Macquarie University

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Coordinates: 33°46′31″S 151°06′46″E / 33.775259°S 151.112915°E / -33.775259; 151.112915

Macquarie University
The Arms of Macquarie University
Motto And gladly teche
Established 1964
Type Public
Endowment A$850m
(31 December 2010)[1]
Chancellor Michael Egan
Vice-Chancellor Bruce Dowton
Administrative staff
2,350 (2012)[2]
Students 38,747 (2012)[2]
Undergraduates 27,633 (2012)
Postgraduates 11,114 (2012)
Location North Ryde/Macquarie Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
33°46′31″S 151°6′50″E / 33.77528°S 151.11389°E / -33.77528; 151.11389
Campus Urban, Parkland
Named After Lachlan Macquarie
Colours Green, Gold & White
MQ logo.png

Macquarie University is a public research university based in Sydney, Australia, in the suburb of Macquarie Park. Founded in 1964 by the New South Wales Government, it was the third university to be established in the metropolitan area of Sydney.[3] It is the fourth largest university in Sydney.[4][5]

The university comprises five faculties. Also affiliated with the university are several research centres, schools and institutes including the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Australian Proteome Analysis Facility, the Institute of Human Cognition and Brain Science, the Macquarie University Research Park and the Macquarie University Hospital. At present, the university offers 87 undergraduate courses and 124 different postgraduate courses to students.[6][7] The university is governed by a 17-member Council.[8]

Macquarie is ranked in the top 40 universities in the Asia-Pacific region and within Australia's top ten universities according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the U.S. News & World Report Rankings and the QS World University Rankings.[9] According to the QS World University Rankings, Macquarie is the highest ranked university in Australia under the age of 50, it is ranked 18th in the world.[10] Macquarie is ranked in the 201st-300th bracket and 8th-9th in Australia in the 2013 Academic Ranking of World Universities.[11] The university is also ranked among the national top five recipients of relative research income.[12] Macquarie University also has the largest student exchange programme in Australia.[13]

Researchers at Macquarie University, David James Skellern and Neil Weste, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation helped develop Wi-Fi.[14][15] David James Skellern has been a major donor to the University through the Skellern Family Trust.[16] Macquarie University's linguistics department developed the Macquarie Dictionary. The dictionary is regarded as the standard reference on Australian English.[17]


First Students at Macquarie University

The idea of founding a third university in Sydney was flagged in the early 1960s when the New South Wales Government formed a committee of enquiry into higher education to deal with a perceived emergency in university enrollments in New South Wales. During this enquiry, the Senate of the University of Sydney put in a submission which highlighted ‘the immediate need to establish a third university in the metropolitan area’.[18] After much debate a future campus location was selected in what was then a semi-rural part of North Ryde, and it was decided that the future university be named after Lachlan Macquarie, an important early governor of the colony of New South Wales.

Macquarie University was formally established in 1964 with the passage of the Macquarie University Act 1964 by the New South Wales parliament. The university was designed in the Brutalist style and developed by the renowned town planner Walter Abraham who also oversaw the next 20 years of planning and development for the university. A committee appointed to advise the state government on the establishment of the new university at North Ryde nominated Abraham as the architect-planner. The fledgling Macquarie University Council decided that planning for the campus would be done within the university, rather than by consultants, and this led to the establishment of the architect-planners office.[19]

The university first opened to students on 6 March 1967 with more students than anticipated. The Australian Universities Commission had allowed for 510 effective full-time students (EFTS) but Macquarie had 956 enrolments and 622 EFTS.[20] Between 1968 and 1969, enrolment at Macquarie increased dramatically with an extra 1200 EFTS, with 100 new academic staff employed. 1969 also saw the establishment of the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM).

Professor Peter Mason Delivers First Lecture

Macquarie grew during the seventies and eighties with rapid expansion in courses offered, student numbers and development of the site. In 1972, the university established the Macquarie Law School, the third law school in Sydney. In their book Liberality of Opportunity, Bruce Mansfield and Mark Hutchinson describe the founding of Macquarie University as ‘an act of faith and a great experiment’.[21] An additional topic considered in this book is the science reform movement of the late 1970s that resulted in the introduction of a named science degree, thus facilitating the subsequent inclusion of other named degrees in addition to the traditional BA.[22] Alternative views on this topic are given by famous British-Australian physicist John Ward[23] and laser physicist Frank Duarte.[24] In 1990 the university absorbed the Institute of Early Childhood Studies of the Sydney College of Advanced Education, under the terms of the Higher Education (Amalgamation) Act 1989.

