Monash to focus overseas

October 27, 2006

Monash University has decided against following the example of its rival the University of Melbourne, which is shifting its focus to postgraduate courses, writes Geoff Maslen in Melbourne.

Instead, Monash, Australia's largest university, plans to expand its offshore activities beyond its current array of campuses and study centres overseas.

Richard Larkins, Monash's vice-chancellor, dismissed Melbourne claims that it was adopting the Bologna model in offering postgraduate-only professional degree programmes.

Professor Larkins claimed that this was a "very inaccurate reading of the Bologna process".

"Like most Australian universities, Monash would have little work to do to make our current approach fit in with Bologna," he said.

Rather than putting greater emphasis on postgraduate study, Monash was to continue to allow undergraduates to sit for professional degrees and would concentrate on international developments, Professor Larkins said.

Monash is the only Australian university to have established separate campuses in Malaysia and South Africa, as well as study centres in London and Prato in Italy.

Professor Larkins said that the university had plans for joint projects with universities in India and China and it was continuing to recruit foreign students from more than 100 countries.

These overseas students now comprise 30 per cent of its 50,000 enrolments.

Professor Larkins said: "Our underlying philosophy is that we are preparing graduates who can work anywhere in world.

"We believe the real value lies in Australian universities reaching out to the world by estab-lishing bases offshore - we can't wait for the world to come to us."

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