University of Canberra

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University of Canberra
Logo: University of Canberra
Type Public
Established 1967 (CAE)
1990 (University Status)
Chancellor Tom Calma, AO[1]
Vice-Chancellor Deep Saini[2]
Administrative staff
Students 13,000
Location Bruce, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Campus Urban 296 acres (1.2 km2) (Bruce campus)
Nickname UC
Affiliations ASAIHL, New Generation Universities

The University of Canberra (UC) is a public university that is located in Bruce, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

UC offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering six main learning areas: Applied Science; Health; Art and Design; Business, Government and law; Education and Information Sciences and Engineering. As of 2014, the university also offers its degrees at the Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE and South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE.

UC partners with two local ACT schools UC Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra and University of Canberra High School. The University of Canberra College also provides pathways into university for domestic and international students.

The campus is within walking distance of Westfield Belconnen, and 12 minutes by regular bus service or car from Canberra’s Civic Centre.


The University of Canberra was first established in 1967 as the Canberra College of Advanced Education. The Canberra CAE became the University of Canberra under sponsorship of Monash University in 1990.

Along the UC concourse, towards the Library.

Over 70,000 students have graduated from the university since 1970.[3]

The University of Canberra has grown by seventy-eight percent since 2007, going from 7,300 students to over 13,000 in 2014.[4][5] The median Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of UC students is approximately 71.[6]

Foundation stone and Stone Day[edit]

Building 11, Walkway connecting the refectory with the gym.
Main article: Stonefest

At the end of the year, after classes finish but before exams, Stone Day is usually held, a music festival with local bands, which lasts several days. The day before it is known as Stone Eve. It started as a celebration held annually to mark the placing of the foundation stone by Prime Minister John Gorton on 28 October 1968. This founded the Canberra College of Advanced Education, which became the University of Canberra in 1990.

The stone is under glass, outside, near Building 1 at the University, and an inscription on it reads:

This Stone was unveiled by the right honourable J.G. Gorton, M.P., Prime Minister of Australia, on 28 October 1968, to mark the establishment of the Canberra College of Advanced Education.

Over the years the Stone Day program has gradually become larger and larger, taking up a whole week and now Stonefest is one of Australia's most popular music festivals.[citation needed] The first foundation celebrations were held in 1971. In 1973 Stone Day celebrations were held over two days, which was expanded to take up a whole week in 1976. In the 1980s and 1990s Stoneweek became a popular Canberra entertainment event, which in 2000 became Stonefest.


Futuro House at University of Canberra, Australia


The University has one campus, located in the suburb of Bruce, which covers 290 acres of buildings, roads and access routes. Being a small University with a small campus, there are just over 28 buildings, each dedicated to a particular purpose. Most of these buildings are arranged around the main concourse. New students are always advised during orientation week that the buildings are not numbered in order.

Partnership with TAFE Campuses[edit]

An announcement was made on September 17, 2012, that The University of Canberra will establish a branch campus in Melbourne from 2013, by partnering with Holmesglen Institute of TAFE.[7] The branch campus, to be situated at Holmesglen’s Chadstone location, will be called University of Canberra Melbourne (UCM). Currently, the courses are offered in the areas of business and design.

On October 17, 2012, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, The University of Canberra have cut a deal by partnering with Holmesglen Institute of TAFE in Victoria, to establish this branch campus in Chadstone, Melbourne.[8] The article also state plans by taking the UC Brand in Queensland through an agreement with Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE in Brisbane.[8] The intention was to create a new higher education model known as a "Polytechnic University". This model was adopted by the UK Government until 1992.[9] This Model was to combine both worlds of TAFE's strong connections to industry, and universities' strong connection to scholarly work and research.[10]

However, on January 24, 2013, UC expansion plans in Melbourne were blocked by the former Education Minister, Chris Evans.[11] The article states that the University had not been granted approval by the federal government for expansion beyond its original campus. This event has already been experienced by UC, as the federal Government rejected another deal from UC to merge with the local Canberra TAFE, the Canberra Institute of Technology.[12]

Despite this setback, it eventually came to a halt on June 3, 2013. Chris Evans successor, Newly appointed education minister, Craig Emerson, has overturned the decision by allowing UC degrees to be taught at four different TAFEs from 2014, therefore reversing an earlier decision to block such arrangements.[13] From 2014, UC degrees will taught at these TAFE Campuses:[10]

The goal is to expand the UC brand outside the Canberra Region due to Canberra’s small and ageing population resulting in fewer school-leavers in the Canberra Region. “(The university) needs to expand and diversify in order to get scale and sustainability" according to UC vice-chancellor, Stephen Parker.[13] The arrangement allows for some 6500 UC students across the four TAFEs by 2018. Parker said he expected just one or two degrees to be offered initially but it was too early to say what they would be. The degrees would be jointly developed by UC and the TAFEs but the students would enrol as UC students receiving UC qualifications.

