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Nicola Webber
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The University of Melbourne will establish a new school to offer lifelong learning opportunities for professionals across all academic areas for people at all stages of their career.

The Melbourne School of Professional and Continuing Education (MSPACE) will expand on the University’s core subjects and courses and ensure graduates are always fit for work.

MSPACE – which will begin operations on January 1, 2018 – will also offer new study options for people who are interested in furthering their career, and updating their professional knowledge, skills and capabilities.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis said MSPACE, operating as an academic school of the University, will significantly expand the University's professional, continuing and executive education programs with academically rigorous learning opportunities.

“Changes in the nature of employment and the stability of workforce roles mean workers now need to regularly update their professional knowledge and skills whether for career enhancement or career change,” Professor Davis said.

“Radical developments in the technology landscape, primarily associated with the rise of the internet and associated digital media and tools, have opened up new possibilities in the provision of, participation in, and access to education,” he said.

“There is a clear demand for education providers to respond to the needs of graduates in local and international communities who will increasingly be seeking opportunities to re-skill throughout their careers.”

An international search is underway for a Head of School for MSPACE, which will be hosted within the University’s Faculty of Business and Economics.

Professor Davis said fundamental shifts in the ways universities are funded meant universities must not only compete to attract and retain the best students, but also must provide students and graduates with life-time education value.

“MSPACE will allow the University of Melbourne to establish a leadership position within the Australian and international higher education sector by driving community understanding of and engagement with professional, continuing and executive education,” he said.