Who we are and what we do
CQUniversity Australia is one of Australia's most engaged, supportive and responsive universities, focused on making higher education and research more accessible and relevant to all people, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds who live and work in Central Queensland.
We are undertaking world-class research in the areas of health, natural resources and education. We have also been one of the most successful Australian universities in attracting and servicing international students.
CQUniversity Australia is often described as a "regional university" but we do not fit a standard university type or description. Whilst we are a Rockhampton-based public university catering primarily to Central Queenslanders at six locations and, by online study, approximately half of our students are international students located at four other campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
In 1967, the University commenced operations as the Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia) and in 1971 became the Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education. It was renamed the University College of Central Queensland in 1990 and gained full university status on 1 January 1992. At that time the University was known as the University of Central Queensland. The name was changed on 1 January 1994 to Central Queensland University. In 2008, the University became known as "CQUniversity Australia".
CQUniversity's predecessor embraced and became expert in distance education, pioneering a mixed study mode which diminished the distinctions between full-time and part-time and on-campus and off-campus study. We learned and benefited from that experience, opening our first international campus in Sydney in 1994 and later forming a public-private partnership (CMS, which we fully acquired last year) unlike any other that dramatically changed the face of Australian higher education, making CQUniversity the leading provider of education to international students in Australia in 2006.
In 2010 CQUniversity enrolled approximately 19,000 students in more than 100 courses across two Faculties: Sciences, Engineering and Health; and Arts, Business, Informatics and Education, including the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music.
The cornerstones of CQUniversity are access and support. For more than 20 years, we have made university possible for thousands of people who want to attend university but who may not have had the pre-requisite knowledge or skills to start a degree. We offer five major starter courses (four of them are free) to help students of all ages prepare for university. Designed for customers entering specific disciplines, educationally disadvantaged students and those who may not have been in the classroom for years, the courses currently enrol about 1000 students annually.
Many of our courses (even those offered by online study) provide students with one form or another of integrated workplace learning, often paid, in fields where practical experience is a major advantage for graduates entering the workforce. Through courses such as our Co-Op or Degree of Professional Practice (in partnership with hundreds of employers), we aim to equip students with the practical skills they need for their careers by involving them in simulated projects and/or immersing them in real-world situations and work environments.
Whilst we believe that each student must graduate with practical and measurable characteristics, we equally believe that each student has a unique learning journey and that their journey changes through time. We, therefore, work within a concept of learner support known as the Student Learning Journey, which improves students' outcomes while enhancing their level of learning independence by actively and systematically reaching out to assess each individual's level of learning. Not only does this increase academic progress rates, but it also improves teaching and student satisfaction. Our academic support for students has been described as amongst best practice by AUQA (the Australian Universities Quality Agency).
CQUniversity has consistently demonstrated rates of positive graduate outcomes, employment and starting salaries that are among the best in Australia. For example, the Australian Graduate Survey 2009 shows that CQUniversity has an overall employment rate of 87.7% compared to the national average of 79.2%.
Our curriculum in popular fields of study such as Health and Human Performance, Nursing, Social Work, Environmental Sciences, Education, Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology is shaped by research conducted at CQUniversity.
The environment and sustainability of our natural resources; personal health and community well-being; education and intercultural relationships are some of the primary issues, locally and globally, that we face early in this century. These are also areas where CQUniversity Research has taken an active leadership role in Central Queensland and the Asia-Pacific, conducting investigations in partnership with and supported by an extensive network of government, industry and private enterprises.
Our Research Centres include the Centre for Environmental Management, the Centre for Plant and Water Sciences, the Centre for Railway Engineering, the Centre for Social Science Research, the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research, the International Program of Psycho-Social Health Research, the Centre for Mucosal Immunology and the Institute for Sustainable Regional Development.
Profile of the Council Central Queensland University
The Council is the governing body of the University, as set out in the Central Queensland University Act 1998. The University Council is responsible for the management and control of the University's affairs and property, as well as the management and control of the University's finances. The University Council has the full power and authority to appoint and dismiss officers and employees of the University. It acts in all matters to advance the interests and aspirations of the University. In meeting the requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Clth), ss33-15, National Governance Protocols, the Central Queensland University Act 1998 was amended to provide the Council with greater control of its membership. Membership of the Council is set out in s12-16 of the Act. The current Council was constituted on 11 May 2006.
