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University trains and retains local talent

Xiriha sisters Doris and Anita are committed to reinvesting their CQUni Mackay education back into their hometown.

With a passion for solving real-world problems with mathematics, Doris is hoping her Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree will one day score her a job locally with the QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“In 2018 we choose our specialities, and – with a view to acquiring a job with the Department – I’m going to select Civil Engineering,” the 20-year-old, first-year student said (with fingers crossed).

“Mackay is continually growing and evolving, and I would feel privileged to be able to remain in this community and aid in its growth through the Department.”

Doris is also a CQUni Mackay STEPS (Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies) success story.

CQUni’s STEPS program provides a pathway for people wishing to gain entry to – and excel in – higher education.

Doris completed the course in 2016, which enabled her to gain entry into Engineering.

“After finishing school, I took a gap year to work fulltime. This gave me the opportunity to really consider my future endeavours; what I wanted to do and be,” Doris said.

“CQUni offers one of the best Engineering degrees in North Queensland, and with the opportunity to stay close to family and my support network in Mackay, choosing CQUni was a no-brainer.”

Back in 2009, Doris’s older sister Anita had a similar view.

After completing a Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching (Secondary) with CQUni, Anita returned to her old high school stomping ground (Mackay State) to teach Visual Arts.

“It’s surreal and an honour to be working at my former high school. I’m enjoying being able to give back to the institution that educated me and shaped me as a person,” Anita said.

Presently on maternity leave, Anita said she’d be more than happy if her son Isaiah followed in her footsteps by attending Mackay State High and CQUniversity.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, Campuses and Mackay-Whitsunday Region Professor Pierre Viljoen hailed Doris and Anita as ‘Mackay success stories’ and commended their community commitment.

“The Xiriha sisters exemplify the fact that local benefits are directly derived from the provision of quality regional tertiary institutions.”

“It stands to reason that students who gain professional experience in their hometown are more likely to seek work in rural and regional communities after graduation, which contributes to alleviating workforce shortages.”

Professor Viljoen said CQUni’s quality course offerings and graduate success rates had recently garnered the University a five-star rating.

“In August 2017, CQUni welcomed five-star results for graduate employment and median graduate salary in the latest edition of The Good Universities Guide*,” he said.

“The Guide confirms that our strongest field of study is engineering, with five stars in the full-time employment, learner engagement, starting salary and skills development measures.”

The Guide further documents CQUni’s five-star rated fields of study also include business and management, computing and information systems, creative arts, health services and support, dentistry, law and paralegal studies, nursing, psychology, rehabilitation, teacher education, and architecture and building.

Professor Viljoen was also pleased to note The Guide awarded CQUni five stars in the category of social equity, which tracks the proportion of students from a low socio-economic background.

CQUni is proud to have maintained its position in the top 2 per cent of the world’s universities, according to the latest Times Higher Education rankings.

*The Good Universities Guide is derived from the Federal Government’s QILT data.

Source: CQU

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