The Monash University Prato Centre is a site for international academic programs and research collaborations. It is the European base for Monash University, the largest university in Australia, which has a presence on four continents.
This global reach is part of Monash’s commitment to international teaching and research. Over 15,000 students, staff and visitors from around the world have come to Monash Prato since its establishment to attend courses, conferences or events.
Our reach is global but our impact is local. Community engagement and relationship building is embedded in all that we do in Prato.
Adopt as your fundamental creed that you will equip yourself for life, not solely for your own benefit but for the benefit of the whole community. Sir John Monash
The Prato Centre seeks to:
- expand and leverage the location of its education programs;
- enhance research quality and impact;
- strengthen community engagement, support and impact for mutual benefit;
- develop and expand relationships with universities, government, industry and cultural organisations in Europe.
For further information about our Centre's aims, you can read our strategic plan 2016-2019 (NB: Access requires Monash authcate login.)
The Centre's activities are guided by a board, which is chaired by Professor Abid Khan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Global Engagement). The Honourable Sir James Gobbo AC CVO, and Carla Zampatti AC, are patrons of the Centre.
Our proximity to the cultural, intellectual and industrial wealth of Europe enriches our teaching and learning. We use European sites, global expertise and international peer groups to provide a unique experience for our students. The Centre acts as a research incubator by enabling global experts and specialists to meet about issues of international relevance and complexity in a strategic location.
The city of Prato provides a rich environment for teaching, learning and intellectual enquiry. The Centre engages with local institutions and industry to bring both depth and relevance to its programs ensuring they ‘make sense in place’, while actively contributing to the contemporary challenges of the city and region.
Prato is an accessible location and within easy reach of several of Europe’s most significant cities and esteemed institutions – thirty minutes from Florence and the European University Institute in Fiesole, one hour from Bologna – home to Europe’s oldest university, two hours from Rome and Milan. The University of Warwick in the UK, with which Monash University has formed an alliance, is just a few hours away by air.
The Prato Centre was officially opened on 17 September 2001 at Palazzo Vai in the heart of Prato's historical centre. Monash secured this location with support from the Region of Tuscany and the local government of Prato. The Centre's establishment was assisted by the generosity of Rino and Diana Grollo, for whom the Centre's major conference and performance room is named.
The late Professor Bill Kent, a world authority on the Italian Renaissance, was the Centre's Founding Director (2000-2004). The Centre's presence in Europe 15 years later, the only such example by any Australian university, is testimony to Professor Kent's vision.