CQU delivers Australian-first promise on graduate career success

29 September 2021

In an Australian-first' CQUniversity is doubling down on their already strong student support and employment outcomes with a promise to students for success after graduation.

Announced today' the CQUniversity Graduate Guarantee offers a fully flexible' Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Entrepreneurship' free of charge' to all domestic and international graduates who haven't secured full-time or part-time work within six months of finishing their undergraduate degree.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp said the Guarantee was set to improve the employability and success of its students.

"CQUniversity's domestic undergraduate full-time employment rate is already in the top 10 nationally' but the Graduate Guarantee will hold us to account to improve this even further."

"We are in a partnership with our students that shouldn't end when they finish their course. We are committed to ensuring they make a successful transition to employment. More than that' we want to guarantee it'" Professor Klomp said.

Professor Klomp said that while many universities pinned their marketing campaigns on graduate outcomes' CQUniversity was going one step further by investing in an innovative program that would help to make its graduates the most employable in Australia.

"CQUniversity's current domestic undergraduate full-time employment rate is 77.7 per cent (top 10 nationally) compared to the national average of 71.3 per cent' and the median undergraduate starting salary was $67'800 (fourth best in Australia)' compared to the national average of $62'600*.

"Despite these already excellent outcomes we believe that there is always room for improvement when it comes to ensuring our students get the jobs they have dreamed about - and worked so hard for – upon graduation.

"That's why' in an Australian first' we're introducing the CQUniversity Graduate Guarantee'" said Professor Klomp.

"The idea behind our Graduate Guarantee is simple: if you're a CQUniversity undergraduate and you don't secure a part-time or full-time paid role in your field within six months of graduating' you're eligible to enrol in and complete a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Entrepreneurship – worth thousands of dollars – absolutely free.

"The aim of the guarantee is to ensure all CQUniversity students have opportunities to increase their employability and stand out in a competitive jobs market' where entrepreneurial skills and an innovative mindset are high on employers' priority lists.

"Some of the graduates who complete the course will even take the learnings from the Graduate Certificate to start their own businesses and become employers themselves.

"By offering this to our graduates we are holding ourselves to account for getting our graduates into employment as soon possible.

"Importantly' we also see the Guarantee as the first step in a lifelong career partnership with our students".

The Graduate Guarantee is a response to the Government's efforts to improve the job-readiness of graduates across Australia's public universities and has received early praise from Senator' the Hon Bridget McKenzie' Federal Minister for Regional Education' who described the scheme as an "innovative and daring commitment" and "a first for any Australian university".

In a video message of congratulations' Minister McKenzie said the Graduate Guarantee would improve opportunities for regional students and help to ensure graduates emerge from their studies as job-ready as can be.

"Through this initiative' CQUniversity will deliver resilient' engaged' and work-ready graduates who are not only job holders but job creators'" said Minister McKenzie.

The CQUniversity Graduate Guarantee will commence next year with students eligible to enrol in the Graduate Certificate of Leadership and Entrepreneurship from September 2022.

The Graduate Certificate is a fully flexible offering' so students can commence their studies online at any time and can complete the qualification at their own pace' without being bound by class or term times. Importantly' this will allow students to continue to search for and participate in work while studying the course.

For more information' please visit cqu.edu.au/graduateguarantee.

*The proportion of graduates who were employed full-time four months after completing their course' as a percentage of those who were available for full-time employment. Results are based on those graduate respondents who are available for full-time work.