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University of Newcastle vice-chancellor reappointed until 2019

THREE MORE YEARS: Professor Caroline McMillen has been reappointed vice-chancellor of the University of Newcastle until 2019.UNIVERSITYof Newcastlevice-chancellor Caroline McMillen has been reappointed until October2019, andhopesonefifth of enrolmentsby then areinternational students.

Professor McMillen also marked her extension in the office she has held since 2011 by declaring that Newcastle shouldbewithin the world’s top 200 universities by the end of the decade.

Not all of the targeted 20 per cent international students would be full fee-paying, the vice-chancellorsaid, but ashift in the university’s demographic needed to “pick up the pace”.

“I think we will see stabilising growth in Australian students,” Professor McMillen said.

“Our university is a little underdone, in terms of its scale, for international students. We need to grow our international students, and our [Newcastle CBD] NewSpace facility will add to that vibrancy of different cultures.”

The under-constructioncity campus, and the business and law-relatedopportunities it is forecast to bringstudents and staff, wasamong the achievementsProfessor McMillen said she was most proud of inher tenure so far.

The researchconducted at the Hunter Medical Research Institute and the university’s topranking among Australian universities under 50 years old wereothers.

Professor McMillen’s early years in the role were marked by protests over the axing of the Chinese major degree,challenges from students against their academic grading, and a clash over allegedworkplace bullying that put the university at oddswith the Newcastle Trades Hall Council.

“A university should be a place for debate and a place for discussion,” she said.

“That’s what makes great universities.”

Of the goal to crack the world’s top 200 universities in three years, the vice-chancellor said it was healthy for an organisation to stretch itself.

In the QS World University Rankings last year, Newcastle was ranked 256th.

“If we miss [the top 200] we’ll celebrate how far we’ve come, and if we make it we’ll crack open the champagne,” Professor McMillen said.

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