Posted May 03, 2018 08:37:24It was not long ago when the Newcastle University was the biggest name in the state of New South Wales.
But now, it is the biggest loser.
The University of New England (UNE) announced on Monday it had decided to leave the Commonwealth University of Australia (CUA) due to financial issues.UNE has been the recipient of a $3.4 billion Commonwealth grant over the past 20 years and has become the largest employer in the NSW capital.UNI President Professor James Ainsworth told the ABC it was not the right time to leave, adding the decision to leave was the culmination of years of research.
“The university is one of the most highly-regarded institutions in the country, it has the most prestigious research programmes, and there is a long history of collaboration between UNE and CUA,” he said.
“And to leave would be a real blow to those very relationships.”UNE is one the most high-profile employers in NSW.
It employs more than 15,000 people across its three campuses in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart.
Its main campus is the University’s main campus in Newcastle, which is located just west of the city.
It is also home to its research arm, the Centre for Medical and Scientific Research (CMSR).
Professor Ainsbury said UNE had been working to get into CUA since 2013 and it had made progress in recent years.
“We’ve been working hard to get UNE into CUAs portfolio of providers of medical services, we’re very proud of that progress,” he told the program.
“But CUA is still a long way from achieving what it has been looking to do, and UNE is the most cost-effective way of doing that, so it’s not the best option for the university.”
The Commonwealth funding will now be shared between UNU and CUAs two other universities, the Australian National University (ANU) and the University and College of NSW (UCAN).
Professor Alan Beattie, the University Research Centre’s (URCC) chief executive, said the money would help UNU “make some big decisions” that would help the university in its long-term plans.”UNE, like other universities in the region, will need to make strategic decisions about how it can deliver higher education to its students and staff,” he added.
Professor Beatties comments were echoed by Professor Ainsy, the former vice president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), who said UNU was “a great institution that has worked hard to build a relationship with our colleagues in the Commonwealth”.
“I’m sad to see the University leave the University, but I’m equally sad for the students who work there and for the people who work in our community,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Universities have a responsibility to build bridges between the academic and medical communities.”
University of New Bedford lecturer Professor Tony Williams said UNB’s decision to move out of CUA was “disappointing”.
“It was disappointing to see that we were going to be the last university to move from the Commonwealth, because of what the Government has done to reduce funding for the Commonwealth,” he, a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts, said.
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