This deal also formed a new group called the Australian Polytechnic Network between UC and the four TAFEs.[13]


There is only one Library on campus. Students also have access to a large online database free of charge. Students and the general public may also use the National Library of Australia, which is located a short bus trip or drive from the University. This Refectory is the main area in which students hang out during their day at university. It provides a laid-back area to study or socialise, with cafes, televisions, pool tables and lounges. There are also study rooms that are available for hire by students and staff.

The Hub is located under the main concourse, providing food, a post office, a pub and a Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

87.8 UCFM is the University of Canberra’s own student radio station broadcasting to Canberra from studios located on the lower level of “The Hub”.

Inside the gym, there are two full size basketball courts and a fully equipped gym. As well around campus are five ovals, tennis courts and an outdoor basketball court.

Student accommodation[edit]

There are four accommodation options for students - University Gardens (located in neighbor suburb of Belconnen, run by UniGardens Pty[14]), Arscott House (run by the University Students Association), Weeden Lodge (run by the company Unilodge) and University of Canberra Village (run by Campus Living Villages). All options are provided to all students, including international students.


Deep Saini is the Vice Chancellor of the university.[15][better source needed]

Like most Australian universities, University of Canberra derives the majority of its revenue from Australian Government funding and student fees. The ACT Government provides around one percent of the university's operating budget.[16]


The four faculties are:

ESTeM (Education,Science,Technology and Maths)[edit]

The ESTeM faculty focuses on area of study that contributes to producing a student with a range of knowledge in similar areas of study. Courses such as Biomedical, Forensic and Environmental Sciences, teaching in early childhood, primary or secondary, Information and Technology.

Arts and Design[edit]

Arts and design primarily provides students with the skills to be successful in a wide range of careers in the new arts. Arts and design specialise in, Graphic Design, Advertising, Journalism and Media Arts.

Business, Government and Law[edit]

The Business Government and Law Faculty provides students with a choice and flexibility together with real world experience. Students have the option to major in over 70 areas from across the University. Students can venture into Accounting, Applied Economics, Business Administration, Business Informatics, Construction, Finance, Law, Management, Marketing, Politics, Public Policy, Tourism, and Urban and Regional Planning.


The Faculty of Health prepares nurses, midwives, psychologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dietitians, nutritionists, exercise scientists and sports management professionals.

UC also offer a range of double degrees that combine two degrees from different faculties.

Academic profile[edit]


University rankings
University of Canberra
THE-WUR World[17] 401-500
Australian rankings
THE-WUR National [18] 24
ERA National[20] 33[19]

Research centres[edit]

The university has a number of research centres relating to its areas of research strength. These are:

  • Institute for Applied Ecology[21]
  • Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis
  • ANZSOG Institute for Governance
  • National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM)[21]
  • eWater Cooperative Research Centre[21]
  • Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism[21]
  • Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre[21]
  • Centre for Labour Market Research[21]
  • Australian Institute for Sustainable Communities[21]
  • Centre for Customs & Excise Studies[21]
  • Centre for Research and Action in Public Health[21]
  • Centre for Research in Public Sector Management[21]
  • Centre for Tourism Research[21]
  • Communication & Media Policy Institute[21]
  • Corrosion & Spectrochemistry Laboratory[21]
  • Human Computer Communication Laboratory[21]
  • Learning Communities Research Area[21]
  • Lifelong Learning Network[21]
  • National Centre for Corporate Law & Policy Research[21]
  • National Institute of Governance[21]
  • National Institute of Sports Studies[21]
  • Ngunnawal Centre[21]
  • Professional Management Programs[21]
  • Schools & Community Centre[21]
  • Teaching and Learning Centre[21]

Notable people[edit]

The current Chancellor of the University since 1 January 2014 is Tom Calma, AO, an Australian Aboriginal elder of the Kungarakan people, and a human rights and social justice campaigner.[1] The current Vice-Chancellor of the University since 1 March 2007 is Stephen Parker, AO, a legal academic.[22]


Notable staff members have included:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Doman, Claudia (20 February 2014). "New UC Chancellor calls for a fairer Australia" (streaming video) (Press release). University of Canberra. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ University of Canberra 2014
  4. ^ UC intake hits record high, The Canberra Times, 15 Mar 2011
  5. ^ Towell 2011
  6. ^ Item 4.2, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, March 2012
  7. ^ "University of Canberra Melbourne Announcement Sep 2012". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ "Canberra Uni national expansion plan blocked by minister". Canberra Times. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Not the beginning of a beautiful friendship – University of Canberra/Holmesglen TAFE deal off". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c
  14. ^ UniGardens Canberra University student accommodation, official website
  15. ^ Deep Saini
  16. ^ MacDonald 2011
  17. ^ "World University Rankings 2016-2017". TSL Education Limited. 
  18. ^ "THE 2016-2017 - Australia". Times Higher Education. 
  19. ^ "All unis winners in research audit". The Australian. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "Australian University Rankings". Australian Education Network. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w University of Canberra 2011a
  22. ^ "Professor Stephen Parker AO". Advisory Board. Institute of Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra. 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°14′20″S 149°05′15″E / 35.23889°S 149.08750°E / -35.23889; 149.08750