Central Queensland University
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Coat of Arms of CQUniversity
|Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia) (1967-1992)
University of Central Queensland (1992-1994)
Central Queensland University (1995-2007)
Motto in English
1992 (university status)
|Location||Brisbane, Bundaberg, Emerald, Geraldton, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Noosa, Adelaide, Cairns, Townsville and Sydney, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, Australia|
|Campus||Urban and regional|
|Affiliations||Regional Universities Network|
Central Queensland University (alternatively known as CQUniversity) is an Australian dual sector university based in Queensland. Its main campus is in Norman Gardens in Rockhampton. However, it also has campuses in Rockhampton City, Bundaberg, Emerald, Gladstone City, Gladstone Marina, Ooralea in Mackay, Mackay City and Noosa, as well as delivery sites in Cairns, Cannonvale, Townsville, Charters Towers, Yeppoon, Biloela, as well as Geraldton, Karratha and Perth in Western Australia. On 31 October 2014, CQUniversity announced that it would open a full campus in the Townsville CBD in 2015, it has metropolitan campuses in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. As of 2012[update] the metropolitan campuses hosted both international and domestic students.
- 1 History
- 2 Organisation and governance
- 3 Campuses
- 4 Academic profile
- 5 Students
- 6 Criticism
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
CQUniversity began as the Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia) in 1967, and after two years under the name of the University College of Central Queensland, in 1992 became an official university named the University of Central Queensland. In 1994, it adopted the name Central Queensland University; in 2008, it became CQUniversity in recognition of the institutions' expansion beyond the Central Queensland region.
CQUniversity’s antecedent institution, the Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia), was established in Rockhampton in 1967 as a regional branch of the Queensland Institute of Technology (Brisbane).
However, the first steps to establish a university in Rockhampton were taken as early as the 1940s; in 1941, the Queensland Labor Premier, William Forgan Smith, introduced section 17 of the National Education Co-ordination and University of Queensland Amendment Act, which provided for the creation of university colleges outside Brisbane. In 1944 and 1945, a series of Rockhampton delegations lobbied the Queensland government for a university college, but after the University of Queensland established a network of provincial study centres in the late 1940s the issue became dormant.
Rockhampton’s university campaign resumed in the 1950s as Central Queensland became an emerging heavy industry base, with developing coal mines and Gladstone emerging as a light metals centre; in the Queensland parliament in November 1956, the local member for Rockhampton (H R Gardner) stated “more adequate facilities for technical education” were required for the region and, appealing to the philosophy of a “fair go”, he urged that Rockhampton people be given “the same opportunities as those in Brisbane”. In 1958, P J Goldston, an engineer (later, Commissioner for Railways,) mooted the possibility of a Central Queensland university with Rockhampton engineers and after further community discussion, the Rockhampton Mayor, Alderman R B J Pilbeam, called the first public meeting on 3 March 1959 at which the Central Queensland University Development Association (UDA) was constituted.
The UDA presented university proposals to government and, in 1961, the Queensland government reserved 161 hectares (400 acres) of government land at Parkhurst (North Rockhampton) on the Bruce Highway near the Yeppoon turnoff as a tertiary education site. Establishment finally was resolved in March 1965, when the Commonwealth government’s Martin Report (on expansion of tertiary education) was tabled in parliament by Prime Minister Menzies―who announced the foundation of a new style of tertiary institution at both Rockhampton and Toowoomba, the new institutes―Rockhampton’s was named The Queensland Institute of Technology, Capricornia (QITC)―were affiliated with the main Queensland Institute of Technology campus in Brisbane and lacked the autonomy of universities, being controlled by the Queensland Education Department.
When the QITC first opened in February 1967, there was no extensive campus to greet the handful of staff and initial intake of 71 full-time and part-time students. While building progressed at Parkhurst, the first classes held on the top floor of the Technical College in Bolsover Street were a makeshift affair with no laboratories, library facilities or stock. By 1969, most staff and students had transferred to the Parkhurst campus, still a bushland site in progress―in the summer months, the campus was often ringed by spectacular bush fires or deluged with torrential rain: cars slid in the mud or were bogged and the QITC’s foundation Principal, Dr Allan Skertchly, ferried people in his 4WD across floodwaters, some students slept temporarily on mattresses in the canteen while waiting for the first residential college to open.
