CQUniversity campus  Photo: Contributed
CQUniversity campus Photo: Contributed Melanie Plane

New VC announces a five year strategic plan for CQUniversity

NOT one to rock the boat, CQUniversity's new Vice-Chancellor of five months, Professor Nick Klomp, has released a five-year strategic plan for the university he described as "a sharpened focus on the right direction”.

He said in an age of technology, increasing internationalisation and rapidly changing disciplines, a strategic strategy needed to keep up.

"A contemporary university needs to be staying at the cutting edge all the time,” Prof Klomp said.

Over the last four months, Prof Klomp personally travelled to the 26 physical CQU campuses around the country to consult with key stakeholders, communities, staff and even students to formulate the finished product of the strategic plan.

He said he was surprised by the clear direction shared by those he consulted over that period.

"You would think after speaking with over 1000 people, you would end up with all these crazy directions and you'd never be able to pull it together,” he said.

"But actually, everyone's ideas were really convergent.”

So what exactly came of the four months of consultations?

The answer is a strategic plan underpinned by six reciprocal pillars , or focus points, which are; students, research, people, communities, reputation and sustainability.

Prof Klomp described how some of the formative pillars would manifest into outcomes.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp at yesterday's Orientation Day at the Emerald campus.
CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp at yesterday's Orientation Day at the Emerald campus. Taylor Battersby

In regards to students he said "we need to be providing a great, cutting edge curriculum” including emerging industries that may not yet exist.

"We want to see courses for jobs that are just appearing on the horizon, five years from now,” he said.

On-campus engagement, community engagement and work experience for students would also make part of the strategy.

Another pillar was research which the strategy document said CQU "will invest in world-class talent through our recruitment strategy, by developing the skills of emerging researchers and by providing high-quality training for research higher degree students.”

Prof Klomp said investment in high-profile research projects paid dividends in regards to building the reputation of the university and attracting more students.

He also said that the application of these pillars and their associated goals would position CQUniversity as a leader in the provision of seamless, full-spectrum education pathways, and engaged research.

"As educators and researchers in a contemporary university, we are being tested by new threats and emerging opportunities, both challenging and exciting.

"It is crucial that all of us at CQUniversity use the next five years to build on our past achievements and apply innovation and courage to everything we do.

CQU is also set to have a medical program established in Central Queensland and Wide Bay and is currently being worked on according to Prof Klomp.

He hoped CQU's diverse range of courses would provide more "comprehensive” options for the region which would ultimately give potential CQ students the choice to stay in the region and study in a field of their choice.

"We hope it will produce graduates that stay in the region,” he said.

CQU's comprehensive 2019-2044 strategic plan can be viewed in full at www.cqu.edu.au/ourfutureisyou.