It is the duty of members of the University Council to act honestly and with integrity; to exercise due care, skill and diligence in their duties; to make appropriately informed decisions, and to act at all times in the interests of the University.
Council Membership can be viewed from the University Council website.
Council Meetings each year can be viewed from the Committee Meeting Schedule.
Functions and Constitutions
The University is established and derives its functions and powers by virtue of the Central Queensland University Act 1998 (the Act). The Act establishes the University as a body corporate, with a seal. It may sue and be sued in its corporate name.
Functions of the university
As per Section 5 of the Central Queensland University Act 1998 the University's functions are:
(a) to provide education at university standard; and
(b) to provide facilities for, and encourage, study and research; and
(c) to encourage the advancement and development of knowledge, and its application to government, industry, commerce and the community; and
(d) to provide courses of study or instruction (at the levels of achievement the council considers appropriate) to meet the needs of the community; and
(e) to confer higher education awards; and
(f) to disseminate knowledge and promote scholarship; and
(g) to provide facilities and resources for the wellbeing of the university's staff, students and other persons undertaking courses at the university; and
(h) to exploit commercially, for the university's benefit, a facility or resource of the university, including, for example, study, research or knowledge, or the practical application of study, research or knowledge, belonging to the university, whether alone or with someone else; and
(i) to perform other functions given to the university under this or another Act.
The higher education sector is a dynamic environment and continues to undergo significant legislative change that impacts on the University. The University, through the Office of the Executive Director (Corporate Services), continues to progress its compliance accountability framework. A Compliance Register is in place which lists all known obligations under laws, regulations, codes or organisational standards that are applicable to CQUniversity. Regular reporting of compliance practices and the key risks associated with non-compliance are presented to the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee. The key statutory obligations are shown below.
Central Queensland University Act 1998
The University is constituted with an Act under the Queensland Government.
Financial Accountability Act 2009
The University continues to monitor compliance with the Financial Accountability 2009 and the related Financial and Performance Management Standard Act 2009. Internal Audit performs a review of financial policies and procedures on a quadrennial basis to assure the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee of Council that the University is compliant with the legislation. As required under the Standard, the University maintains a Financial Management Practice Manual (FMPM) to set out the particulars of financial systems and the practices and controls necessary to give effect to matters relative to financial management contained in the prescribed requirements of legislation. The CQUniversity Financial Management Practice Manual states that the University shall establish systems to obtain information about operational performance to ensure that the Vice-Chancellor and President is informed on whether the University is: achieving its goals efficiently, effectively and economically; allocating its resources to produce best value for money; and delivering its outputs and meeting its output performance measures as stated in its operational plans. The University has established systems for obtaining information about financial performance to enable the Vice-Chancellor and President to be informed on whether the University is: maximising the yield of revenue from its available revenue base; operating within its budget and achieving reasonable value for money; maximising the benefits arising from its investments (including long and short term investments); maximising the use of, and the benefits available from, its assets, including for example, receivables, inventories and non-current physical assets; minimising its costs and risks in relation to its liabilities and contingent liabilities; and monitoring events or transactions that may have a material impact on the agency's operations.
Public Sector Ethics Act 1994
The University is required under the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 to provide an implementation statement giving details of the action taken during the reporting period to comply with the Act. In 2007, the University's Code of Conduct was substantially revised in consultation with staff, unions and the community, as required under s15-17 of the Act. The new Code was approved by the University Council on 8 May 2007. It is published on the University's policy website at www://policy.cqu.edu.au. The Code is intended to be a central guide and reference for members of the University community in support of day-to-day decision-making and behaviour at work. Adherence to the Code of Conduct is a condition of employment. A copy is included with all letters of appointment and staff induction sessions include reference to the Code.