Despite these humble beginnings, the focus on vocational professional courses meant the first graduates found ready employment―with accounting firms, CSR, Mt Isa Mines and regional electricity boards―one mathematics student, Peter Nothling, even joined the European Space Agency.
After the passage of the amended Education Act in 1971, QITC became an autonomous, multi-functional college under the control of its own council and took the name of Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education (CIAE).
A highlight of the decade was the construction in 1976–77 of an impressive, three-storey Library building at the centre of the Rockhampton campus. Designed by architect Stephen Trotter, the building’s striking external feature was a sculpted facade created by artist Kevin Brereton. CIAE Director, Dr Arthur Appleton, proclaimed the Library to be a “milestone” which confirmed that the Institute had “come of age as a public institution”, the transformation of the campus also saw extensive landscaping of the grounds and the Institute becoming a vibrant arts hub through its Creative Arts Theatre, vacation summer schools in the creative arts, an avant-garde film program, the development of an art collection and presentation of exhibitions such as Gil Jamieson’s “epic 72-foot (22-metres) Australian landscape”, shown first in the CIAE Library prior to exhibition in the prestigious Adelaide Festival Gallery.
Along with creating a traditional university campus experience in a natural setting, the CIAE also developed engineering and science projects which were implemented locally and recognised nationally―from solar energy research and post-cyclone timber testing to research into cattle dogs, the sponsoring of the first National Northern Beef Outlook Conference and research into the proliferation of water hyacinth.
And already the emphasis was shifting beyond Rockhampton: the CIAE’s next momentous move was into distance education―it became the first college in Australia to introduce a Bachelor of Science externally in 1974. Probably few people at the time envisaged the massive ramifications of this small-scale operation in the Science School―it was the harbinger of the CIAE’s future growth as a distributed institution all the way down the Australian East Coast from Cairns to Melbourne and ventures in international education.
By 1979, external enrolments at the CIAE had jumped to 825 and by 1985 distance education had become a major campus operation, exceeding internal enrolments and offering 12 courses involving some 100 subjects and processing 23,980 study packages annually.
Between 1978 and 1989, the CIAE established branch campuses in Central Queensland at Gladstone, Mackay, Bundaberg and Emerald.
Expansion in the 1990s
The CIAE became the University College of Central Queensland in 1990 and gained full university status in 1992, at that time it was known as the University of Central Queensland. The name was changed in 1994 to Central Queensland University.
After the Australian government approved the enrolment of full-fee paying students in Australian institutions in 1986, the CIAE (and subsequently the university) began trans national education ventures with many countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Fiji. Through a public-private partnership with CMS (which CQU fully acquired in 2011) the university opened its first international campus in Sydney in 1994, followed by international campuses in Melbourne in 1997, Brisbane in 1998 and the Gold Coast in 2001.
In 2001, the university appointed Queensland’s first female Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glenice Hancock, who retired in 2004.
From 2002 to 2007, the university won numerous Queensland Export awards (education category) and two National Export Awards for education (2002 and 2005); and in the Good Universities Guide won the most 5-star ratings of any regional university in Australia in 2003 and five 5-star ratings in 2006 and 2007.
By 2006, the university was operating its four Australian International Campuses at Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne along with a campus in Suva, Fiji, while two other major offshore partnerships proceeded in Shanghai and Singapore, and diminishing operations in Hong Kong, the university restructured its international activities in the period 2006 to 2009 and rebranded its image in 2008, changing its brand from Central Queensland University to CQUniversity.
In the 2000s, CQUniversity also has been responsive to the needs of the Australian communities and regions it serves and has emphasised programs in the natural resources sector and mining, engineering, nursing, education, accounting, sustainable development and intercultural education. One of these learning program success stories has been Professor Kerry Reid-Searl, who received a 2012 Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching Award for her highly imaginative simulation teaching technique, using human-like props to prepare nursing students for practice, the technique known as Mask-Ed™ (KRS simulation) has since been available to educators across a wide range of disciplines globally.
