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Abercrombie building heralds new era for business education in Asia Pacific

7 July 2016

The Business School’s new state-of-the-art $250 million home is predicted to reshape the way students are equipped to lead the Asia–Pacific region in the 21st century.

Officially opening the building, New South Wales Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said the facility would become the “heart and soul” of the Business School and the focus of a ground-breaking new approach to business education.

“I applaud the Business School’s vision in preparing for a future of enormous opportunities,” said Ms Berejiklian, “It takes innovation and a unique approach to learning to guide and equip the next generation of leaders for the jobs and economy of the future.”

The Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Ms Belinda Hutchinson AM, described the Abercrombie Building as a “dynamic, state-of-the-art foundation upon which the Business School will continue to build its reputation as a world-class centre for learning and teaching”.

“Students who study in this magnificent building and graduate from the Business School will have a profound impact on the business environment across the Asia–Pacific region and globally in the years and decades to come,” Ms Hutchinson said.

Heart and soul: Pictured (from left) University Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Garton, University Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM, NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian and Business School Dean Professor Greg Whitwell.

Dean, Professor Greg Whitwell, has described the high-tech 33,000 square metre facility, which now occupies a prime position near the University’s historic main campus, as the “physical manifestation” of the School’s “business not as usual” vision for the future.

“This purpose-designed building will allow us to shape the next generation of business leaders in a way that encourages them to challenge the status quo,” Professor Whitwell said. “The Abercrombie Building will enable us to search for new ways to make people’s lives better.”

“With a focus on cutting-edge research and interactive learning, this building will be a place where we collectively design solutions to the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the business world,” he added.

With a trend towards remote learning via online courses, Professor Whitwell acknowledged that “bricks and mortar” facilities “may seem an old fashioned investment”, but argued that “the campus experience should provide a perfect complement to the online world by creating and facilitating hands-on, face-to-face, mutually supportive interactions”.

“This is where students will imagine the next world-changing digital application, where academics will solve poverty through profitability, alumni will mentor the company directors of tomorrow and where we will collectively design solutions to generate better economic and social outcomes,” he said. “This facility is also a welcoming place that lends itself to a very productive engagement with external stakeholders.”

Professor Whitwell went on to say that “one of the most significant aspects of the new building is the way it provides so many more students with spaces where they can study, interact and build a sense of community”.

“In the future, students will be able to spend time together in an informal way. They will be able to exchange ideas, learn from each other and develop bonds that will last a lifetime,” he said.

“The Abercrombie Building will give the Business School a heart and a soul and give students and staff a sense of belonging.”