Adelaide, Australia could become "the next international education hotspot". No, really, stop laughing - it's true. Our very own University College London certainly seems to think so - they've just signed an agreement to establish a satellite branch in the southern Australian city.
The UCL School of Energy and Resources, Australia, will open in 2010 and has a goal to "shape how the critical issues of energy and resources development and utilisation are tackled globally". UCL vice-provost Professor Michael Worton, who signed the deal, described the benefits the new campus will bring:
"The premier of South Australia is enlightened and committed to making Adelaide into an educational centre. He is keen to bring in highly skilled immigrants from around the world, and we can help with that vision."
UCL aren't the first British centre to establish a base in Oz's fifth largest city. The Royal Institution (whose newly-reopened HQ we had a snoot around the other day) is currently building an Australian outpost, set to open in 2009. With UCL and the RI having a cosy relationship, it's likely the Institution were influential in mediating this deal.
London's had "words" with Adelaide before (it was only earlier in the year that their tourist department was caught sneering at Staines in a half-cocked attempt to bring their wandering sons home). But really, why the enmity? After all, we accept Australia's young and (occasionally) pretty things for their cultural education at the She Bu Walky: it's high time we gave a little back to our Antipodean cousins.