CQUniversity also received acclaim for its innovative effort to open up legal studies to regional and disadvantaged groups through Australia’s first online Bachelor of Laws, which it began offering in 2011, with a first-year enrolment of around 100 students. Former High Court Judge The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG has stated that the degree’s accessibility and flexibility would broaden participation in studying law, particularly for students from regional areas and from Indigenous, ethnic and disadvantaged backgrounds, “who might otherwise find it difficult, or impossible, to enrol in a law course” and could “retain talented and qualified employees in regional and rural Australia.”
The first two decades of the 21st Century have also seen continuing dynamic growth for CQUniversity with a renewed focus on applied research, regional and distance education, and vocational education with its merger with Central Queensland Institute of TAFE on July 1, 2014.
CQUniversity is home to world-class research institutes: the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science, Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre, Institute for Health and Social Science Research and the Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability. Several of its research centres (Centre for Rail Engineering, the Power and Energy Centre, the Centre for Environmental Management and the Centre for Plant and Water Sciences have an emphasis on supporting growth and prosperity in CQUniversity's home region of Central Queensland.
Research successes include successful cattle cloning by Professor Gábor Vajta; and Professor David Midmore’s and Honorary Fellow and research officer Andrew Rank’s achieving the gazetting on 9 October 2010 (after almost a decade of research and submissions) of the natural sweetener, Stevia rebaudiana, as a natural low-calorie ingredient in foods and beverages. Professor Midmore stated stevia may become “a significant tool/ingredient for community use in the fight against obesity and the associated metabolic syndrome and diabetes (type II).” Research highlights also include Ben Kele’s coal seam gas water treatment plants. Ben has extensively researched and developed a range of ion exchanging volcanic rock filter media blends that reduce sodium salts, selected heavy metals, and hydrocarbons associated with the petroleum and gas industries. Ben is also responsible for a range of effluent treatment plants. One of the systems has been used at the Woodford Folk Festival venue. Dr Scott Wilson’s research into ‘mutant’ toads has also achieved much acclaim with the project airing on Channel 10’s Totally Wild program. Dr Wilson has tracked abnormalities in toads as an indicator for environmental changes. CQUniversity has also achieved success with its Green Chicken project which focusses on feeding poultry biochar (small traces of charred wood waste) in their food mix and then taking the manure containing the biochar and composting it with mineral additives to produce an organic fertiliser, the project has been praised for its carbon smart properties.
Other highlights include the university's involvement in physical activity research including the establishment of 10,000 Steps and the 2014 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding for research into how physical activity can help with depression. CQUniversity is also home to an Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, the Queensland Centre for Domestic & Family Violence Research is based at the Mackay campus and contributes to the prevention of domestic and family violence by informing, promoting and supporting the actions of individuals, communities, services and governments through statewide leadership in research, professional development, education and community engagement. The Centre for Mental Health Nursing Innovation at CQUniversity provides leadership in mental health nursing at local, state, national and international levels and has become a focal point for research and scholarly advance in mental health nursing in partnership with key stakeholders from industry and the broader community.
In 2010, CQUniversity announced its intention to become Queensland's first "dual sector" university (and the first in Australia in more than a decade), offering a combination of higher education and vocational training, through a merger with the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE (CQIT). At the time, the project won support from then-Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, who described the proposal as "one of the most exciting developments in post-school education that we have seen in Queensland for many years."
In December 2011, the Federal Government announced that CQUniversity had been successful in gaining $73.8 million in funding to support its merger with CQIT and to strengthen the university's engineering offering. The university announced that it would fund a $16.6 million engineering precinct in Mackay, a $14 million public-access allied health clinic in Rockhampton, and a $12.5 million makeover of the Mackay TAFE campus through the funding allocation.
