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Campus Review reports on how the Gippsland campus of Monash University and the University of Ballarat plan to form one expanded regional university.
The new arrangement would see Monash “teach out” existing courses, with Ballarat eventually taking over the Monash Churchill campus. But M Gippsland Medical School will remain part of Monash, and it would maintain an active research presence in Gippsland.
Monash University vice-chancellor Professor Ed Byrne said that the expanded university could develop into “one of Australia’s best regional higher education providers”.
He said Monash University had been looking at ways to enable the Gippsland campus to better meet the needs of its communities, including improving university participation rates regionally.
The universities said the proposal would also support the economic development of the Gippsland and Ballarat/Wimmera regions.
“It’s about providing enhanced opportunities for folk to access university courses,” said University of Ballarat vice-chancellor Professor David Battersby, who is also the chair of the Regional Universities Network (RUN).
“And at the end of the day, for those who live and work in regional communities, it’s about the enhancement of the broader community.”
The new arrangement would also enable the range of courses being offered by both universities to be expanded.
New courses for Gippsland could include engineering, graphic design and multimedia, human movement and sports science, early childhood, metallurgy and health science. For the Ballarat and Wimmera regions, new courses could include human resource management, criminal justice and criminology, bioscience, geomechanics, geohydrology and midwifery.
The universities said the new proposal would allow the Gippsland campus to “pursue greater flexibility in entry requirements” and meant they could “respond more quickly and effectively to the demands of the local community, tailoring education to better meet the needs of students who live, work and engage in a regional setting”.
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