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ACU head wants Perth uni expansion discussed

Australian Catholic University (ACU) vice-chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan has said a plan for Perth's Notre Dame University to establish a full campus in Sydney should be carefully planned in order to avoid an "endless expansion of facilities".

It was reported earlier this month that the Perth university is considering an offer from Sydney's Cardinal George Pell to provide a mothballed inner city site for a east coast campus.

Professor Sheehan (pictured) told ABC Radio's Religion Report yesterday that Sydney could support another Catholic University if its offering is complementary rather than competitive with what the ACU already offers.

He said: "I think there needs to be planning about what institutions come, and I think actually an endless explosion is something we really must avoid."

Professor Sheehan admitted he had been surprised by the extent of the planned operation, which he had initially thought would be a Sydney study centre rather than a fully-fledged campus.

He also told presenter Stephen Crittenden that he does not believe Cardinal Pell's use of the term "authentic Catholic education" in connection with another planned Catholic tertiary institution - Campion College - implies a lack of confidence in the ACU's record of providing an education that reflects Catholic values.

Who puts the "R" in Catholic? Who puts the "C" in Liberal-Arts? "WE DO!" (ABC Radio Religion Report)

Sydney campus plan for Notre Dame uni (Catholic Weekly 16/5/04)
Sydney campus plan for Perth Catholic university (CathNews 4/5/04)
Australian Catholic University
Notre Dame Australia
Campion College Australia

13 May 2004