The Code is intended to be a central guide and reference for members of the University community in support of day-to-day decision-making and behaviour at work. Adherence to the Code of Conduct is a condition of employment. A copy of the Code is included with all letters of appointment and staff induction sessions include reference to the Code.
The Code is shaped around four key principles, intended to guide ethical decisionmaking and behaviour:
- Respect the inherent dignity of the individual.
- Act on the basis of a well-informed conscience.
- Participate as part of a community of scholars.
- Uphold the public interest.
Each year the University's People and Culture Directorate provides a report to the University Council on Code of Conduct complaints and breaches. In addition to the reactive role in progressing alleged and suspected breaches of the Code, the People and Culture Directorate also undertakes various early intervention strategies in respect to possible breaches. This early intervention is in the form of a case management approach, and often strategies can be implemented which resolve an emerging problem through staff equity, employment relations or health and safety unit approaches. In 2009, the University reported four formal Code of Conduct complaints which were resolved to the satisfaction of senior management and the University Council. A number of informal complaints were also resolved at a low level.
The Code reaffirms CQUniversity's commitment to the ethical principles set out in the Queensland Public Sector Ethics Act 1994. However, the new Code also seeks to go beyond the Act's emphasis on good public administration, to demonstrate how ethical principles are fundamental to the operations of a university in the 21st century.
Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994
The University is required under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994 to provide statistical information on the operations of the Act. No disclosure was received by the University during 2009.
Higher Education Support Act 2003
In previous years, to be eligible for Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) Funding under s33-15 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Clth), the University was required to assure the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) of continued compliance with the National Governance Protocols for Higher Education Providers (National Governance Protocols) and with the Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs). This legislation was repealed in September 2008. No further action was required to remain compliant with the National Governance Protocols in 2008. The University Council constituted in May 2006, however, continued to act within the guidelines set out for a governing body.
National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes
The National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes (National Protocols) were originally approved by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) on 21 March 2000. These National Protocols are a key element of a national quality assurance framework for Australian higher education. They have been designed to ensure consistent criteria and standards for higher education approval processes across Australia. A revised set of National Protocols was adopted by MCEETYA in October 2007 to commence operation in December 2007. Individual states and territories have the responsibility for implementing the National Protocols through legislation. The Higher Education (General Provisions) Amendment Bill 2008 has been developed to implement the new National Protocols in Queensland.
Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000
Under the authority of the ESOS Act 2000 (Clth), the reviewed and updated National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (The National Code) was implemented on 1 July 2007. The University made significant policy reviews at that time to ensure compliance. The Code provides nationally consistent standards for the conduct of registered Higher Education Providers in relation to the provision of education to international students; and the registration of their courses.
Copyright Act 1968
Copyright is a significant issue and investment for the University, both as a producer and user of copyright material. CQUniversity participates in two Statutory Licence Agreements negotiated by Universities Australia. Under Part VA of the Act, the University is licensed to use broadcast material with remuneration to Screenrights. Under Part VB of the Act, the University can copy and communicate limited amounts of literary, artistic, dramatic and printed musical works with remuneration to the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL). CQUniversity also participates in a commercial licence agreement with the music collecting societies for limited use of musical works and musical recordings. Rather than requiring full recordkeeping of all use of copyright materials made by the University, the agreements allow for a sampling process every five years or so. CQUniversity participated in a 12 week sampling period under the CAL agreement from December 2008 to March 2009. The sampling focuses on electronic use of copyright materials under Part VB, and will be largely completed by the Division of Library and Academic Learning Services from their records relating to Course Resources Online (CROs). The resulting records were provided to CAL to allow for representative distribution of royalties to copyright owners. The University also participated in a survey undertaken as part of the Music License Agreement.
Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000
The Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000 establishes a regime requiring all employees and volunteers working with children and young people to obtain a Positive Suitability Notice (known as a Blue Card). CQUniversity requires all staff in certain categories (such as Student Counselling) to hold Blue Cards as a condition of their employment.
