Griffith University

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Griffith University
Griffith University logo.png
Motto Know more. Do more.
Established 1971
Type Public university
Chancellor Leneen Forde AC
Vice-Chancellor Ian O'Connor
Deputy V-C Ned Pankhurst (research); Sue Spence (academic)
Administrative staff
4,000 FTE
Students 43,181 (2013)[1]
Undergraduates Over 31,000
Postgraduates Over 6,000
Location Gold Coast and Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Affiliations Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning and Innovative Research Universities

Griffith University is a public research university in southeastern Queensland on the east coast of Australia. The university has five campuses located on the Gold Coast and the Brisbane suburbs of Meadowbrook, Mount Gravatt, Nathan and South Bank. Current total enrolment is 43,131 with 4,000 full-time equivalent staff.[1]



In 1965, 174 hectares (430 acres) of natural bushland at Nathan were set aside for a new campus.[2] Initially the site was to be part of the University of Queensland which was experiencing strong demand in humanities and social sciences.[2] By 1970, a new institution was being mooted. The university was formally founded in 1971 and opened its doors in 1975 to 451 students in four schools: Australian Environmental Studies, Humanities, Modern Asian Studies and Science. The University started with its Nathan campus, and several of its campuses are distinctive for their nature based settings within large urban agglomerations. Buildings were designed to fit into the environment by following the slope of the land and by using architectural means of cooling.[2] The library building was designed by Robin Gibson and won the first national award for library design. The clusters of buildings, sports facilities, bushland reserves and recreational areas are connected by integrated networks of walking paths. The university was distinguished by its 'problem-based' rather than disciplinary approach to course design and research. The university now has a full suite of programs including arts, education, medicine, dentistry, engineering, business, science, and law. The University is named after the former Premier of Queensland, and High Court of Australia justice, Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, who was also the principal author of the Australian constitution.[3]


Griffith University has five campuses located on the Gold Coast and in the Brisbane suburbs of Meadowbrook, Mount Gravatt, Nathan and South Bank.


Griffith University (Nathan Campus) from Stadium Path

The Nathan Campus was designed by prominent Australian architect Robin Gibson and was the founding campus of the University.

Gold Coast[edit]

Set amongst native bushland, on the land of the Aboriginal Yugambeh/ Kombumerri peoples,[4] this campus plays host to over 17,300 students from all over Australia and the world. Griffith's Gold Coast Campus facilities include the $136 million Griffith Centre for Medicine and Oral Health adjacent to the Gold Coast Hospital at Southport which contains lecture theatres, cadaver labs, pathology labs and a dental clinic which serves the public. Building is nearing completion for a teaching hospital, a new University Hospital at the Gold Coast campus, which is due to open in July 2013 and will replace most functions of the Centre for Medicine and Oral Health. The Gold Coast campus also boasts the new Griffith Health Centre, a $150 million investment that will operate in tandem with the new 750-bed University Hospital. All Griffith Health programs on the Gold Coast will be together on the one campus with the schools of medicine, psychology, dentistry and oral health to be brought together under its roof. Health students at the Centre will also have hands-on experience with the delivery of community services like physiotherapy, audiology and oral and dental care delivered from the Parklands setting, alongside the new University Hospital. The Mount Gravatt and Gold Coast campuses are also home to the Queensland Institute of Business and Technology. Recently because of the light rail project, the trams are now departing from the gold coast campus, making it fairly easy to reach the campus even from south gold coast.


The Logan campus home to more than 2500 students.[5] Logan Campus offers accelerated degree programs in Business and, Information and Communication Technology. Teaching and research at the Logan campus has a strong focus on community health and education.

South Bank[edit]

The South Bank campus is home to the Queensland Conservatorium and the Queensland College of Art. The campus hosts approximately 3,600 students.

Mount Gravatt[edit]

Griffith University busway station on the South East Busway

Teaching and research on the Mt Gravatt campus focus on the application of social and behavioural science to the prevention of, and intervention in, critical social issues. The campus is host to approximately 5,000 students. The Mount Gravatt and Gold Coast campuses are also home to the Queensland Institute of Business and Technology.


