UNIVERSITY of Ballarat’s rebranding as Federation University Australia is a step closer after the State Parliament yesterday passed a bill paving the way for the name change.
A new logo for the university, maintaining the Eureka Flag used in the University of Ballarat logo, has also been released.
The new identity is part of the merger between University of Ballarat and Monash University’s Gippsland campus and will start in January.
But despite support from both sides of politics, there was some discussion in parliament about concerns raised over the new name and its acronym – “FU”.
Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall said the name change was a significant milestone for Victoria’s tertiary education sector.
Rather than FU, Mr Hall predicted the university would become known as Fed Uni.
“This legislation will support the University of Ballarat in expanding its expertise in regional education delivery across the whole state,” he said.
Parliament was also told that there would be a six-year period for students currently enrolled to get their degrees from either University of Ballarat or Monash University.
University of Ballarat Professor David Battersby said the partnership between the University of Ballarat and Monash University was focused on enhancing regional education opportunities.
“Everyone involved in this project has had a vision of creating a regional university with a more accessible and supportive learning environment,” he said.
Several MPs remarked on the controversy surrounding the new name in parliament.
Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight supported the name change but said she had received concerns from students and residents about the new name.
Similarly, Ballarat East MP Geoff Howard backed the rebranding but said taking Ballarat out of the university’s name had been a source of “great anxiety” in the community.