Public Records Act 2002
In 2001, Queensland introduced Information Standard 40: Recordkeeping (IS40) to public authorities in Queensland. The main purposes of IS40 is to assist public authorities meet their legislative recordkeeping obligations; to foster recordkeeping best practice across the Queensland public sector and help ensure recordkeeping becomes a systematic part of essential business activities; and to ensure public records are identified, captured and retained in an accessible and useable format that preserves the evidential integrity of those records for as long as they are required.
The University is continuing to work towards compliance with IS40. Funding has been allocated for a major technical upgrade and reimplementation of the electronic record-keeping system, TRIM, in 2010. This upgrade will include web deployment capabilities. Additional user licenses were purchased in 2009 to allow for the roll-out of TRIM across the university, following a successful pilot program in selected functional areas.
Internal audit and risk management
The University Council has established an Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee to assist Council to discharge its responsibilities prescribed in the Financial Accountability Act 2009, the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 and other relevant legislation and prescribed requirements.
The purpose of the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee is to assist Council in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for: the University's internal control framework; the performance of the Internal Audit and External Audit functions; the integrity of the University's financial reporting processes; the University's risk management framework; ensuring a healthy and safe workplace; the application of good corporate governance principles; and ensuring strong compliance with legislative requirements.
To this end, the Committee is responsible for reviewing, discussing and promptly reporting (as appropriate) to the Council in relation to the above areas.
Several representatives of Senior Management regularly attend the Committee to provide members with the necessary reports and briefings. These include Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & Research); Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Services); University Secretary; Chief Financial Officer; and Associate Director, Internal Audit. A standing invitation was extended to the External Auditors to discuss any matters with the Committee regarding their auditing of CQUniversity's financial activities.
During 2009 the Committee operated within the framework established by its Terms of Reference and had due regard to the Audit Committee Guidelines issued by Queensland Treasury. The Committee undertook annual self-evaluation and reporting to Council. To ensure a comprehensive evaluation was undertaken, the Committee survey instrument was aligned with the requirements of the Committee's Terms of Reference and was informed by the Queensland Audit Office's better practice document - "Governance and Risk Management - Self Assessment Program - Universities" (2003).
In addition, the Committee concentrated on further embedding strong committee practices which had been identified and implemented in recent years. The Committee continued to focus on high priority areas with considerable success, received presentations of key corporate risks at each meeting, continued to focus on the resolution of audit register matters, and undertook private sessions with External Audit and Internal Audit respectively. The evaluations by members of the Committee indicate that performance of the Committee, in most areas, continued to improve. In those areas where that was not the case, action will be taken in 2010 to address the issues which have been identified.
The Committee liaises closely with the Planning and Resources Committee of Council, to ensure there is a frank and meaningful exchange of information between the committees where this is necessary or desirable. The Planning and Resources Committee recommends the strategic directions of the University to Council, in the context of development of the University's plans and their resourcing strategies. The key areas of concern to the Planning and Resources Committee are planning and strategy, financial resources, commercial undertakings, asset management (including information technology), and human resources.
Organisationally, the Internal Audit Directorate forms part of the Corporate Governance Division, reporting to the University Secretary for administrative purposes, and to the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee for functional purposes.
The purpose of the Internal Audit Directorate in the University is to assist the Council; the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee; and University management and staff in the effective discharge of their responsibilities. This is achieved through the provision of independent advice and assurance underpinned by a process of systematic, professional and independent audits which measure and evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness, economy and compliance of controls and systems in place.
Internal Audit staff completed 24 audit reports on financial, compliance, operational and information technology matters during 2009. Significant review reports issued during 2009 related to the University's legislative compliance framework; student fee liabilities; lessons learned from the human resources information system implementation; and student fee revenue.
Internal Audit also has responsibility for supporting the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee and for liaising with CQUniversity's External Auditors to ensure a properly coordinated overall audit effort. An annual report is provided to the Committee on the performance of Internal Audit.
The University established a Risk Management Policy and Framework in 2003, to assist managers and staff to integrate risk management into the daily operations of the University. The Policy and Framework meet the requirements of the Financial Accountability Act 2009 and the Risk Management Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009.