University rankings
Griffith University
QS World[6] 324
QS Arts & Humanities[7] 212
QS Life Sciences & Medicine[8] 263
QS Social Sciences & Mgmt.[9] 143
THE-WUR World[10] 351–400
ARWU World[11] 301–400
CWTS Leiden World[12] 415
Australian rankings
QS National[13] 15
ARWU National[14] 10-18
USNWR National[15] 16
CWTS Leiden National[12] 19

Griffith is in the top 400 in three major world rankings: the CWTS Leiden Rankings, the QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).[16]

In 2013 the Australian Education Network ranked Griffith University as 12th out of the 29 universities in Australia, with a 20% proportion of excellence rating out of 100%.[16] The QS World University Rankings places Griffith in 291st universities in the world, ranked 26th out of the 32 Australian universities included in the Rankings.[17] It was ranked 200th in social sciences, 268th in arts and humanities and ranked 256th in the world according to Global University Rankings 2009.[17] Griffith ranked sixth in the world for tourism research contributions.[18] Griffith is ranked second by getCITED’s Top 10 Institutions by Publications in Sports Marketing Journals over the past three years (2005) and first by getCITED’s Top 10 Institutions by Publications in Sports Management Journals over the past three years (2005).[19] QS World University Rankings places Griffith in the top 368 universities in the world, which means the university is in the top 5% of universities in the world, as at 8 October 2012, ranked 20th out of the 26 Australian Universities included in the rankings.[20]

Griffith Business School is recognised by the Aspen Institute's ‘Top 100’ for its leadership in integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its programs. It was the highest Australian ranking.[21] Its business program has been ranked fifth out of 25 universities in Australia and among the top 100 in the world by Times Higher Education in 2009. Its accounting research has been ranked seventh out of 37 universities in Australia and in the top 100 in the world. The ranking, published in the Accounting and Finance, was based on the top 24 accounting journals internationally and ranked Griffith 72nd out of more than 1,000 institutions in the world.[22]

Griffith Law School has been ranked as No. 1 in the country by the "Good Universities Guide", both in 2005 and 2006.[23] The Griffith MBA received a five-star rating for the seventh consecutive year from the Graduate Management Association of Australia. Griffith is only one of two universities nationally to achieve this feat and the International MBA program also received five stars in only its second year.[24]

Colleges and schools[edit]

There are over a dozen faculties, schools and centres at Griffith. For business and commerce there is the Business School, which has international accreditation from AACSB International, making it part of a group that makes up less than 5 percent of the world’s business schools. For education, there are the School of Education and Professional Studies (Brisbane, Logan) and the School of Education and Professional Studies (Gold Coast). Engineering and information technology has two Gold Coast schools, the School of Information and Communication Technology and Griffith School of Engineering. Environment, planning and architecture is represented by the Griffith School of Environment.

Health schools include Dentistry and Oral Health, Human Services and Social Work, Medical Science, Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Psychology and Public Health. Humanities, languages and criminology are represented by The Schools of Humanities, Criminology and Criminal Justice and Languages and Linguistics. Some disciplines have only one school, such as the Griffith Law School, the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and the School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences. The visual and creative arts are represented by Queensland College of Art and the Griffith Film School. Griffith has six independent centres: The Centre for Environment and Population Health, the Centre for Financial Independence and Education, Continuing Professional Learning Enterprise, EcoCentre, Multi-Faith Centre and the Queensland Centre for Public Health (Griffith Node). Two institutes, colleges and units are part of the university: The Institute for English Language and Institute for Higher Education; the Griffith Honours College and Griffith Sports College; and the Units for Italian Studies and the Gumurrii Student Support Unit.


Griffith has three externally supported centres and facilities: the "ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security", the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and the Smart Water Research Centre. The Griffith Medical Research College is a collaboration with an external research institution. Ten centres and facilities for arts, education and law research exist: The Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture, Early Childhood Education Centre, Griffith Centre for Cultural Research, Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Griffith Institute for Social and Behavioural Research, Griffith Islamic Research Unit, Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law, Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre and the Socio-Legal Research Centre. Business is represented by the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, the Centre for Tourism, Sport and Service Innovation, the Centre for Work, Organisation and Well Being and the Griffith Asia Institute. Health research is diversified into Griffith Health Institute, Behavioural Basis of Health, Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Heart Foundation Research Centre, Molecular Basis of Disease, Population Health and the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention. Science, environment, engineering and technology have eighteen externally supported centres and facilities: Atmospheric Environment Research Centre, Aviation, Australian Rivers Institute, Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Management, Centre for Quantum Dynamics, Centre for Wireless Monitoring and Applications, Environmental Futures Centre, Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, Forensic Science Research and Innovation Centre, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, Griffith University DNA Sequencing Facility, International Centre for Ecotourism Research, Institute for Glycomics, Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems, International Centre for Management of Pest Fruit Flies, Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre, Software Quality Institute and the Urban Research Program.

Griffith University also co-supports the national information and communication technology research centre (NICTA), and is the host of the Sports engineering group, Queensland Sports Technology Cluster.[25]

Islamic studies[edit]

It has been reported that Griffith University actively sought $1.3 million in funds from Saudi Arabia to finance its Islamic studies and was prepared to "reshape" its Islamic Research Unit in accordance with Saudi wishes.[26]

The university was part of a consortium with the University of Melbourne and the University of Western Sydney to win federal funding for a National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies.[27]

Student life[edit]

Student organisations[edit]

Griffith University has a wide array of cultural, intellectual, sporting and social groups. Its Student Guild[28] is an organisation within the university which takes care of these clubs on the Gold Coast campus, as well as student issues, accommodation, employment, publication, events, sport and recreation. On the Nathan campus, Campus Life[29] supports many clubs including the long running GRUBS (Griffith University Bushwalking Club), The Karate and Kickboxing club and the Griffith University Aikido Club, recently incorporated and became independent of the University.