In September 2012, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman announced the State's in-principle support for the CQUniversity-CQIT merger, the Newman government gave its final approval for the merger to proceed in December 2012. In July 2014, CQUniversity became Queensland’s first dual sector and most comprehensive university, the university now offers a range of post school education opportunities including trade certificates, diplomas, short courses, degrees and post-graduate qualifications. Students studying at the institution following the merger can easily transition from one level of study to another, it is anticipated that the new comprehensive university will encourage people to stay local to complete their study and will also help meet skills shortages in the Central Queensland region.
Organisation and governance
CQUniversity is governed by the CQUniversity Council, comprising the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and various elected and appointed representatives. Operationally, CQUniversity is managed by the Vice-Chancellor and five Deputy Vice-Chancellors who oversee portfolios including: International and Services, Industry and Vocational Education and Training, Student Experience and Governance, Engagement, Campuses and North Queensland Region, and Finance and Planning. CQUniversity Associate Vice-Chancellors manage 10 regions in which the University operates: Rockhampton, Wide Bay Burnett, Gladstone, Central Highlands, South East Queensland, North Queensland, Far North Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Five Pro Vice-Chancellors coordinate the areas of learning and teaching, research, Indigenous engagement, International and TAFE. Schools are managed within a central faculty, the Higher Education Division, which is overseen by the Provost.
Bowman is an experienced pilot who often travels between the university’s many campuses in his Jabiru J230C.
The Vice-Chancellor and President works in close collaboration with the University Council, and also with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, providing leadership and strategic direction for the university, the Vice-Chancellor is appointed by the University Council and reports to the Council through the Chancellor.
International & Services Division
The International & Services Division, led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (International & Services) is responsible for the activities which support the provision of academic and research activity across CQUniversity. Within the University Services portfolio lies the Directorates of Marketing, International, Information and Technology, Facilities Management, People and Culture, Library Services, Information Technology, and Commercial Services and the University Ombudsman.
Industry & Vocational Education and Training Division
The Industry & Vocational Education Division is led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry & Vocational Education). The Division is focused on developing CQUniversity’s comprehensive university structure including the coordination of CQUniversity’s vocational educational, the Division also supports university access programs including the Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) program and a registered training organisation which was acquired by CQUniversity back in 2012 – Train@CQUniversity.
Student Experience and Governance Division
The Student Experience and Governance Division is led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience & Governance) and is responsible for the management of governance processes within the university through the Council and sub-committees. The division is made up of three directorates including Governance, Student Residences and Student Experience and Communications.
The Governance Directorate has day to day carriage of governance activities, the Internal Audit Directorate operates as an independent appraisal function which forms an integral part of the University's internal control framework. The Student Experience and Communications Directorate is responsible for promoting, supporting and enhancing the University's reputation, activities and achievements, through strategic communications, the Student Residences Directorate is responsible for the operation of student accommodation in Rockhampton and Mackay.
CQUniversity has six schools, each of which are managed by specialist Deans.
The schools are:
- School of Education and the Arts
- School of Business & Law
- School of Engineering & Technology
- School of Medical and Applied Sciences
- School of Human, Health and Social Sciences
8 School of Nursing and Midwifery
Major areas of study
CQUniversity runs programs in a wide range of disciplines, including apprenticeships, trades and training; business, accounting and law; creative, performing and visual arts; education and humanities; engineering and building environment; health; information technology and digital media; psychology, social work and community services, science and environment; and English, work and study preparation. 
CQUniversity has many locations throughout Australia; each with its own lively character and range of facilities and services as well as program and course offerings. Since CQUniversity’s merger with CQ TAFE in mid-2014, CQUniversity has offered a more comprehensive approach to education and training and has one of the largest footprints of any tertiary education institution in Australia, it has the following campuses:
- CQUniversity Adelaide
- CQUniversity Brisbane
- CQUniversity Bundaberg
- CQUniversity Emerald
- CQUniversity Gladstone, City
- CQUniversity Gladstone, Marina
- CQUniversity Mackay, City
- CQUniversity Mackay, Ooralea
- CQUniversity Melbourne
- CQUniversity Noosa
- CQUniversity Rockhampton, North
- CQUniversity Rockhampton, City
- CQUniversity Sydney
CQUniversity also operates delivery sites in Biloela, Cairns, Yeppoon, Cannonvale, Geraldton, Townsville, Charters Towers and Edithvale.
