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US-based Laureate International Universities puts opening back at least a year

Laureate International Universities

The opening of Adelaide’s newest university, by US-based Laureate International Universities, will be delayed by a year, until at least 2014. The university network’s Asia Pacific managing director Michael Mann confirmed the delay but said Laureate was still committed to opening the Adelaide campus as soon as possible.

“I’d like to say it’s full steam ahead but it’s going a little slower because of the process you need to go through for the necessary approvals,” Mr Mann said. “I don’t think we can meet our initial 2013 goal. We intend to start teaching in Adelaide in early 2014.”

Torrens University Australia, as it will be known, will be the nation’s 40th university, and the third private university to establish itself in Australia (with other private overseas universities in Adelaide, such as Carnegie Mellon, represented by small schools).

Operated by Laureate Education, which boasts former US President Bill Clinton as its honorary chancellor, it intends to attract up to 3000 students within a decade of opening and boost the state economy by up to $1.8 billion.

Mr Mann said one of the main issues that had delayed its scheduled opening was difficulty in securing an appropriate site.

“The Torrens building (on Victoria Square) was going to be our office but we are looking for other buildings because we need a much larger space,” he said.

He said finding a city site suitable for a university had not been easy and a building had to be secured in order to gain some of the necessary approvals. Mr Mann said he hoped negotiations for a suitable site would soon be finalised. He said he expected the university would be ready for an official launch, including revealing its logo, by the middle of next year.

It will deliver undergraduate and postgraduate programs to Australian and international students. It will initially offer four degrees – in design, hospitality, education and business. Unlike Carnegie Mellon and University College London, it is not receiving any state government funding.

The Laureate universities network serves more than 675,000 students through 58 accredited universities, either on campus or online.

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