Secret documents obtained by Farrago reveal that administrators of The University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have agreed to an official merger.
The backroom deal is believed to have taken place in early March 2014, and will see the two Melbourne-based universities combine to become The Melbourne City University by the start of 2016. This agreement was supposed to remain secret until 1 July 2014, but was leaked to Farrago by an anonymous source .
“Both the University of Melbourne and the RMIT have strong academic reputations. Rather than competing with one another for students and research, it makes practical sense for these two institutions to become united,” the executive summary of the report reveals.
“With our powers combined, the Melbourne City University will be one of the world’s most prestigious tertiary education bodies,” the report continues.
“Comparisons to Monash will no longer be relevant,” one of the footnotes reads.
Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, and his wife Margaret Gardner, Vice-Chancellor of RMIT, declined to comment to Farrago. It is believed that discussions pertaining to the future of these two universities have been going on behind closed doors for years.
The Parkville campus of the University of Melbourne and the city campus of RMIT have been encroaching on each other for the past few years, with Melbourne shifting south and RMIT shifting north. It is believed that planning disputes between the two academic bodies was a key reasons behind the merger decision.
More to come…