Curtin University

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Curtin University
Curtin University Logo
Motto Make Tomorrow Better
Type Public
Established 1986
Chancellor Colin Beckett
Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 37,005
Postgraduates 10,955
Location Bentley, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Campus Urban; 116 hectares[1]
Affiliations ATN, ASAIHL, OUA
Curtin University - Building 408, with adjacent 3.8 megalitre thermal energy storage tank
Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Control in Perth

Curtin University (a trademark of Curtin University of Technology) is an Australian public university based in Bentley, Perth, Western Australia. The University is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 50,000 students[2] (as of 2014).

Curtin was conferred University status after the legislation was passed by the State Government of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the University has been expanding its presence and currently has campuses in Sydney, Singapore, and Sarawak. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in more than 20 countries.[3] The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres.

Curtin was awarded five-stars overall in the annual QS Stars university ratings for 2014.[4] Curtin is ranked 284 by QS World University Rankings 2015.[5] As of 2013, the University is also ranked in The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) as one of the top 500 world universities.[6]

To date, Curtin Creative Writing staff and alumni have won the Miles Franklin Award a total of 7 times.[7]

Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields,[8] including (but not limited to) Resources and Energy (e.g. petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, and Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing. It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.[9]

Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh.[10] Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas.[11] The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.[12]


Prior to 1985, the university was called the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT), formed in 1966. Its nucleus comprised the tertiary programs formerly conducted in the Perth Technical College which opened in 1900.

Curtin University's current site in Bentley was selected in 1962, and officially opened in 1966. The first students enrolled the following year.

In 1969, three more institutions were merged with WAIT: the Western Australian School of Mines (originally opened in 1902), the Muresk Agricultural College (opened in 1926), and the Schools of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (in operation since the 1950s at Shenton Park).[13] Between 1966 and 1976 WAIT experienced an expansion from 2,000 to 10,000 students.[14]

In December 1986 the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT) was formally made a university, under provisions of the WA Institute of Technology Amendment Act 1986.[15] Curtin University took its name from the former Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin. Curtin accepted its first students as a university 1987.

In 2005, the institute and Murdoch University were engaged in a feasibility study into the possibility of a merger.[16] However, on 7 November 2005, both institutions issued a press release that such a merger will not be undertaken.[17]

In 2009, the institute became the first university in the Australian Technology Network to be listed on the Academic Ranking of World Universities of research universities.[18]

In 2010, the institute dropped the "of Technology" suffix, now operating under its trade mark "Curtin University". The legal name remains Curtin University of Technology until the Act within which it operates is amended by the Western Australian government.[19]

University rankings[edit]

University rankings
Curtin University
QS World[20] 284
QS Arts & Humanities[21] 272
QS Engineering & Tech.[22] 178
QS Life Sciences & Medicine[23] 350
QS Natural Sciences[24] 317
QS Social Sciences & Mgmt.[25] 215
THE-WUR World[26] 351-400
ARWU World[27] 301-400
USNWR World[28] 360
USNWR Geosciences[29] 75
CWTS Leiden World[30] 378
Australian rankings
ARWU National[31] 10-18
USNWR National[32] 13
CWTS Leiden National[30] 18

Curtin University is ranked in the top two per cent of universities worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014. It is ranked 40th in the world for universities under the age of 50 in the QS World University Rankings 2014 and has received an overall five-star overall excellence rating in the QS stars rating 2014.[33]

The following subject areas at Curtin University are strongly ranked and have received a five-star rating in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014:[33]

  • Accounting and Finance (top 100)
  • Chemical Engineering (top 100)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering (top 150)
  • Communication and Media Studies (top 100)
  • Computer Science and Information Systems (top 200)
  • Earth and Marine Sciences (top 100)
  • Economics and Econometrics (top 200)
  • Education and Training (ranked 37)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering (top 200)
  • Environmental Studies (top 150)
  • Geography (top 200)
  • Linguistics (top 200)
  • Materials Sciences (top 200)
  • Psychology (top 150)
  • Sociology (top 200)
  • Statistics and Operational Research (top 200).


