|Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology|
|Latin: Universitas Technicus Melburnensis Regia|
|Motto||perita manus mens exculta (Latin)|
|Motto in English||skilled hand, cultivated mind|
|Endowment||A$882.8 million (2011)|
|Chancellor||Dr. Ziggy Switkowski|
|Vice-Chancellor||Prof. Margaret Gardner|
|Academic staff||4,213 (FTE)|
|Students||55,115 (excl. VET)|
|Location||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Former names||Working Men's College
Melbourne Technical College
|Affiliations||ASAIHL, ATN, GU8, OUA|
RMIT was founded in 1887, as Melbourne's Working Men's College, by the public benefactor The Hon. Francis Ormond. It is the third oldest tertiary education provider in Victoria, and the eighth oldest in Australia. Its main campus is located in the northern section of the Melbourne city centre. It also has two radial campuses in the Melbourne metropolitan area (Bundoora and Brunswick); and two international campuses in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi).
During the early 20th century, it contributed to Australia's war efforts through military personnel training and aircraft parts manufacturing. As a result, it underwent a major expansion during World War I, and later changed its name to the Melbourne Technical College in 1934. Following World War II, it became the first Australian tertiary education provider to be awarded royal patronage (by Elizabeth II in 1954 - for its services to the war efforts), and officially changed its name to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1960.
During the mid 20th century, RMIT pioneered dual sector education in Australia. In recent years, it has specifically focused on research across the areas of: design, technology, health, globalisation and sustainability. It was made a public university by act of the Victorian Government in 1992, and is currently Australia's largest tertiary education provider.
It is ranked in the top 10 universities in Australia (top 3 in Victoria) - according to its research output, and in the top 100 universities in the World in the areas of: accounting and finance, communication and media studies, civil and structural engineering, computer science and information systems, pharmacy and pharmacology - according to the QS World University Rankings.
Early history (pre-1887)
The original Working Men's College of Melbourne was founded by Scottish-born grazier, politician and public benefactor The Hon. Francis Ormond. Initial planning began in 1881, with Ormond basing his model for the college on the Royal College of Art and the Working Men's College in London, and antecedents of the present day University of Brighton and University of London.
Working Men's College (1887-1960)
Ormond donated the sum of £5000 toward the establishment of the college. He was supported in the Victorian Parliament by Charles Pearson and in the Melbourne Trades Hall by William Murphy. The workers' unions of Melbourne rallied their members to match Ormond's initial donation. The site for the college, on corners of Bowen Street and La Trobe Street, opposite the Melbourne Public Library, was donated by the Victorian Government. The college opened on 4 June 1887 with a gala ceremony, becoming the third official tertiary education provider in the then colony (the Melbourne Athenaeum was founded in 1839 and the University of Melbourne in 1853). In 1904, it was incorporated under the Companies Act as a private college.
Between the turn of the 20th century and the 1930s, it expanded over the neighbouring Melbourne Gaol and constructed buildings for its art, engineering and radio schools. It also made its first contribution to Australia's war effort by training returned military personnel from World War I. Following a petition by students, it officially changed its name to the Melbourne Technical College in 1934. The expanded college made a greater contribution to Australia's effort during World War II by training a sixth of the country's military personnel - including the majority of its Royal Australian Air Force communication officers. It also trained civilians in munitions manufacturing and was commissioned by the Australian Government to manufacture military aircraft parts - including the majority of parts for the Beaufort Bomber.
Creation of RMIT (1960-present)
For its services to Australia's efforts during both world wars, it was granted royal patronage by Elizabeth II in 1954. It then officially changed its name to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1960. Throughout the mid 20th century, it restructured itself as a provider of both general higher and vocational education and pioneered dual sector education in Australia. During this time, it also started its long-term engagement with Southeast Asia - which it began under the Colombo Plan. In 1979, the neighbouring Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy joined with RMIT.
