CQUni shows true grit, digs in to enhance mining education pathways
Published on 25 May, 2012
When it comes to enhancing mining education pathways, it's not just a case of 'build it and they will come'.
CQUniversity has proven it's best to work hand in hand with peak bodies and individual companies, giving workers the chance to progress their qualifications without being drawn away from the coalface (literally).
Workers on mine sites have been able to access tailor-made qualifications without having to pause their careers or halt their income stream.
The concept of 'associate degrees' is gaining favour, with Newcrest Mining one of the latest companies to pilot a cadetship for an Associate Degree in Mine Technology.
CQUniversity already offers associate degrees in Mine Technology, Engineering, Geoscience and Mine Operations Management in conjunction with employers such as BMA and AngloCoal.
Undergraduate options also include specialised civil, electrical and mechanical streams within the suite of Engineering and Engineering Technology degrees.
The University is also working hand-in-glove with mining services companies including SGS STAX and Mastermyne, giving undergraduate students the chance to gain bursaries and scholarships while becoming enriched and enmeshed with the mining industry.
One student who has been progressing in her mining career and studies is Kerrie Dark, who is working for Aurecon Hatch in Mackay, as a Project Management Engineer and assisting the Resident Civil Engineer on the Hay Point Expansion 3 at BMA Hay Point. Kerrie has been studying the Associate Degree of Mine Technology via distance learning.
Kerrie began her mining career around 16 years ago and is now focused on gaining the extra knowledge and qualifications to match her broad experience.
"I have worked in the mining sector in the capacity of geology right through to underground miner. I have also had the experience of working in exploration and both underground and open cut metalliferous mining," she said.
As an aspiring dual-sector institution, CQUniversity aims to create seamless pathways across vocational and tertiary qualifications within the next few years.
The University recently consulted with Xstrata Coal Newlands Mine to offer a customised graduate certificate in management, leading to a graduate diploma in mining management which can articulate into an MBA or a Master of Management (Engineering).
At postgraduate level, mining-related options also include Maintenance Management and Power Generation.
CQUniversity has also responded to industry pleas for high-level project management skills with a new suite of postgraduate Project and Program Management programs developed especially for the resource and infrastructure sectors.
There is a capacity for students to do postgraduate and research higher degrees in mining-relating fields, with recent project examples including 'blast scheduling' and 'coal mine spoil dump stability and hydrology'.
The University is also working to improve its overall responsiveness. The revamped Queensland Centre for Professional Development (QCPD) will help as a brokerage to ensure business and industry can find the best available solutions for upskilling employees, all the way from one-day sessions, to short courses to full degrees.
QCPD will offer a holistic approach to workforce skills development, skills analysis, articulation and credit transfer, and recognition of prior learning. It will continue to offer careers guidance services and to arrange supported pathways into the most critical careers.