With the merger of the University of Ballarat (UB) and Monash University’s Gippsland (Churchill) campus proposed to take effect on 1 January 2014, the Victorian government has introduced legislation to amend the University of Ballarat Act 2010, to change the name of the university to Federation University Australia.
The university says the new name will “reflect the partnerships, collaboration and co-operation among a federated network of campuses in regional Victoria which collectively provide a new and different Australian University that is regional in focus, national in scope and international in reach.”
UB chancellor Paul Hemming said that, since 1994, the University of Ballarat has evolved from being a small, single campus, higher education provider located exclusively at Mt Helen, to a multisector, multi-campus, and multi-locational institution and that the title ‘University of Ballarat’ would be less effective in conveying the scope and capacity of an expanded regional university incorporating the Monash Gippsland campus .
Vice-chancellor David Battersby says the university considered more than 30 potential new names for the university over the past few months, including Bella Guerin University, Doug Nicholls University, Redmond Barry University, Robert Menzies University, Eureka University and University of Regional Victoria.
The choice eventually narrowed to two options – Federation University Australia and State University of Victoria, the obvious difficulty with the latter being the existence of Victoria University.
Battersby says marketing and focus group research reinforced the case for Federation University Australia, which is likely to become known as Fed Uni and The Fed.
It was also identified that, of the 11,000 universities world-wide, none have the name “Federation University” which will give the expanded university unfettered access to a set of domain names and marketing and branding possibilities.
The merger of UB and the Monash’s Churchill campus requires approval by the Commonwealth government, as well as the Victorian government.