Indiana Wesleyan University has received approval to establish a permanent relationship with the Wesley Institute in Sydney, Australia. The Higher Learning Commission has signed off on the collaboration. More approvals are needed in both countries before the Institute can achieve university college status for 2016. April 16, 2014
The Higher Learning Commission has approved Indiana Wesleyan University’s collaboration with the Sydney, Australia-based Wesley Institute, allowing IWU to forge a permanent relationship to make Wesley Institute the foundation for the first global Christian University in Australia.
IWU announced its plans with Wesley Institute last October, after both institutions’ Boards of Trustees approved the decision.
“Through this emerging partnership, with God’s guidance and blessing, we hope to broaden Wesley Institute’s course offerings and elevate its status to that of a fully-recognized university – the first such Christian university in Australia,” IWU President David Wright declared at the time.
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is the regional accreditation body for higher education institutions in the Midwestern and South Central regions of the United States. HLC approval came far earlier than expected, Dr. Wright noted upon receiving the news this week.
“Today is an historic day,” said Wright. “I am so grateful for all who have worked to bring this to pass. The possibilities that now exist because of IWU and Wesley Institute becoming sister institutions in a new global Christian learning community are immense. We look forward to seeing the outcomes resulting from our shared mission and aspirations.”
Wesley Institute is a higher education provider according to Australia’s official classification system for higher education. Plans are for Wesley Institute to work toward full university status. Wesley Institute and Indiana Wesleyan University will remain fully independent higher education institutions.
“We hope Wesley Institute will eventually become a multi-branch campus that covers all of the Asia-Pacific,” Bridget Aitchison, dean for International Programs, said to Inside Higher Ed last year.
The new university, which will receive a new name, will offer broader arts degrees (including majors in English, history, studies of religion, etc), business degrees (Bachelor of Business, Master of Business Administration, Master of Business [Research], Ph.D. in global organizational leadership), coursework and research master's degrees in education, and other possibilities developed over time.
Both the United States and Australia will require regulatory processes to make the new university a reality. If everything goes as planned, Wesley Institute anticipates achieving university college status for 2016. More details about the partnership are available on “The Path to a Christian University,” a special website created by Wesley Institute: http://wi-iwu.wi.edu.au/ Source: Indiana Wesleyan University