Remnants of old farming buildings

There have been only five Vice-Chancellors in the university’s history. The first Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University was Alexander George Mitchell, who held the position until December 1975, when he was replaced by Edwin Webb, who served until 1986. Di Yerbury was appointed to the position in 1986, and was the first female Vice-Chancellor in Australia. Professor Yerbury held the position of Vice-Chancellor for just under 20 years, and was replaced by Professor Steven Schwartz at the beginning of 2006. Macquarie's current Vice-Chancellor, S. Bruce Dowton, took over from Professor Schwartz in September 2012. Prior to his appointment Professor Dowton served as a senior medical executive having held a range of positions in university, healthcare and consulting organisations. He also served as a pediatrician at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, and as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Yerbury's departure was attended with much controversy, including a "bitter dispute" with Schwartz, disputed ownership of university artworks worth $13 million and Yerbury's salary package.[25][26] In August 2006, Professor Schwartz expressed concern about the actions of Yerbury in a letter to university auditors.[27] Yerbury strongly denied any wrongdoing and claimed the artworks were hers.[25][28][29]

During 2007, Macquarie University faced a restructuring of its student organisation after an audit raised questions about management of hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds by student organisations[30] At the centre of the investigation was Victor Ma, president of the Macquarie University Students' Council, who had previously been involved in a high-profile case of student election fixing at the University of Sydney.[31] The university Council resolved to immediately remove Ma from his position. Vice-Chancellor Schwartz cited an urgent need to reform Macquarie's main student bodies.[32] However, Ma strongly denied any wrongdoing and labelled the controversy a case of ‘character assassination’.[33] The Federal Court ordered on 23 May 2007 that Macquarie University Union Ltd be wound up.[34]

Following the dissolution of Macquarie University Union Ltd, the outgoing student organisation was replaced with a new wholly owned subsidiary company of the university, known as U@MQ Ltd. The new student organisation originally lacked a true student representative union; however, following a complete review and authorisation from the university Council, a new student union known as Macquarie University Students Association (MUSRA) was established in 2009.[35]

Within the first few hundred days of Schwartz's instatement as Vice-Chancellor, the 'Macquarie@50' strategic plan was launched, which positioned the university to enhance research, teaching, infrastructure and academic rankings by the university's 50th anniversary in 2014. Included in the university's plans for the future was the establishment of a sustainability office in order to more effectively manage environmental and social development at Macquarie. As part of this campaign, in 2009 Macquarie became the first Fair Trade accredited university in Australia.[36] The beginning of 2009 also saw the introduction of a new logo for the university which retained the Sirius Star, present on both the old logo and the university crest, but now 'embedded in a stylised lotus flower'.[37] In accordance with the university by-law, the crest continues to be used for formal purposes and is displayed on university testamurs. The by-law also prescribes the university's motto, taken from Chaucer: 'And gladly teche'.

Macquarie University Lake

The university introduced a new curriculum in January 2010[citation needed] that was intended to include study in general education subjects. This also involves a dramatic reduction in the number of degrees available and placing them into a system of majors and minors within other existing degrees. This process is seen as a step towards the current trend whereby universities in Australia are reducing the amount of named degrees in order to simplify enrolment and to maintain the competitiveness of Australian degrees globally in accordance with the Bologna Accord. This national trend was initiated in Australia by the Melbourne Model. From January 2013, the university will become the first in Australia to align its degree system with the Bologna Accord.[38]


Arms of Macquarie University
The arms of Macquarie University, assumed through a 1967 amendment to the Macquarie University Act 1964 (Confirmed by Letters Patent of the College of Arms, 16 August 1969), consist of:[39]
Vert, the Macquarie Lighthouse tower, masoned proper, in Chief the star Sirius, Or.
And Gladly Teche
Motto in Old English taken from the general Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer c.1400

Academic structure and governance[edit]

The university currently comprises 35 departments within 5 faculties:[40]

The University Council is the governing authority of the university under the Macquarie University Act 1989.[41] The Council takes primary responsibility for the control and management of the affairs of the University, and is empowered to make by-laws and rules relating to how the University is managed. Members of the Council include the University Vice-Chancellor, Academic and non-academic staff, the Vice President of the Academic Senate and a student representative. The Council is chaired by The Chancellor of the University.