Griffith University students are uniquely[citation needed] represented by two statutory embedded student organisations. The Griffith University Student Representative Council (GUSRC) represents undergraduate students and the Griffith University Postgraduate Students Association (GUPSA) represents post-graduate students in all campuses apart from the Gold Coast. GUPSA is a constituent member of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations. Unique to the Gold Coast is the Student Guild (GUSG) which represents all students from this campus and holds an administrative structure that is apparently independent to the university.


The Griffith University Rugby Union Club, established by Phil Verheijen in 2002, was runner up in the Northern University Games in 2005 and is consistently ranked in the top 6 at Australian University Games. Past captains include Nick Hurrell (2006), who is now an international rugby representative of Hong Kong.[30]

Besides competing in the University Games, the Griffith University Australian Football Club (GUAFC), an Australian rules football club formed in 2001, also competes in the AFLQ State Association.

Notable people[edit]

Notable graduates have been journalists, musicians, actors, artists, filmmakers, photographers, athletes, activists and politicians in the Parliament of Australia and the Parliament of Queensland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Annual Report 2013". Griffith University. 
  2. ^ a b c Hogan, Janet (1982). Living History of Brisbane. Spring Hill, QLD: Boolarang Publications. pp. 130–131. ISBN 0-908175-41-8. 
  3. ^ Quirke, Noel (1996). Preparing for the future: a history of Griffith University 1971-1996. Nathan, QLD: Boolarang Publications. ISBN 0-86857-864-9. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Griffith University, Griffith University Logan, September, 2012.
  6. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2014". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  7. ^ "QS World University Arts & Humanities Rankings 2014". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  8. ^ "QS World University Life Sciences & Medicine Rankings 2014". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  9. ^ "QS World University Social Sciences & Management Rankings 2014". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  10. ^ "Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015". TSL Education Limited. 
  11. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 
  12. ^ a b "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2014". Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University. 
  13. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2014". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  14. ^ "ARWU 2014 Top 500 Universities in Australia". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 
  15. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities in Australia/New Zealand". U.S. News and World Report. 
  16. ^ a b "Australian Education". Education Statistics. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Global University Ranking.
  18. ^ source: Tourism Management 26 (2005) 641–648 report by Elsevier on a study of research contributions into tourism journals around the world over the decade 1992–2001
  19. ^ Sport and Recreation Studies in Australia and New Zealand.
  20. ^ [=field_ranking_scores_71962&delta[]=field_ranking_scores_71963&delta[]=field_ranking_scores_71964&delta[]=field_ranking_scores_71965&delta[]=field_ranking_scores_71966&delta[]=field_ranking_scores_71967&ugrad_course=&pgrad_course=&loc=Australia&field_ranking_scores_71962=0.4&field_ranking_scores_71963=0.1&field_ranking_scores_71964=0.2&field_ranking_scores_71965=0.05&field_ranking_scores_71966=0.05&field_ranking_scores_71967=0.2&field_ranking_scores_71968=0&field_ranking_scores_71969=0&field_ranking_scores_71970=0&field_ranking_scores_71971=0&field_ranking_scores_71972=0&custom_ranking=&save_my_rankings_data_sort=2%2Casc%2C0&save_my_rankings_data_limit=50&save_my_rankings_data_search=&save_my_rankings_data_start=0 "Fast facts"]. Qs World University Rankings. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  21. ^ Top 100 MBA Programs. Beyond Grey Pinstripes. Retrieved on 15 July 2012.
  22. ^ Kam C. Chan, Carl R. Chen, Louis T. W. Cheng. Global ranking of accounting programmes and the elite effect in accounting research. Accounting and Finance 47 (2007). p.187–220. Retrieved on 15 July 2012.
  23. ^ Study Abroad Griffith Law School. Retrieved on 15 July 2012.
  24. ^ Australian MBA Star Ratings.
  25. ^ Journal of Sports Technology, 4(3-4), 2011 Editorial, DOI:10.1080/19346182.2011.733082
  26. ^ Bendle, Merv (29 April 2008). "Saudi cash seduction is Faustian pact". The Australian. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Student Guild Gold Coast Campus". Griffith University Gold Coast Student Guild. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "Campus Life". Griffith University. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "Hong Kong Sevens". Hong Kong Sevens. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°33′09″S 153°03′14″E / 27.5526°S 153.0539°E / -27.5526; 153.0539