Robertson Library in Bentley campus
Curtin Engineering Pavilion

From 2007, the university's teaching and research is divided into five faculties (previously known as divisions).[34] These are:

  • Centre for Aboriginal Studies
  • Curtin Business School
    • School of Accounting
    • School of Business Law and Taxation
    • School of Economics and Finance
    • School of Information Systems
    • School of Management
    • School of Marketing
    • Curtin Law School
    • Graduate School of Business
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
    • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine
    • School of Biomedical Science
    • School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work
    • School of Pharmacy
    • School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science
    • School of Psychology and Speech Pathology
    • School of Public Health
  • Faculty of Humanities
    • School of Built Environment
    • School of Design and Art
    • School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts
    • School of Education
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
    • School of Science
    • School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
    • School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering
    • School of Electrical Engineering and Computing
    • Western Australian School of Mines

Student Guild[edit]

Main article: Curtin Student Guild
Curtin Student Guild Complex on the Market Day

The Curtin Student Guild is the guild representing students at Curtin University. The Guild started as the WAIT Student Guild in November 1968.

In addition to student representation the Guild manages most of the food outlets on campus. The Guild Second Hand Bookshop, Curtin Concept Store (Curtin University Apparel), IT Works - IT Convenience Store, The Spot - Stationary & News outlet, Guild Copy and Design Centre & The Tav. The Guild funds many of the student clubs and societies on campus. The Guild also runs a number of events throughout the year, most notably the Beach Bash held in semester one and Oktoberfest held in semester two. The Guild publishes Grok, the campus magazine which has the largest distribution in the country. The Student Guild is governed by students through the Guild Council, the official spokesperson of which is the Guild President. Student representatives are elected to their positions by students in annual elections held in September and run by the Western Australian Electoral Commission. As of 1 December 2014 the Guild President is Jason Giancono.[35] Postgraduate students are represented by Curtin Student Guild Postgraduate Student Association. CUPSA is a department of the Guild. Other departments include ISC (International Students Committee), Women's, Queer, Indigenous, and Mature Age.

Funding to the Curtin Student Guild has been greatly reduced when the Voluntary Student Unionism legislation came into force on 1 July 2006. The Curtin Student Guild has already experienced State imposed VSU from 1994 to 2002. Funding to the Student Guild was restored with the introduction of the Student Services Amenities Fee.


Curtin has its own Bus Port, connected to the Transperth Public Transport Network. Many routes terminate/start at and run through this Port. With the 2007 completion of the Mandurah railway line, it has become easier to travel to Curtin. Students can alight at Canning Bridge Station, and then catch a bus, which goes directly to the university.

Other campuses[edit]

In addition to the main campus at Bentley, Curtin has two smaller campuses in the metropolitan area. The Graduate School of Business is located in the Central Business District at 78 Murray Street in the renovated former Government Printing Office - a listed building on the State Register of Heritage Places, and listed in the National Trust's List of Classified Places. The other campus is the Shenton Park Heath Research campus hosting NDRI (National Drug Research Institute).

The University Departments of Exploration Geophysics and Petroleum Engineering are located at the co-location research facilities of the Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC[36]) which also houses offices of CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering[37] and National Measurement Institute.[38] The ARRC is located in the Technology Park, Kensington, which is adjacent to the main Bentley campus. Some University staff, researchers and students on practicum work in other locations such as the Oral Health Centre of WA (OHCWA) in Nedlands[39] and at Royal Perth Hospital, amongst other organisations.

Curtin also has several campuses outside of Perth, notably those located in Kalgoorlie (Western Australia School of Mines), and Northam and Collie (Muresk Institute). The first two campuses reflect the university's traditional strength in mine engineering and agriculture and resources (Muresk). A number of micro-campuses exist in locations such as Esperance, Margaret River and Geraldton. Nursing is the only course offered in Geraldton.