The Academic Senate is the primary academic body of the university. It has certain powers delegated to it by Council, such as the approving of examination results and the completion of requirements for the award of degrees. At the same time, it makes recommendations to the Council concerning all changes to degree rules, and all proposals for new awards. While the Academic Senate is an independent body, it is required to make recommendations to the university Council in relation to matters outside its delegated authority.[42]


Macquarie University's main campus is located about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north-west of the Sydney CBD and is set on 126 hectares of rolling lawns and natural bushland. Located within the high-technology corridor of Sydney's north-west and in close proximity to Macquarie Park and its surrounding industries, Macquarie's location has been crucial in its development as a relatively research intensive university. The university is straddled between the suburbs of North Ryde and the later developed technology and industry focused Macquarie Park; however, the campus has its own postcode, 2109.

Prior to the development of the campus, most of the site was cultivated with peach orchards, market gardens and poultry farms.[43] The university’s first architect-planner was Walter Abraham, one of the first six administrators appointed to Macquarie University. [19] As the site adapted from its former rural use to a busy collegiate environment, he implemented carefully designed planting programs across the campus. Abraham established a grid design comprising lots of 300 square feet (28 m2) running north-south, with the aim of creating a compact academic core. The measure of 300 feet (91 m) was seen as one minute's walk, and grid design reflected the aim of having a maximum walk of 10 minutes between any two parts of the university. The main east-west walkway that runs from the research park through to the arts faculty buildings, was named Wally's Walk in recognition of Walter Abraham's contribution to the development of the university.[19]

E4A Building at Entrance to University

Today, Macquarie University is served by the Macquarie University railway station, which opened in 2009, as well as a bus interchange within the campus that provides close to 800 bus services daily.[44] The M2 Motorway runs parallel to the northern boundary of the campus and is accessible to traffic from the university. Apart from its centres of learning, the campus features the Macquarie University Research Park, museums, art galleries, a sculpture park, an observatory, a sport and aquatic centre and also the private Macquarie University Hospital. Located to the north of the main campus area are the university sports grounds.

The university is currently undertaking a large infrastructure and capital works program that will see an investment of over $1 billion into new buildings and projects across the campus[45] and has set up an Office of Major Projects to oversee the new developments. Completed major projects include the development of a new university library, a Hearing Hub and the global headquarters of biotechnology company Cochlear Limited. Projects planned include redevelopment of the student services building and new student accommodation facilities. Macquarie is also seeking to develop the eastern perimeter of its campus along Herring Road and establish a new Station Precinct that will contain a number of multi-storey towers, basement car parking and a ground plane that will provide retail and landscaped connections to the university proper. It is anticipated that the Station Precinct will act as a new commercial front door to the campus.[46]


The library houses over 1.8 million items and uses the Library of Congress Classification System.[47] The library features several collections including a Rare Book Collection, a Palaeontology Collection and the Brunner Collection of Egyptological materials.[48] Macquarie University operated two libraries during the transition. The old library in building C7A closed at the end of July 2011, and the new library in building C3C became fully operational on 1 August 2011. The new library was the first university library in Australia to possess an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). The ASRS consists of an environmentally controlled vault with metal bins storing the items; robotic cranes retrieve an item on request and deliver it to the service desk for collection.[49][50]

Satellite campuses[edit]

Macquarie City Campus: Macquarie City Campus is a teaching campus of Macquarie University which associates with Navitas.[51] In mid-2007, the university opened the Macquarie City Campus in the Sydney CBD, offering Macquarie University’s foundation studies, selected undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.[52] Macquarie City Campus has been designed to meet demand from students for a CBD campus.[53]

Rankings and awards[edit]

University rankings
Macquarie University
QS World[54] 254
QS Arts & Humanities[55] 101
QS Life Sciences & Medicine[56] 350
QS Natural Sciences[57] 325
QS Social Sciences & Mgmt.[58] 148
THE-WUR World[59] 301-350
THE-WUR Arts & Humanities[60] 67
ARWU World[61] 239
USNWR World[62] 321
CWTS Leiden World[63] 296
Australian rankings
QS National[64] 9
THE-WUR National[65] 14
ARWU National[66] 9
USNWR National[67] 9
CWTS Leiden National[63] 12
ERA National[68] 8

Macquarie sits just outside the Australian university network Group of Eight in most international rankings.[69] Macquarie University was ranked in 2014: (239) 201-300 in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 254 in the world in the QS World University Rankings, and 301-350 in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[70][71] Macquarie is ranked in the top 40 universities in the Asia-Pacific region and within Australia's top ten universities according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.[72]

Macquarie University is ranked among the top 50 universities in the world for Linguistics (43rd), Psychology (48th) and Earth and Marine Sciences (48th), and was ranked in the top five nationally for Philosophy and Earth and Marine Sciences, according to the 2014 QS World University Rankings.[71]