Following a merger with the Phillip Institute of Technology in the north Melbourne area, RMIT was made a public university by the Victorian Government in 1992 - under the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Act 1992. During the 1990s, the university underwent a rapid expansion and amalgamated with a number of nearby colleges and institutes. The Melbourne College of Decoration and Design joined RMIT in 1993 to create a TAFE design school, followed by the Melbourne College of Printing and Graphic Arts in 1995. It also opened a radial campus in Bundoora in outer-northern Melbourne in 1995, and it acquired the Melbourne Institute of Textiles campus in Brunswick in inner-northern Melbourne in 1999 - for its design schools.
During the late 20th century, RMIT became the first Australian university to adopt an explicit strategy of international education. As part of the strategy, it also expanded its engagement with Southeast Asia by developing teaching partnerships in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. At the turn of the 21st century, RMIT was invited by the Vietnamese Government to establish the country's first foreign-owned university. Its first international campus opened in Ho Chi Minh City in 2001 and a second in Hanoi in 2004.
The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) is a publicly funded research university created under the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Act 1992 by the Victorian Government, and exists in accordance with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Act 2010. It is referred to as RMIT University in Victoria (Australia) and RMIT International University in Vietnam (both of which are registered trading names).
The greater RMIT is governed by a Council, which consists of 14-21 members, and is responsible for the "general direction and superintendence of the University". The Council is lead by the Chancellor of RMIT, who is an ex officio member and serves as Governor-in-Council. The Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT as well as the President of the Academic Board are also ex officio members of the Council. Five members are elected via a ballot of the staff and students of the university. Three staff members are elected to represent higher education, vocational education and general staff. Two students are elected to represent higher education and vocational education. The remaining members are appointed directly by the Governor-in-Council, and/or by vote of the sitting Council members. Appointed members of the Council must have substantial commercial and financial expertise or vocational education and training experience, and be drawn from beyond the university community.
The Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT is the Chief Executive Officer of the university and is "responsible for the conduct of the University's affairs in all matters". The Council grants powers over all academic and administrative affairs of RMIT to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Management of the colleges and portfolios of RMIT is delegated by the Vice-Chancellor and President to a team of Deputy and Pro Vice-Chancellors as well as senior executives.
RMIT is separated into two divisions: the Higher Education Division and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Division. The divisions are responsible for RMIT's 24 academic schools (21 higher education schools including a graduate/professional school, and three TAFE schools). The schools are grouped into three academic portfolios - which are referred to as colleges. The higher education schools offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, while the TAFE schools offer vocational certificates and diplomas. In addition to its academic colleges, the university has a dedicated research portfolio. It contains RMIT's four major research institutes, a large number of research centres and groups, and specialist research school.
The requirements for (and the conferring of) an academic degree of RMIT by its schools is determined and approved by the Academic Board. The Board consists of the Chancellery as ex officio members, and up to a further 46 members of which 34 must be elected by staff and students. Those conferred an academic degree of the university may use the post-nominal letters "RMIT" with the abbreviation of their degree title.
Colleges and schools
RMIT is ranked as one of Australia’s top 10 research universities;, and has an "industry-relevant" ethos. It primarily focuses on applied research, outcome-related research and consultancy services, and has extensive partnerships with government and industry.
Its dedicated Portfolio of Innovation and Research operates on a similar scale to its colleges. It contains RMIT's major research institutes in: Design Research, Global Cities Research, Health Innovations Research and Platform Technologies Research. The four institutes operate on the same scale as RMIT's schools, and are focused in its historic research strength areas. It also contains a specialist research school to foster excellence in research methodology and pedagogy. In addition to its research portfolio, RMIT also has over 35 research centres based within its colleges and schools.
Major collaborative partners with RMIT include: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in the Australian APEC Study Centre, Australian Institute of Sport as its preferred partner in sports technology research, Boeing Company in a systems development centre called the Boeing-RMIT Phantom Works, Government of Australia in Cooperative Research Centres and Government of Victoria in a design industry advancement centre called DesignVictoria. RMIT is also partnered with Fujitsu, as well as Victoria's two other top-ranked universities - the University of Melbourne and Monash University, in Australia's first low carbon emission and energy-efficient technology data centre.
