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Elisabeth Lopez (MBS Media)
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Diane Squires
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The University of Melbourne's Faculty of Business and Economics and Melbourne Business School will forge closer ties to further strengthen the global competitiveness of research and teaching in business and economics in Melbourne

Under the agreement, an expanded Faculty of Business and Economics will include the Melbourne Business School.  All graduate programs in business and economics, including the MBA, will be offered through Melbourne Business School, which in turn becomes the sole Graduate School for business and economics at Melbourne.

Academic resources will be shared across both the Faculty and Melbourne Business School.

The aim is to establish the new structures by 1 May 2013. This will enable both entities to work towards top 25 global rankings in all disciplines and programs, and to position Melbourne as a global hub for business and economics leadership development for the Asian century.

The collaboration will also strengthen Melbourne¹s position as the home of Australia¹s largest program offerings in Executive Education and further strengthen the entities¹ position as the leading education providers in the sector.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said the agreement was a game-changer.

"This agreement unleashes what has always been the potential to create in Melbourne a truly world-class hub in business and economics disciplines," he said.

"This is a case where the sum of the whole is far greater than each of its constituent parts. The University admires greatly what MBS has achieved and is enormously proud of the outstanding reputation of the Faculty of Business and Economics, particularly around research, its Bachelor of Commerce and the impressive suite of graduate programs offered by its own graduate school.

"Bringing the capacity of both entities more closely together provides all the ingredients necessary to gain for all business and economics disciplines at least the same top 25 international standing as the University currently enjoys in medicine, law and engineering."

Under the collaboration, Professor Paul Kofman will continue as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics and Professor Zeger Degraeve will continue as Dean of Melbourne Business School, and will also become Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics. They will have joint leadership over a shared academic staff.

Professor Degraeve said Melbourne Business School had enjoyed 50 years of success in delivering outstanding business education. The agreement will unlock the scale and resources to become a top 25 ranked business school.

"It aligns, coordinates and focuses existing resources to effectively face the global competitive challenges Australia experiences in advanced level business and economics education. It will position Melbourne as a global hub for leadership development in the Asian region," he said.

Professor Kofman said the development would present a single coordinated face for business and economics education in Melbourne.

"The complementary nature of MBS's and FBE's graduate programs, superbly matched by its world class Bachelor of Commerce program, provides a perfect fit in terms of programs, faculty and disciplinary breadth  to enable a more closely aligned entity to bridge the gap and create in Melbourne a truly world class business hub," he said.