month I had the privilege of visiting Rome, Paris, London, Durham and Dublin to
meet with senior Church officials and current and prospective partner
institutions. For much of the trip I was joined by the Executive Director
International, Chris Riley.
first stop was Rome, where I had the opportunity to meet with Cardinal Pell, now
Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy, the Australian Ambassador to the
Holy See, His Excellency Mr John McCarthy, and Fr. Friedrich Bechina, Undersecretary
to the Congregation on Catholic Education. I also met with Catholic University
of America staff who are based in Rome.
Paris, we visited the Catholic University of Paris which hosted 23 ACU students
undertaking the International Core in July this year. I had several lengthy discussions
with the Rector Msgr. Philippe Bordeyne on issues impacting Catholic higher
education, and met other senior staff including the Vice Rector, the Dean of
the Faculty of Letters, and the Dean of Philosophy.
London, we visited Heythrop College, University of London, and St Mary’s
University, where I presented both with Indigenous artworks in celebration of
major milestones. This year, Heythrop College celebrated its 400th
anniversary, and St Mary’s was officially recognised as a university.
then travelled up to Durham University at the invitation of the Director of the
Centre for Catholic Studies, Professor Paul Murray. The University is home to
the leading religious studies centre in the United Kingdom, and they are keen
to develop a close relationship with ACU in theology research. The visit also
included a tour of Ushaw College, and the wonderful Ushaw College Occasional
Lecture – given by the former Abbot of Worth Abbey and BBC presenter Fr.
Dublin, we met with the President of Dublin City University, Brian MacCraith,
to discuss possible opportunities for collaboration in the area of education. St
Patrick’s Teachers College in Dublin is merging with the DCU and will be
responsible for training teachers for the Catholic education system.
final stop was Maynooth, Ireland, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with St
Patrick’s Seminary and Maynooth University. The MoU will enable staff and
student exchange and also open up opportunities for other forms of
the trip was a great success, and we are continuing to build and strengthen
ACU’s international profile and partnerships. Our international partnerships
support our student mobility program through exchange agreements, facilitate
staff exchange, and facilitate the University’s research development, and
international community engagement activities.