THE University of Ballarat is set to become Federation University Australia from January next year.
The Victorian governmeRnt will today introduce legislation into parliament which paves the way for the controversial name change.
The new identity is part of the university’s merger with Monash University Gippsland campus, which is currently awaiting federal government approval.
Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall said University of Ballarat chancellor Paul Hemming recently wrote to him requesting the name change.
The legislative amendment will alter the University of Ballarat Act 2010, which sets out how the university is governed.
“I am delighted the Napthine government has supported that request,” Mr Hall said.
“The new name is reflective of the broad regional focus of the university.”
University of Ballarat chancellor Paul Hemming said the new name would benefit the recruitment potential, regional reach and the university’s marketability.
“This new name will reflect the partnerships, collaboration and co-operation among a federated network of campuses in regional Victoria,” he said. “It collectively provides a new and different Australian university that is regional in focus, national in scope and international in reach.”
The bill will allow current students to complete their course under either the University of Ballarat or Federation University
The ushering through of the name change comes amid community concern that the university will lose its Ballarat identity.
A reader poll conducted by The Courier showed most supported the University of Ballarat keeping its name, with just 12.1 per cent preferring Federation University.
The other option being officially considered was State University, which scored 7.3 per cent of the vote among the readers.
Former Ballarat University College Council chairman Dr William Pryor told The Courier last week a new name could see the community lose interest in the university.
“This is where the university was created,” he said.
“A lot of people made commitments to it and assisted in that.”