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University of New England [Network] (1989 - 1993)

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Location: New South Wales, Australia
The University of New England Network was formally established on 17 July 1989 under legislation introduced to the New South Wales Parliament by the then Minister for Education, Terry Metherell. It was initially comprised of the the former University of New England, the Armidale College of Advanced Education and the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education at Lismore, but shortly after the merger, incorporated the Orange Agricutlural College as well.
The merging of these geographically and culturally disparate institutions was the result of policies introduced by the then federal Minister for Education, Employment and Training, John Dawkins, a keen ‘economic rationalist’ who felt that the Australian university sector could be made more efficient by streamlining ‘the operations of institutions involved in multi-campus teaching’ and enforcing ‘amalgamations of smaller institutions’.
The merger was wracked with problems from the beginning. Disputes erupted over the name of the new institution, the level of representation on its central governing body, and the continuing autonomy of different campuses within the network. Financial disagreements led to further acrimony and by 1991 academic staff at Armidale were calling for disamalgamation. Much of their angst was directed at the Lismore campus, which they believed with some justification was uncommitted to the merger.
After protracted negotiations and continuing problems, the New South Wales Minister for Education, Virginia Chadwick, reluctantly agreed to dissolve the network university. On I January 1994, the University of New England was reconstituted as a separate institution based in Armidale. A new university, Southern Cross, was established at Lismore, which also incorporated the ledgling campus at Coffs Harbour, while Orange Agricultural College became affiliated with Sydney University.

Related Bodies:
University of New England
Armidale College of Advanced Education

Related People:

Matthew Jordan, A Spirit of True Learning: The Jubilee History of the University of New England (Sydney: UNSW Press 2004) and Grant Harman and Rob Robertson-Cuninghame (eds.), The Network UNE Experience: Reflections on the Amalgamated University of New England, 1989–1993 (Armidale: UNE Press, 1995).

Related Entities for University of New England [Network]

Previous and Subsequent Entities

 1938 - 1954 New England University College
       1954 - University of New England
             1989 - 1993 University of New England [Network]

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Matthew Jordan
Created: 5 August 2005
Modified: 23 June 2006

Published by The Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, 5 April 2004
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 23 February 2010

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