The first of the Queensland Government’s Smart State secondary colleges was completed and officially opened on 30 January 2007. The Science, Mathematics and Technology Academy (SMT), located at Toowong, is partnered with The University of Queensland and is designed to provide opportunities for Queensland’s “best and brightest” students to accelerate their learning by combining their senior schooling with tertiary studies to fast-track their qualifications.
Students will undertake an International Baccalaureate (IB) based program. Through the Academy's close linkages with UQ, discussions have been held to progress the development of an integrated science, mathematics and technology curriculum, and identify opportunities for advancement of Academy students to university-level study. Development opportunities for staff are also being explored.
The Queensland Academies Steering Committee was established in November 2006 to oversee and facilitate liaison between the Academy and the UQ community, chaired by Professor Michael Keniger, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). The Steering Committee is to convene an internal UQ Academy Management Group to coordinate and monitor collaborative arrangements between the University and the SMT Academy, and recommend guidelines for future action. Some of the key issues for consideration include:
- credit transfer and tertiary exemption for SMT Academy students;
- administrative matters, such as use of UQ resources and teaching space;
- staffing/funding arrangements; and
- insurance, workplace health and safety requirements.
In late 2006, plans were announced to open a third Queensland Academy in 2008, which will offer studies focussed on health, allied services and sciences for students, established in partnership with Griffith University, and sited in the Medical Health precinct at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. In light of this development, The Faculty of Health Sciences is currently investigating the heightened promotion of UQ’s identity as a tertiary education provider of excellence in the fields of health and allied health sciences.