Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

UCL Australia to 'Wind Down' as Review Signals Change of Course

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

UCL Australia to 'Wind Down' as Review Signals Change of Course

Article excerpt

Future of Adelaide site uncertain as London focuses on partnerships. Jack Grove reports

University College London is set to close its Australia branch within two years as part of a wider review of its overseas campuses.

UCL's Adelaide campus is likely to be wound up in 2017 on the completion of research deals with energy and mining companies Santos and BHP Billiton worth about A$20 million (£10 million).

Support from South Australia's regional government is also due to expire that year, which led the university to carry out a review of UCL Australia's long-term sustainability.

It is now undertaking a consultation process with its staff about a "move away from a stand-alone presence in Adelaide", although it says this is "not a fait accompli".

Set up in 2008, Adelaide was the first UK university campus in Australia and was part of a network of overseas satellite campuses focused on postgraduate education, which was to establish UCL's position as "London's Global University".

However, UCL is to cease its teaching in Kazakhstan by August this year and is also reviewing its operations in Qatar.

Michael Arthur, UCL's provost and president, said in a message to the Adelaide staff last week that "emerging changes in UCL's strategic direction" had caused it to review the future of its Australia operation, once marketed as an "integral part of UCL".

In an apparent reversal of its previous overseas campus strategy, the university will instead work with elite universities in about five to eight major cities around the world, as it has done with Yale University since 2009.

To this end, UCL says that it has begun discussions with the University of South Australia on a potential engineering-based partnership that will continue the work of UCL Australia beyond 2017. …

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