Two campuses operate in the Rockhampton region: Rockhampton, City (formerly CQ TAFE) and Rockhampton, North, the Rockhampton City campus is centrally located and offers a wide range of study options from certificates and diplomas to undergraduate programs. It also offers short courses in a range of areas including business, hospitality and beauty. Key facilities include Wilby’s Training Restaurant, Hair Essence Hair Salon, Engineering Technology Centre, Trade training workshops and an Adult Learning Centre, the Rockhampton North campus is the university’s headquarters. The campus has facilities including an Engineering Precinct, Health Clinic, Student Residence, food court and Sports Centre.
The $10.7 million refurbished Engineering Precinct has labs for fluids, thermodynamics, thermofluids, geotech, concrete and structures, and electronics. There is also a new lecture theatre, a postgraduate area, a materials-testing area, an acoustic test cell, a soils store, and a multi-purpose project-based learning lab.
The public-access health clinic on campus caters for up to 160 clients per day, the clinic allows students to work with qualified health professionals in the areas of oral health, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology.
Two campuses operate in the Mackay region: CQUniversity Mackay, City (formerly CQ TAFE) and CQUniversity Mackay, Ooralea, including a $46 million Trades Training Centre, the Mackay City campus located on Sydney Street, in the heart of the Mackay CBD, offers a wide range of study options from certificates and diplomas to undergraduate programs. Facilities on the campus include 24-hour computer labs, training restaurants, hair dressing salon, beauty salon, canteen and library, the Mackay Ooralea campus is located on Mackay's southern outskirts and is about six kilometres from the city centre. The campus serves as a base for hundreds of students and staff, and houses a wide range of facilities, including lecture theatres, a performance theatre, tutorial rooms, computer laboratories, a nursing laboratory, video-conference rooms, recording studios, student accommodation, a bookshop, a refectory and a library. On-site accommodation is provided at the Mackay Residential College.
New nursing, midwifery and chiropractic laboratories also provides student with practical learning experiences through the use of clinical equipment including birthing baths, nursing beds and chiropractic equipment.
The Trade Training Centre caters for 1500 students doing apprenticeship programs in electrical, plumbing, carpentry, furnishing, metal fabrication, mechanical fitting and light and heavy automotive training, as well as skills training for the building, construction, mines, minerals and energy sectors.
CQUniversity's Bundaberg campus is located on a 23-hectare site on Bundaberg's southern outskirts, the campus specialises in small class sizes and individually focused learning and teaching Campus facilities include a library, bookshop, campus refectory, a 200-seat and a 100‑seat lecture theatre, four computer laboratories, nursing clinical laboratories and videoconferencing rooms; in 2012, Bundaberg Regional Council and CQUniversity signed an accord as a formal expression of their commitment to have Bundaberg recognised as a 'University City'.
Since 2007, students have had access to a $4.7 million academic and research building which includes a 64-seat scientific laboratory, sound studio and multi-media and science research facilities. The campus also hosts a forensic crash lab to support learning for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Accident Forensics.
From 2013, CQUniversity Bundaberg has also offer commercial pilot training through a partnership with the Australian Flight Academy.
Two campuses operate in the Gladstone region: CQUniversity Gladstone, City (formerly CQ TAFE) and CQUniversity Gladstone, Marina, the Gladstone City campus is located in the CBD. It offers specialist training for the gas industry, instrumentation and business studies. Key facilities include a canteen, Engineering Technology Centre, computer labs, Adult Learning Centre, Hair Essence Hair Salon, beauty facilities and a sports oval, the Gladstone Marina campus is located within the Gladstone Marina precinct. It is home to the Gladstone Environmental Science Centre and the Gladstone Engineering Centre. Students at the campus use lecture theatre and training facilities, computer labs, the Cyril Golding Library, bookshop and a range of career counselling and support services.