Many organisations are also permanently partnered with RMIT's institutes, centres and schools for research. Notable partners include: Airbus, Australian Defence Force, BHP Billiton, BMW AG, Country Road, CSIRO, Deloitte, Ernst&Young, Ford Motor Company, GUESS, GM Holden, IBM, Luxottica, Pacific Brands, Siemens, Subaru, Telstra, Tenix, United Nations and Volkswagen Group.
Since the Times Higher Education (THE) supplement and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) began the formal THE-QS World University Rankings in 2004, RMIT has consistently ranked in the top 10 universities in Australia (top 3 in Victoria).
According to the new QS World University Rankings since 2010, RMIT is ranked as a five star university (specifically in the areas of: employability, teaching, internationalisation, engagement, specialisation and facilities). It is also ranked in the top 100 universities in the World in the areas of: accounting and finance, communication and media studies, civil and structural engineering, computer science and information systems, pharmacy and pharmacology.
It is also ranked the top entrepreneurial university in Australia (12th in the World), according to the GSEA's Top Entrepreneurial Universities List, and the top advertising university of the decade in Australia (5th in the World), according the YoungGuns International Awards.
RMIT's original and flagship campus is its City campus, which is located in the northern section of the Melbourne city centre. It was established in 1887, as the Working Men's College of Melbourne, in a building on the corner of La Trobe Street and Bowen Street. As of 2010, the campus occupies a gross floor area of 307,466 m2 over 68 buildings.
Unlike a traditional walled university, the City campus is an integrated part of the city centre's northern section. Most buildings are concentrated around six city blocks, an area of roughly 720,000 m2, north of the Hoddle Grid. It is bounded by La Trobe Street to the south, Lygon Street and Russell Street to the east, Queensberry Street and Victoria Street to the north, Elizabeth Street and Swanston Street to the west. The most built up area of the campus, around Swanston Street, is sometimes referred to as the "RMIT Quarter" of the city.
The City campus is noted for its variety of Victorian heritage and striking contemporary architecture. Historic buildings on the City campus include the original Working Men's College, Emily McPherson College, Melbourne Gaol Chapel and Melbourne Magistrates' Court buildings, Storey Hall, and the off-site Capitol Theatre.
The Bundoora campus was established in 1995. It is located 18 km from the City campus in the outer northern suburb of Bundoora. The campus is divided into East and West by Plenty Road. In contrast to the urban City campus, the Bundoora West campus is set amongst nearly 400,000 m2 of parkland.
The Brunswick campus became a part of RMIT in 1999 as a dedicated site for its TAFE design school. It is located 6 km from the City campus in the inner northern suburb of Brunswick. Prior to its annexation by RMIT, it was the campus of the former Melbourne Institute of Textiles for nearly 50 years.
RMIT's flight training programs are conducted from its site at the Royal Australian Air Force's historic Williams base. It is located 20 km from the City campus in the outer south-western suburb of Point Cook. RAAF Williams is the world's oldest operating air force base and the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force.
The university also has a regional research site in the rural town of Hamilton. It is located 300 km north-west of the City campus (just south of the Grampians National Park) in regional Victoria. RMIT's Potter Rural Community Research Centre at the site focusses on rural and regional issues in a global context.
Ho Chi Minh City:
In 1998, RMIT was invited by the Vietnamese Government to establish the country's first foreign-owned university. In 2001, it purchased and restored a 19th century French Colonial building and grounds in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. The building, located at 21 Pham Ngoc Thach Street, is informally referred to as "the Castle" by students. Today, the Pham Ngoc Thach site remains a radial site of the present Ho Chi Minh City campus.
The present Ho Chi Minh City campus is located in the Phu My Hung area of the Saigon South development in District 7. The first academic buildings on the large purpose-built campus opened in 2005. In 2011, its recreation complex and residential centres opened.
