Rome centre marks new chapter in university’s history, ACU says

05 Feb 2015

By The Record

Australian Catholic University Logo. GRAPHIC: Supplied
Australian Catholic University Logo. GRAPHIC: Supplied

Australian Catholic University (ACU) has last month celebrated a new chapter in its 25-year history with a formal signing of an agreement to establish a study centre in Rome, Italy.

ACU will collaborate with The Catholic University of America (CUA) to open the jointly-run centre in Janiculum Hill from September 2015.

Located within a short distance from the Vatican, the centre will offer living quarters for undergraduates, a wing for postgraduate students, apartments for visiting faculty, a chapel, garden and other amenities.

Bringing together students and academics from both universities, the centre will offer opportunities for study and research.

Speaking ahead of the formal signing of the agreement with CUA in Washington DC in the United States, ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven said the centre was an important coming-of-age for the university.

“It is fitting that in the year of our 25th anniversary, ACU is being taken to new heights with the establishment of a study centre overseas,” Professor Craven said.

“Twenty five years ago, ACU became Australia’s first truly national university, with campuses in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

“A quarter of a century on, our university will be one of the few Australian universities with a presence in Europe.”


ACU Provost Professor Pauline Nugent noted the strong opportunities the collaboration has for the university’s academic programs.

“This collaboration provides ACU with an exciting opportunity to deliver academic programs and research partnerships which builds on ACU’s European and American connections, as well as offering new joint academic offerings with CUA.

ACU continues to build international classrooms through this joint endeavour, by expanding opportunities for our respective student bases and supporting ACU’s growth in establishing satellite centres both in Australia and now offshore,” Professor Nugent said.

Professor Craven said it was an honour for ACU to be making its first overseas commitment with a fellow Catholic educational institution.

“Grounded in the 2,000-year-old Catholic intellectual tradition, CUA and ACU share a common ethos and a commitment to knowledge, to human dignity and to the common good,” Professor Craven said.

“Our collaboration also brings together both a shared enthusiasm and CUA’s years of experience in Rome.”

ACU is part of one of the largest global networks of universities. Known as the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), the network facilitates research, partnership and exchange programs between more than 200 Catholic universities.

ACU will be hosting IFCU’s 25th General Assembly this year in Melbourne.

ACU is the largest Catholic university in the English-speaking world, with seven campuses around Australia.