Macquarie University teachers also have received numerous awards and citations from the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education since it was established in 2004.[73] The university positions itself as being research intensive, and therefore also ranked among the national top five recipients of relative research income.[74]

The Economist 2009 Full Time MBA rankings ranked the university's Graduate School of Management at 55th in the world, 4th in the Asia-Pacific region and 2nd in Australia following Melbourne University's Melbourne Business School.[75]

Macquarie University is ranked first in environmental sciences and ecology research within Australia and New Zealand, and is ranked 14th in the world, according to the Times Higher Education.[76]

Facilities and services[edit]

Located on the western side of the campus is the Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Centre. Previously a sports hall facility, the complex was renovated and reopened in 2007 with the addition of the new gym and aquatic centre. It houses a 50 metre FINA-compliant outdoor pool and a 25 metre indoor pool. The complex also contains a gymnasium and squash, badminton, basketball, volleyball and netball courts.[77]

The Macquarie University Research Park is a privately funded Research and Development Park located on campus and is home to companies including Dow Corning, Goodman Fielder, Nortel Networks, OPSM and Siemens.[78]

The Macquarie University Observatory was originally constructed in 1978 as a research facility but, since 1997, has been accessible to the public through its Public Observing Program.[79]

Macquarie University Hospital

The Macquarie University Hospital was completed and opened in 2010. It comprises 183 beds, 12 operating theatres, 2 cardiac and vascular angiography suites.[80] The hospital is co-located with the university's Australian School of Advanced Medicine.

The Cochlear Building located on the southern edge of the campus is the new global headquarters for Cochlear Limited, manufacturers of cochlear implants, combining their research, development, manufacturing, and distribution facilities into a single building.[81] As support for the Cochlear Building, the university has started construction of a Hearing Hub, a collection of facilities which will incorporate the Cochlear Building, university research facilities for language and cognitive sciences, audiology, and speech pathology, and other organisations related to hearing disorders.[82]

Residential colleges[edit]

Macquarie University has two residential colleges on its campus, Dunmore Lang College and Robert Menzies College, both founded in 1972. In addition to these residential colleges is the Macquarie University Village which contains over 890 rooms inside multiple two storey townhouses and apartment block.

Student Organisations[edit]

Campus Hub

Campus Experience was officially launched in January 2008 under the name of U@MQ, and is the new organisation that manages Macquarie University’s non-academic services of food and retail, sport and recreation, student groups, child care, and entertainment.[83]

The Global Leadership Program (GLP) is a student organisation and program that is undertaken by a large proportion of Macquarie Students. All students at the university are encouraged to undertake the program to enhance leadership skills, cross cultural understanding and international awareness. Upon completion of the GLP, students receive a formal notation on their academic transcript.[84]

Macquarie University has its own community radio station on campus, 2SER FM. The station is jointly owned by Macquarie University and University of Technology, Sydney.

Macquarie University students celebrate Conception Day each year to – according to legend – commemorate the date of conception of Lachlan Macquarie, as his birthday fell at the wrong time of year for a celebration. Conception Day is traditionally held on the last day of classes before the September mid-semester break.


The Sydney Institute of Business and Technology (SIBT) operates on the Macquarie University campus, offering Foundation Studies (Pre-University) and University-level Diplomas. Upon successful completion of a SIBT Diploma, students enter the appropriate Bachelor Degree as a second year student.[85]

The Centre for Macquarie English (CME), formerly known as NCELTR (National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research), is the English-language centre that offers a range of specialised, direct entry English programmes that are approved by Macquarie University.[86]

Access Macquarie Limited (Access MQ) was established in 1989 as the commercial arm of the university. Access MQ facilitates and supports the commercial needs of industry, business and government organisations seeking to utilise the academic expertise of the broader University community.[87]

The Australian Research Institute for Environment and Sustainability, a research centre that promotes change for environmental sustainability, is affiliated with the University and is located on its campus.[88]

Notable alumni and staff[edit]

Life-size bronze statue of Graduates outside Macquarie University by sculptor Linda Klarfeld

Notable faculty members include David Christian, Paul Davies, Tim Flannery, Ann Henderson-Sellers, David James Skellern, John Clive Ward, and Neil Weste. Notable graduates in Australian politics include: Peter Andren, John Faulkner, Mike Kelly, David Leyonhjelm, Rob Oakeshott, and Tanya Plibersek; in media and creative arts: Miranda Devine, Yalda Hakim, Adam Hills, Chris Lilley, Jeff McMullen, Peter Overton, Margaret Pomeranz, Hugh Riminton, and Murray Cook, Anthony Field, Greg Page (three founding members of The Wiggles); in academia and science: Barry Brook, Anne Castles, F. J. Duarte, and Hugh Mackay; in sports: Christine Jensen Burke, Liz Ellis, and Ian Thorpe; in business: Greg Coffey and Catherine Livingstone.[89]