CQUniversity Noosa was first established in 2003 as a hub in the small Sunshine Coast village of Pomona, offering courses in Learning Management; in 2007, the Campus relocated to Goodchap Street, Noosaville and underwent a $2.5 million expansion which has doubled the campus's student capacity from 600 to 1200 students. The Noosa campus offers modern facilities and surrounds including clinical nursing laboratories, library and student resource centre facilities, state of the art collaborative learning spaces and is home to the Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre (LTERC).
CQUniversity Emerald (formerly CQ TAFE) is located on the Capricorn Highway, 275 km west of Rockhampton, and is popular with students studying trade based apprenticeships. Campus facilities include workshops for apprenticeship training, student common room and an afterhours computer lab.
CQUniversity Brisbane is located in the heart of the CBD, the campus comprises eight floors of facilities including lecture rooms, multimedia labs, bookshop, library and a student lounge.
CQUniversity Sydney is located on 400 Kent Street, with over 2000 international students, Sydney campus has the largest student population. The campus comprises lecture theatres, multimedia labs, bookshop, library, café and a student lounge; in 2013 the basement of the campus building was renovated and is now used as a dedicated space for students to relax and socialise.
CQUniversity Melbourne is a city campus. the Campus comprises multimedia labs, CQUni Bookshop, library, student lounge, and presentation and audio-visual equipment.
CQUniversity Adelaide is located in the south-west of the city within close proximity to the Adelaide Showgrounds, the Campus is home to The Appleton Institute, a multidisciplinary research hub formerly Adelaide’s Centre for Sleep Research. The Institute specialises in research, teaching and community engagement in a wide range of areas including safety science, sleep and fatigue, human factors and safety management, applied psychology, human-animal interaction and cultural anthropology.
Cairns Distance Education Study Centre
A Cairns study centre was established in July 2012 to cater to around 350 CQUniversity distance education students in the Far North Queensland region, the centre allows students to form study groups, access e-library and internet resources, sit exams, lodge assignments, participate in live lectures broadcast via high-speed internet, and make academic enquiries.
Research centres & institutes
CQUniversity has numerous research centres, institutes and groups including: • Appleton Institute • Collaborative Research Network – Health (CRN) • Centre for Plant and Water Science • Centre for Environmental Management • Centre for Railway Engineering • Centre for Intelligent and Networked Systems • Process Engineering and Light Metals Centre (PELM) • Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre • Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (CDFVR) • Centre for Physical Activity Studies (CPAS) • Centre for Mental Health Nursing Innovation • Centre for Longitudinal and Preventative Health Research • Capricornia Centre for Mucosal Immunology • Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR) • Institute for Resources, Industry and Sustainability (IRIS) • Power Engineering Research Group • Business Research Group
The University is also a partner in the Queensland Centre for Social Science Innovation (QCSSI) together with the Queensland State Government, University of Queensland (UQ), Griffith University (GU), Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and James Cook University (JCU), the QCSSI is based at the St Lucia campus of UQ.
CQUniversity's stated aim is to be Australia's most engaged university. To this end, the university has appointed a Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community & Engagement) and encourages staff to record their engagement experiences in a comprehensive engagement database known as E-DNA. The University also runs an award ceremony known as the Opal Awards, which recognise staff for excellence in engagement.
In March 2012, CQUniversity appointed former Queensland University of Technology and Monash University academic Bronwyn Fredericks to the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement). Professor Fredericks, a Murri woman, is also the inaugural BMA Chair in Indigenous Engagement, a position funded by coal mining group BMA, her stated aim is to pursue engagement with the Central Queensland region's numerous Indigenous communities to improve education outcomes.
CQUniversity is a partner of Indian charity Salaam Baalak Trust, which rescues, cares for and educates street children. The university provides higher education scholarships to Salaam Baalak children and sponsors the charity's City Walk program.