Sydney campus[edit]

Curtin University Sydney (Curtin Sydney) was established on 20 June 2005. Initially, the campus was located in The Rocks area. It was later relocated to the suburb of Chippendale where it occupies the historic Berlei Building. Curtin Sydney offers diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses to students from all over the world.

Following a review of its international operations during 2015, the Curtin University Council concluded that a Curtin presence in Sydney does not align with the University’s strategic vision, in particular, its research and global positioning objectives. As a result, the Curtin Sydney campus is scheduled for closure in early 2017. [40]


Curtin Sydney is located in the heart of the city near Central Railway Station, at 39 Regent Street, Chippendale. The campus has been extensively refurbished and offers campus-wide wireless internet access; E-Library with access to over 17,000 E-journals; latest IT setups in all classrooms. The campus has a large student lounge, study areas and a rooftop terrace.

As of March 2012, Curtin University does not permit smoking.[41]

Undergraduate programs

  • Curtin College Diploma of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Commerce with majors and double majors in: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and International Business.

Postgraduate programs

  • Graduate Certificate of Professional Accounting
  • Graduate Diploma of Professional Accounting
  • Master of Commerce: Professional Accounting
  • Graduate Certificate in Project Management
  • Master of Science: Project Management

Additional services[edit]

  • Internship program: Available to undergraduate and postgraduate students, the programme places students in a local company for 12–16 weeks in a relevant role to their field of study.
  • Career preparation seminars: Held on campus, and covering practical skills such as job seeking and interview skills, time management and goal setting, motivation and leadership, networking and Australian cultural sensitivities

Sarawak campus[edit]

The campus in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia, is a significant development for the university and, to date, is Curtin's largest international campus. Curtin's operations in Miri began in February 1999. In 2002, a purpose-built campus was opened as Curtin's first offshore campus and the first foreign university campus in East Malaysia. It currently has over 3,000 students from over 40 countries, as well as academics from more than 15 countries.[42] Curtin Sarawak is the only approved CISCO Networking University in Miri and Brunei.[43]

Singapore campus[edit]

Curtin University opened a Singapore-based campus on 23 November 2008.[44][45] Curtin University Singapore courses use the same structure and unit curriculum as those offered at the Bentley campus.


The Charles Telfair Institute, which is a private education institution, is affiliated with Curtin University and offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Mauritius.[46]

Annual Reports[edit]

2014 Annual Report[edit]

2013 Annual Report[edit]

Previous Annual Reports[edit]

Curtin MOOCS[edit]

Curtin offer Massive Open Online Courses (also known as MOOCs) that allow anyone to complete short courses on a variety of topics online for free. Currently Curtin offer:

  • The Business of Mining: Learn the theory behind running a mine and see if you've got what it takes to explore, plan, operate and close a mining operation.
  • Astronomy, Discovering the Universe (IntAstro): Explore the evolution of the universe, the future of astronomy & the role technology plays in new discoveries.

Curtin Open Universities Australia (OUA) Courses[edit]

Curtin University run several courses available fully online through Open Universities Australia. Courses available are listed on the OUA website.

Notable people[edit]

Faculty and staff[edit]

Curtin's current faculty includes prominent scholars such as environmental scientist Peter Newman and writer Kim Scott.

Past prominent faculty members include the post-modernist Niall Lucy, writer Elizabeth Jolley and journalist Robert Duffield.


