A New University of Divinity in Australia

The following notice appeared today in the Victorian Government Gazette:

Education and Training Reform Act 2006
APPROVAL FOR THE MELBOURNE COLLEGE OF DIVINITY TO OPERATE AS A SPECIALISED UNIVERSITY

1. Authority : This notice is issued pursuant to section 4.3.30(1) of the Education and Training Reform
Act 2006.

2. Definitions
Melbourne College of Divinity means the Melbourne College of Divinity continued as a body corporate under the Melbourne College of Divinity Act 1910.

3.    Approval of institution to operate as a University
Pursuant to section 4.3.30(1) of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) approves the Melbourne College of Divinity to operate as a specialised university under the specialised title of ‘MCD University of Divinity’.

4.    Period of approval:The approval herein remains in force for 5 years commencing on 1 January 2012.

The common seal of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority was hereunto affixed on the 25th day of August 2011 as authorized by it pursuant to section 4.2.1(3) of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

What this means is that, subject to the veto of the Victorian Parliament, what was formerly the Melbourne College of Divinity has been given permission to operate as a Specialist University within the Australian Higher Education System. Like RMIT University, the new name is made up of the familiar acronymn, but the lack of a specific mention of the word 'Melbourne' indicates that this development aims to secure the national and international profile of the new University. The history and background to this important decision is outlined well by Andrew McGowan here.

If you didn't know already, I teach for a College, within an ecumenical teaching institution within what will now be a University. This is a historic day for the MCD, and all associated with the application for Specialist University status are to be congratulated on securing this outcome.