The Hanoi campus was established in 2004. It was initially located in the Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound in the government precinct of the Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. In 2007, it also acquired a building in the Dong Da District to accommodate rising student numbers. It consolidated its two buildings in a newly built tower overlooking Ngoc Khanh Lake in the Ba Dinh District in 2010.
In 2013, RMIT will establish a centre in Barcelona, Spain. The centre will offer a dual master's program focusing on architecture - which will also facilitate the RMIT School of Architecture and Design's participation in the reconstruction of Antoni Gaudí's basilica Sagrada Família.
RMIT teaches and/or accredits programs for the Hong Kong Art School and Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade in China, Singapore Institute of Management in Singapore and Taylor's University in Malaysia.
University Library is the central libraries network of RMIT. It has five locations across RMIT's three Victorian campuses. The Swanston Library, located in Building 8 at the City campus, is the largest in the network. Swanston Library is also reported to be amongst the top five libraries in all of Melbourne. Other libraries in the network are the Brunswick Library, Bundoora East Library, Bundoora West Library and Carlton Library (the latter of which is also at the City campus). The City campus also benefits from its proximity to the State Library of Victoria - the central public reference library and the largest library in Melbourne.
Two libraries are located at RMIT's Vietnam campuses; Beanland Library and Hanoi Library. The Beanland Library is the largest of the two libraries, and is located at the Ho Chi Minh City campus.
Selected research of RMIT academics and postgraduate students can be accessed through the RMIT Research Repository - an open access database of peer-reviewed published articles, conference papers, books and book chapters, etc. Documents held by the RMIT Research Repository are also indexed by Google Scholar, National Library of Australia and WorldCat. As of March 2013, there are more than 19,000 records in the Repository. The university subsidiary RMIT Publishing also owns and operates the Informit library database of research from Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
In addition to its libraries network, RMIT schools also maintain their own specialised collections. Notable examples of school-maintained collections are the AFI Research Collection, RMIT Design Archives and National Aerospace Resource.
The university's major public art gallery is RMIT Gallery, located at the City campus. The gallery runs a highly regarded and regularly changing program of Australian and international exhibitions, and focuses on contemporary art, design and visual culture. It is located in the historic section of Storey Hall on Swanston Street and is considered to be one of Melbourne's most vibrant art galleries. RMIT Gallery publishes widely on art and design research - in partnership with RMIT Publishing. The gallery is also charged as the caretaker of RMIT's extensive permanent art collection, which includes the substantial Linsday Edwards Collection of fine art and invaluable W.E. Macmillan Collection of gold and silver. A history of the collection is documented in the publication A Skilled Hand and Cultivated Mind: A Guide to the Architecture and Art of RMIT.
The campus union RMIT Link operates First Site Gallery at the City campus, located beneath RMIT Gallery, and focuses on emerging artists. Link also runs the Artland program at the Brunswick campus. The program consists of 16 sites around the campus and Brunswick streets showcasing work of design students.
In addition to the Story Hall galleries, RMIT schools also manage their own discipline-relevant galleries. Notable examples of school-managed galleries are the School of Art's main and Project Space galleries, Media and Communication's field36 Gallery, Architecture and Design's Virtual Reality Centre and Design Hub galleries. The School of Art's renowned public art program also produces art projects in public spaces around RMIT campuses and Melbourne's city centre and metropolitan area.
Link (campus union)
RMIT Link is the university's campus union. It exists to sponsor and promote social, cultural, educational, sporting and recreational programs and activities among the RMIT community, and to provide such facilities and services at all Victorian campuses. Link is separated into two divisions: Arts & Culture and Sports & Recreation. It is a controlled entity under the authority of RMIT's Council.
Arts & Culture manages a number of extra-curricular arts collectives. It also offers workshop and seminars as well as funding for arts initiatives, and runs a free cinema program at the City and Bundoora campuses.