University art collection
The University began collecting art in the 1970s and has since developed a collection of almost 600 art works, including international and Australian paintings, ceramics, prints and photographs. While there is not a gallery or museum space at the university, art works are displayed across the campus network and lent to other organisations, such as regional galleries and other universities, for display in temporary exhibitions. Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman has stated that some of the aims and purposes of the art collection displays are “to engage [national and international audiences] through the sharing of art” and to “inspire education and new creative pursuits” in viewing audiences. Highlights of the CQU art collection (showcasing historical and contemporary Australian, Indigenous Australian, Pacific Islander and European works, including major paintings by John Coburn and Jon Cattapan) were displayed from 30 March to 23 May 2012 at the Rockhampton Art Gallery, attracting 3,840 visitors, one of the highest ever attendances for an exhibition at the regional gallery; in 2014 CQUniversity toured a collection of works from current and former staff and students of both CQUniversity and Central Queensland Institute of TAFE as part of the merger celebrations between the two organisations. The CQU Creates exhibited in Rockhampton, Mackay, Gladstone and Bundaberg.
CQUniversity graduates were ahead of the national rate for graduate full-time employment according to figures compiled by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA). GCA published a full-time report of 71.3%, while a direct comparison had the CQUniversity graduate full-time employment rate at 81.1%. In 2013 CQUniversity was awarded five stars for online delivery, internationalisation and access in its first foray into the global university ratings QS Stars, it also scored a 4 for teaching and for facilities.
In 2012, CQUniversity lifted its rankings in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) audit from 28 (in 2010) to 21, the University picked up three five-star ratings in 2012, up from its 2010 result of just two three-star ratings. CQUniversity performed at or well above world standard in four areas of research according to ERA 2012, with nursing research continuing to perform at 'world standard', and research in applied mathematics, agriculture and land management, and other medical and health sciences deemed to be ranked at the highest levels of performance 'well above world standard'.
As of 2014, CQUniversity had around 35,000 students enrolled across its various campuses as well as by distance education.
International students can study at CQUniversity campuses located at Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, or at CQUniversity’s regional campuses in Bundaberg, Gladstone, Noosa, Mackay or Rockhampton.
Notable alumni & past students
Some of the notable alumni and past students of CQUniversity and its predecessor institutions include:
- Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder
- Wayne Blair, Indigenous Australian filmmaker
- Martin Bowles, PSM, Secretary of the Department of Health
- Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou of Australian rock duo Busby Marou
- Terry Effeney, Chief Executive Officer of Energex
- Alexander Horneman-Wren SC
- Anna Meares, Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist
- William McInnes, actor and author
- Peter Saide, Broadway performer
- Paul Tabone, opera and musical theatre performer (The Ten Tenors)
- Carolyn Hardy, International Board Member at Amnesty International 
- David Battersby, Vice-Chancellor of Federation University 
- Craig Zonca, breakfast presenter at ABC Radio Brisbane.
In 2006, CQUniversity came under criticism by international students at the Melbourne campus describing themselves as "Cash cow" students after a majority of them failed a tax and accounting postgraduate subject, they complained of inadequate facilities and an inability to dispute their grading. The claims were disputed by the university who suggested that the subject was "tough". Former Victorian premier John Cain is quoted as saying that the Melbourne CQUniversity campus lacks the appropriate facilities expected in a tertiary institution, as it is run by a private company.
CQUniversity was criticised in 2011 by a group of doctors and scientists, including Australian Medical Association (AMA) President Steve Hambledon, for the university's decision to offer courses in chiropractics. In a letter to the university, the group writes, "Your chiropractic students may well be exposed to excellent courses in anatomy and some basic sciences, however the inclusion of subluxation theory as evidence-based reality is unacceptable." The university has since stated that its chiropractic program is fully accredited by Australia's peak chiropractic training body and that the group's criticisms were unfounded. Former Australian Medical Association president Dr Kerryn Phelps spoke out against the group's criticisms, saying alternative medicine courses should be celebrated rather than being taken out of universities, to encourage a more efficient dialogue between traditional and alternative practices. Monash University professor of medicine Paul Komesaroff also commented that the group had exceeded "the boundaries of reasonable debate" and were exploiting their positions in the community and engaging in censorship.
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