Among the best-known people who have attended Curtin University are

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bentley (main campus)". Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  2. ^ "Curtin University Student Statistics 2010-2014". Curtin University. Curtin University. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Curtin Outbound Studies - Destinations
  4. ^ "QS World University Rankings® 2013/2014".  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "QS World University Rankings® 2013/2014".  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities - 2013".  External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ "Curtin alumna in running for Miles Franklin Literary Award | News and Events". Retrieved 2014-11-04. 
  8. ^ "Research & Development at Curtin". 2 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  9. ^ "AINSE Gold Medals". Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  10. ^ "China signs WA gas deal". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  11. ^ Amanda O'Brien (1 September 2007). "China overtakes Japan in WA trade". The Australian. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  12. ^ "Chinese Premier visits Curtin to view innovative technology". Curtin University Media Releases. 3 April 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  13. ^ History: WAIT to Curtin
  14. ^ Gable, Guy (September 2008). "Overview of WA universities". The information systems academic discipline in Australia. ANU E-Press. ISBN 978-1-921313-94-3. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  15. ^ "Western Australian Institute of Technology Amendment Act 1986: Proclamation". Western Australia Government Gazette. 19 December 1986. p. 1986:4861. 
  16. ^ "Curtin agrees to discuss merger". Curtin University Media Releases. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  17. ^ "Curtin Murdoch merger proposal not to proceed". Curtin University Media Releases. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  18. ^ Lane, Bernard (4 November 2009). "Dawkins reforms bear fruit at Curtin University". The Australian. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  19. ^ "Our name change - Curtin University". 7 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  20. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2015/16". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  21. ^ "QS World University Arts & Humanities Rankings 2015". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  22. ^ "QS World University Engineering & Technology Rankings 2015". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  23. ^ "QS World University Life Sciences & Medicine Rankings 2015". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  24. ^ "QS World University Natural Sciences Rankings 2015". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  25. ^ "QS World University Social Sciences & Management Rankings 2015". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  26. ^ "World University Rankings 2015-2016". TSL Education Limited. 
  27. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 
  28. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities Rankings 2014". U.S. News and World Report. 
  29. ^ "Best Global Universities for Geosciences". U.S. News and World Report. 
  30. ^ a b "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2014". Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University. 
  31. ^ "ARWU 2014 Top 500 Universities in Australia". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 
  32. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities in Australia/New Zealand". U.S. News and World Report. 
  33. ^ a b "Curtin University Rankings". About Curtin University. Curtin University. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  34. ^ Curtin University (13 September 2010). "Our study areas". Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  35. ^ "Guild Election Results Announced". Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  36. ^ "Perth: Australian Resources Research Centre (WA) - Participating Institutions". 18 December 2009. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  37. ^ "CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering". Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  38. ^ "Home - National Measurement Institute". 1 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  39. ^ "Oral Health Centre of Western Australia (OHCWA)". 18 September 2007. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Curtin Uni to ban smoking on campus". Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  42. ^ "Curtin Sarawak Malaysia". Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  43. ^ Academy Connection - search for either Miri or Brunei
  44. ^ Nicol, Julia (26 March 2008). "Curtin announces new Singapore Campus". Curtin News. Curtin University of Technology. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  45. ^ Yeen Nie, Hoe (27 March 2008). "Australia's Curtin University of Technology to open Singapore campus". Singapore News. Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  46. ^ The Charles Telfair Institute
  47. ^ "Celebrity Speakers Biography: Natalie Barr". Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  48. ^ "Curtin Faculty of Humanities: Alumni". Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  49. ^ "Curtin Alumni: Priya Cooper". Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  50. ^ "WA's catwalk star Gemma shines in her feature film debut". The West Australian. 15 January 2008. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  51. ^ "Curtin Alumni: Amanda Higgs". Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  52. ^ "Funny girl". Sydney Morning Herald. 12 July 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  53. ^ a b "Communication & Cultural Studies - Graduate Achievements". Archived from the original on 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  54. ^ "Curtin Alumni: Sheila McHale". Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  55. ^ "Ljiljanna Ravlich MLC Biography". Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  56. ^ "Curtin Alumni: John Worsfold". Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°00′17″S 115°53′39″E / 32.00469°S 115.89405°E / -32.00469; 115.89405