Four Macquarie University academics were included in The World’s Most Influential Minds 2014 report by Thomson Reuters, which identified the most highly cited researchers of the last 11 years. Professor Bill Griffin was listed in the Geosciences category, Professor Ian Paulsen was listed in the Microbiology category. Dr Ian Wright and Professor Mark Westoby were listed in the Environment/Ecology category.[90]

See also[edit]


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  3. ^ Australian Universities Parliamentary paper. Australian Universities Commission. 1964. p. 8. 
  4. ^ de Wit, H.; Heyl, J.; Deardorff, D. (2012). The SAGE Handbook of International Higher Education. SAGE Publications. 
  5. ^ "Macquarie University announces academic health sciences centre". Macquarie University. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
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  7. ^ "University Admissions Centre Course List 2009". University Admissions Centre. Retrieved 10 August 2009. [dead link]
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  12. ^ "Research – Macquarie University". Macquarie University. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
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  15. ^ "How CSIRO's stars won the WiFi battle". The Australian. Apr 3, 2012. 
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  18. ^ Liberality of Opportunity, Mansfield and Hutchinson, p. 19
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  20. ^ Liberality of Opportunity, Mansfield and Hutchinson, p. 24
  21. ^ Liberality of Opportunity, Mansfield and Hutchinson, p. 317
  22. ^ Liberality of Opportunity, Mansfield and Hutchinson, pp. 268–271.
  23. ^ J. C. Ward, Memoirs of a Theoretical Physicist (Optics Journal, Rochester, 2004).
  24. ^ F. J. Duarte, Laser Physicist (Optics Journal, New York, 2012).
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  29. ^ They call her the grand dame of Sydney's Macquarie University but as Di Yerbury left her post as Vice Chancellor, controversy descended. :: Sunday Profile
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  36. ^ "Fair Trade – Macquarie University". Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
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  43. ^ EDAW Gillespies (March 2004). "Appendix 15 (Contamination Assessment), Environmental Assessment Report, Macquarie University, New Library Project". Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  44. ^ "Environmental Assessment Report for New Library pg15". JBA Urban Planning Consultants. Retrieved 20 September 2009. 
  45. ^ Macquarie University. "FAQs – Major Projects". Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  46. ^ Macquarie University. "Major Projects and Development". Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  47. ^ "About the Library". Macquarie University. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Collections". Macquarie University. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  49. ^ Brodie, Maxine (November 29, 2010). "New Library on the Move - New Library News #1". Macquarie University. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  50. ^ Krige, Brendan (May 30, 2012). "Your Library on the Move". Macquarie University. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  51. ^ Navitas official site Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  52. ^ Macquarie City Campus brochure. 2010. p. 1. 
  53. ^ Macquarie City Campus
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  66. ^ "ARWU 2014 Top 500 Universities in Australia". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 
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  69. ^ "Detail sorted, Bruce Dowton draws big picture". The Australian. 16 Jan 2013. 
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  71. ^ a b "QS ranks Macquarie in Top 50 worldwide for three subject areas". Macquarie University. 
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  73. ^ Macquarie University Teaching Awards, Learning and Teaching Centre[dead link]
  74. ^ "Macquarie University Research". Macquarie University. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  75. ^ "The Economist 2009 full-time MBA rankings". The Economist. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  76. ^ "Master of Environment". Macquarie University. 
  77. ^ "Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Centre". Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  78. ^ Macquarie University. "Research Park". Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  79. ^ The Macquarie University Observatory
  80. ^ Macquarie University Hospital
  81. ^ Cochlear Building[dead link]. Retrieved 16 August 2009
  82. ^ Hearing Hub[dead link]. Retrieved 16 August 2009
  83. ^ The rise and fall of Chairman Ma
  84. ^ GLP Prospective Students' Page
  85. ^ The Sydney Institute of Business and Technology (SIBT)
  86. ^ The Centre for Macquarie English (CME)
  87. ^ Access Macquarie Limited
  88. ^
  89. ^ "Macquarie University Alumni Web Community - Outstanding alumni". Macquarie University. 
  90. ^ "Four of our best make World’s Most Influential Minds list". Macquarie University. 


  • Mansfield, Bruce and Mark Hutchinson, Liberality of opportunity: a history of Macquarie University, 1964–1989 Macquarie University (Sydney, 1992) ISBN 0-86806-474-2

External links[edit]