’s rapidlygrowing presence in the CBD, securing Cairns’ identity as a multiple-university city,” Prof Bowman said. He said the much larger campus would allow for further growth and investment by the university with its current campus having reached capacity.
The Cairns Square site will close when the new campus opens. The other projects are focused on aviation engineering and pilot training, high performance sports science, indigenous policy formulation, indigenous health and education, emerging tourism and economic development and creative and performing arts.
LOOKING AHEAD: CQU's Scott Bowman at the university’s current Cairns campus location at the corner of Shields and Abbott streets.