In less than fifty years we have become a prominent multi-campus teaching and research institution providing education worldwide. Woven into the fabric of USQ is the vision and determination of many University and community members who, over the years, have been instrumental in implementing expansion and growth, shaping what we see today.

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On 2 December 1960 a public meeting of over 200 people from Toowoomba and surrounds led to the founding of the Darling Downs University Establishment Association under the Chairmanship of Dr Alex McGregor. Their purpose was to set up a higher education institution on the Darling Downs. The Association, with the support of the local community, lobbied government, raised funds and eventually succeeded with the formation of the Queensland Institute of Technology (Darling Downs) on 2 February 1967.

From one building in a bare green field, a Principal, eight full-time and five part-time academics, and five support staff taught our first 140 students 29 courses in engineering, business studies and science at Diploma and Certificate levels. From these humble beginnings a fine institution has grown.

In June 1971, the Institute became an autonomous multi-purpose college under the control of its own College Council.

The DDIAE approach was centred on student-focussed learning and teaching through employment-focussed curricula. Professional courses were offered in:

  • business
  • education
  • engineering
  • surveying
  • psychology
  • information technology
  • communications
  • Creative and liberal arts.

The DDIAE underwent enormous growth in the student body between 1970 and 1990 and consequently, the Toowoomba campus grew immensely.

Distance education delivery became our student’s preferred study mode during the mid-1970s. By 1980, external enrolments exceeded on-campus enrolments, and provided us with the opportunity to enter the international market. During 1986-7 we accepted no less than three-quarters of Australia’s off-shore international student enrolments.