CQUniversity Cairns campus celebrates half a decade of success

08 March 2021

When the doors swung open on Term 1 at CQUniversity Cairns on Monday' the campus celebrated a special milestone.

'Today marks the first day of Term at CQU and we are celebrating five years since our first on-campus student cohort attended our Cairns Square campus'' Associate Vice-President (Far North Queensland region) said.

'While the building was officially opened in October 2015' we didn't have an on-campus student presence until Term 1' 2016 so today is a very special day for us'' Ms Duignan-George explained.

The campus is now home to over 2'000 students and has been growing 20+% year-on-year' with over 300 new students set to kick-off their studies in the Cairns region this term.

'Our presence in Cairns surpassed expectations and continues to move forward in leaps and bounds.'

Since its opening' the CQUniversity Cairns campus has made a significant contribution to the FNQ community and the local economy' now employing more than 130 staff and providing access to a quality education for all who have the desire and capability.

'Through our deep engagement with Cairns' industry and community' we've set about offering degrees that lead to jobs. Students that study in Cairns are staying in Cairns post completion'' Ms Duignan-George said.

In the short five years since the Cairns Square campus had its first cohort of students' CQUniversity has continued to expand in Cairns.

'We have established three additional sites in Cairns including the Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub at the Cairns Airport' the Sports Centre of Excellence that is co-located with Cairns basketball and the Engineering Lab on Buchan St.'

While student numbers continue to grow' space is becoming more and more limited.

'CQUniversity's investment in Cairns to date has been under our own steam and for the first time' we're seeking Commonwealth support to meet growing community demand for tertiary study'' Ms Duignan-George said.

'Student demand is now far outstripping our ability to grow in our current location' so we continue to lobby for the support of the Federal Government to gain the required funding for a new $50m campus project.'

Ms Duignan-George said it was clear that following the devastation of COVID' the Cairns community had an appetite to study and upskill.

'Our planned new campus – which will form part of a new CBD Cairns Knowledge Precinct – has a broad focus' allowing for the establishment of new courses which will ultimately get more Cairns residents into work.'

Ms Duignan-George said the new campus would allow CQU to ramp up its tried and true courses that range from high-school equivalency (Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies) to early university participation by high schoolers (Start Uni Now)' which have to date' provided significant opportunities for Cairns locals to expand their horizons and become degree qualified.

'From engineers' pilots and teachers' to nurses and paramedics - we have helped amazing people get into amazing new careers.

'I'm really excited to be welcoming all of our new and returning students to campus and look forward to what 2021 will bring for CQU Cairns.'