Sports & Recreation manages RMIT's semi-professional sports teams, collectively known as the Redbacks, and has an elite athlete funding program. It offers funding for community-based social sports clubs on RMIT's Victorian campuses, and runs community and charity sporting events and tournaments. It also operates the City campus gym, and co-owns a ski lodge on Mount Buller.
RUSU (student union)
RMIT's University Student Union (RUSU) is the independent body representing students enrolled at RMIT. It was founded in 1944 by John Storey Jr. (after whom Storey Hall at the City campus is named), who was its inaugural president. RUSU's objective is to safeguard the interests and rights of students, and to advance education, welfare, social life and cultural activities of students. RUSU has a number of departments advocating various elements of student life. It also supports academic, cultural, political, spiritual and special interest clubs and societies run by students.
- Activities - manages events, festivals, markets and parties on all RMIT's campuses
- Campuses - representation of students on general matters relating to RMIT's campuses
- Clubs and Societies - see: List of clubs and societies of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
- Education - campaigns on education matters and is run in collaboration with other departments
- Environment - advocates environmental responsibility and sustainability on RMIT's campuses
- International Students - supports and advocates the rights of international students
- Postgraduate Students - the representative body of postgraduate students
- Queer - supports and advocates the rights of RMIT's LGBT community
- Womyn's - supports and advocates the rights of women
- Realfoods - RUSU's organic fair trade vegetarian cafe, located in the main cafeteria at the City campus
- Catalyst - student magazine, distributed free every month of the academic year since 1944
- RMITV - student television production company, broadcasting since 1987, and co-founder of the C31 community television station
- Student Youth Network (SYN) - student radio station, broadcasting across the Melbourne metropolitan area on 90.7 FM
- 3RRR - RMIT's former radio station, founded as 3RMT in 1976, now independently funded but still used by the university
RMIT's Spiritual Centre is a multi-faith place of worship located on the City campus. It is housed in the historic Old Melbourne Gaol chapel, built in 1860. The centre provides a contemplative space to all staff and students of RMIT, regardless of their faith and without showing favour to any one faith, and houses the RMIT Chaplaincy services. RMIT has chaplains representing Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths of various denominations as well as for Integral spirituality.
Graduates of RMIT are considered to be some of the most employable in the world. In 2011, in a survey of over 5000 employers, the QS World University Rankings placed RMIT at 51 in the world for graduate employability. As of 2011, the university has an alumni community of over 280,000 graduates in 130 countries.
Rob Hulls, former Attorney-General of Victoria (Law)
Peter Ryan, current Deputy Premier of Victoria (Law)
James Wan, film director and writer (Arts)
John Safran, documentary maker (Arts)
Charles Billich, artist (Arts)
Norman Day, architect (Architecture)
Jim Stynes, Australian rules footballer and charity worker (Social Science)
Lydia Lassila, skier, Winter Olympic gold medalist (Applied Science)
James Tomkins, three-time Olympic gold medalist (Business)
Graduation street parade
A notable graduation tradition of RMIT is its graduation parade. The parade is town and gown-style academic procession which proceeds from the City campus down the major city thoroughfare of Swanston Street to Federation Square (until 2002, the parade culminated outside the Melbourne Town Hall). The graduands march in full academic dress and receive a military escort from the central marching band of the Royal Australian Air Force.
The parade is welcomed at Federation Square by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne - on behalf of the city and its citizens. The Mayor grants RMIT's Vice-Chancellor a "writ of passage" to proceed with the graduation ceremony, which takes place at the Docklands Stadium.
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- The ceremonial colours of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology are dark green (vert), white (argent) and gold (or) - as characterised in the tincture of its coat of arms and seal, and as described in Murray-Smith & Dare 1987. The colours red, black and white were added to its official brand identity for marketing purposes in the late 1990s. RMIT's brand identity guidelines also specify its official red as Pantone 485 (HEX DC241F) and official green as Pantone 390 (HEX B2BC00).
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