The aims of the Risk Management Framework are to: ensure that the significant risks faced by CQUniversity are identified, understood and managed as effectively as possible; promote, in management and staff, a heightened awareness of the strategic and operational risks the University faces, and to assist in reducing the possibility and impact of adverse risk events, whether caused by the University or externally; and to assist in promoting a greater openness and transparency in decision-making and in ongoing management processes.
The Risk Management Framework involves coordination of risk management by the Director, Corporate Strategy and Planning and reporting on the framework's implementation and effectiveness to the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee. The Committee can then provide assurance to Council on the effectiveness of risk management and the status of significant business risk.
During 2009, the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee continued to oversee risk management at CQUniversity. Major activities included: facilitating a corporate strategic risk workshop for Executive Management to identify and assess the University's key risks; and presentation and update on each strategic risk to the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee during the course of the year.
Entities controlled by the university
The University has formed a number of entities which serve to further the functions of the University in accordance with the Central Queensland University Act 1998. The performance of these entities is monitored by the University Council through its Planning and Resources Committee. The Committee receives quarterly financial statements, an annual report on progress and an annual business plan. Each of the following controlled entities prepares a set of financial statements for audit by the Queensland Audit Office. Once certified, the financial information is combined with that of the University to produce a consolidated financial position.
CQU Travel Centre Pty Ltd
This company provides travel agency services and educational travel programs for University staff and students as well as the general public. The entity is 100% owned by the University and has a Board of Directors comprising the following members:
Mr David Turner, CA, BComm Qld
Board Member and Company Secretary:
C Management Services Pty. Ltd. (CMS)
CMS is a wholly owned subsidiary of CQUniversity. The principal activity of CMS is to manage the International Campuses of CQUniversity in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast including the delivery of the University's degree courses in a range of disciplines (Diploma, Bachelors, Masters Degrees and Professional Doctorates) as well as English Language, Foundation and Professional Year programs through these campuses.
The CMS Board of Directors regularly reports to the University Council. The CMS Board comprises the following members:
Emeritus Professor Anthony J. D. Blake AM, MSc, BEd Melb, PhD Purdue, Hon DUniv UTS (Independent Director)
Professor Scott Bowman, TDCR, DCR, HDCR CollRadiog, FAETC City&Guilds, MA GuildHall, MBA USC, PhD OpenUK (CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor & President), FAIM
Mr Ronald (Rennie) C. Fritschy, BE(Chem) Sydney, BEc WAust, FIE(Aust), GAICD (CQUniversity Chancellor)
Ms Lindy H. Hyam, MBA UTS, BEd Syd, Dip Teach Syd, FAICD (Independent Director)
Mr R. Charles Ware, BA, LLB(Hons) Qld, MBus(PubMgt), LLM QUT, MLGMA, FAICD (CQUniversity Deputy Vice-Chancellor)
Mr Peter Carter, DipBusStud Swin, FCPA, FCIS
Australian International Campuses Trust and Australian International Campuses Pty Ltd
The Australian International Campuses Trust is a unit trust and was established to hold the shares of C Management Services Pty Ltd on behalf of CQUniversity.
The Australian International Campuses Pty Ltd is the trustee for the trust and CQUniversity is the sole beneficiary of the trust and holds all units on issue. The Australian International Campuses Pty Ltd Board comprises the following members:
Mr Jim Tolhurst, BComm, MBA Qld, FCPA, FCIS, FAICD
Ms Marni McGrath, BBus(Acct) UCCQ, CA
Mr David Turner, CA, BComm Qld
Other bodies (not controlled entities)
HortiCal Pty Ltd
This venture was initiated as a joint venture between CQUniversity and Colour Vision Systems (CVS) to commercialise their respective interests in non-invasive fruit sorting technology. To this end, CQUniversity and CVS granted HortiCal a licence on the intellectual property relating to the use of near-infrared spectroscopy. HortiCal's business is to support research and development and to commercialise the intellectual property it holds.
Rail Innovation Australia Pty Ltd
This company was established to hold the intellectual property generated by the previous co-operative research centre, the CRC for Railway Engineering and Technologies.