University of New England (Australia)

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University of New England
Univ of New England Australia arms.png
Latin: Universitas Nova Anglia
Former names
New England University College of the University of Sydney
Motto Ex sapientia modus
Motto in English
Out Of Wisdom Comes Moderation
Type Public
Established 1938
Chancellor James Harris
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Annabelle Duncan, PSM
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 14,856
Postgraduates 6,218
Location Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
30°29′12″S 151°38′35″E / 30.4867°S 151.6430°E / -30.4867; 151.6430Coordinates: 30°29′12″S 151°38′35″E / 30.4867°S 151.6430°E / -30.4867; 151.6430
Campus Rural
Affiliations RUN
University of New England (Australia) logo.png

The University of New England (UNE) is a public university in Australia with approximately 22,500 higher education students. Its original and main campus is located in the city of Armidale in northern central New South Wales. UNE was the first Australian university established outside a state capital city.[2]

Each year, the University offers students more than $5 million in scholarships, prizes, and bursaries and more than $18 million for staff and students involved in research.[3][4]


The University of New England was originally established in 1938 as the New England University College, a College of the University of Sydney. It became fully independent in 1954.[2]

The University of New England has undergone two major changes since 1989. The University of New England Act, 1989, created a network University consisting of: (i) a campus at Armidale, incorporating the former University of New England and the former Armidale College of Advanced Education; and (ii) a campus at Lismore, incorporating the former Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education. The following year the Orange Agricultural College joined the network University. The network also included the UNE-Coffs Harbour Centre, which provided courses from within academic departments of the Armidale and Lismore campuses.[5]

The University of New England was re-formed once again, with legislation (The University of New England Act, 1993 and the Southern Cross University Act, 1993) passed by both Houses of the New South Wales Parliament in November 1993. This legislation had the effect of dismantling the network University. The University of New England from 1994 has only one campus, at Armidale. A new University (Southern Cross University) was created with campuses in Lismore and Coffs Harbour; the Orange campus was amalgamated with the University of Sydney.

The University of New England has, since 1989, included the former Armidale College of Advanced Education, which was amalgamated with the Armidale campus at the time of the creation of the network University. This process of amalgamation was complete by the time of the new legislation in 1993.


The University of New England is on several sites in Armidale. The northern campus is five kilometres to the northwest of the city centre, in a rural and bushland setting. Part of this campus includes the original property presented by T R Forster to the University of Sydney for the establishment of a University College. This property comprised the old homestead, 'Booloominbah', with several other buildings and 74 hectares of land. Since the original gift, other generous benefactors have presented properties to the university, whose Armidale site now comprises some 260 hectares.[6]

Boolominbah Homestead at night

Booloominbah and the Vice-Chancellor's residence Trevenna were designed by architect John Horbury Hunt.

The Newling campus of the university includes the Newling Centre, home to the New England Conservatorium of Music, and other buildings associated with the former Armidale College of Advanced Education.

The university possesses rural properties close to the campus, providing facilities for teaching and research. In addition, there are the 'Tullimba' rural research property at Kingstown and the Douglas McMaster Rural Research Station at Warialda.[6]

The University of New England has one of the most extensive residential college systems in Australia. Around half of UNE’s on campus students live in one of the colleges.[7]

Distance and online education[edit]

Since 1955 teaching off-campus students by distance education has been an important part of the University's activities. UNE is now Australia's longest continuous provider of distance education and with more than 15,000 external students, is one of Australia's major providers of awards to off-campus students.

Because UNE has a long history of teaching in this mode, its distance education programs provide extensive support systems to overcome those challenges faced by distance students and students studying online. Each subject (unit) requires approximately 15 hours of study per week, with the usual load for distance students being two units per semester. Over 600 subjects offered by UNE are available by distance education and are predominantly online. The University has students all over the world studying by this mode.


University rankings
Australian rankings
ERA National[9] 20[8]

UNE undertakes fundamental and applied research in many disciplines. Its scholars and scientists have established international reputations through their contributions in areas such as rural science, agricultural economics, educational administration, linguistics and archaeology. Collaborative research with other institutions includes projects with the CSIRO and the high profile Cooperative Research Centres. Through its research UNE seeks to assist in the economic, social and cultural advancement of Australia and in the advanced training of undergraduate and postgraduate students.[10]

UNE's principal research flagship is Animal Genetics and Livestock Breeding which is serviced by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)[11] and delivered commercially by the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI).

Other research flagships include: Rural Education which is undertaken by the National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR)[12] Rural Communities, Landscapes and Practices which is led by the Institute for Rural Futures (IRF).[13]

Other targeted areas of research include:[10]

  • Environmental and Agricultural Change: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation; Marine and Freshwater Biodiversity; Terrestrial Biodiversity; Natural Resource Management; Rural Futures; Australian Fauna; Vegetation Research; Sustainable Agriculture; Agricultural Genetics; Animal Research
  • Rural Health: Rural Medicine; Health Services Management; Bioactive Materials; Health Psychology; Gender, Health and Sexuality
  • Rural and Regional Education: School Science and Mathematics Education; School English and Literacy Education; Special Education and Diversity in Schools
  • Economics and Public Policy: Agricultural Economics; Applied Economics and Policy; Local Government; Business and Management; Higher Education Management and Policy
  • Asia Pacific Region : Failing States – Rising States; Empowering People, Developing Infrastructure; Conflict and Governance; Peace Studies; Migration
  • Frontiers and Boundaries: Australia's Regional Frontiers; The Arts, Media, Culture and Society; Ancient Societies; Language and Cognition; Believing and Thinking; Mathematics, Nonlinear and Complex Analysis
  • Law: Natural Resources Law and Policy; Law and Institutional Arrangements for Rural Communities
  • Security: Crime, Criminology and Justice; Biosecurity; IT Security
  • Water Perspectives: Water through History - Water Stories; Water Policy; Water Resources

Academic schools[edit]

The research and teaching staff of the University of New England, Australia, is divided into ten multi-disciplinary schools.

  • School of Arts
  • School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences
  • School of Humanities
  • School of Environmental and Rural Science
  • School of Science and Technology
  • School of Law
  • School of Education
  • School of Health
  • School of Rural Medicine
  • UNE Business School

The university offers over 200 programs[14] in 23 discipline areas.

Residential colleges[edit]

The University of New England has one of the most extensive residential college systems in Australia. Around half of UNE’s on campus students live in one of the colleges.[7]

  • Austin College
  • Drummond & Smith College (amalgamation from 1997) (1997–2015)
  • Duval College
  • Earle Page College
  • Mary White College
  • Robb College
  • St. Albert's College
  • Wright College (1958–1995)
  • Wright College (2014–Present)
  • Wright Village (formerly Claude Street Flats)
  • S H Smith House (1929–1997; originally part of Armidale Teacher's College), located off campus


The current Chancellor is James Harris, who succeeded John Watkins in 2014.[15]

The current Vice-Chancellor is Annabelle Duncan who succeeded James Barber in 2014.

Student representation[edit]

UNE's student body began in 1940, and is currently encapsulated by the University of New England Students' Association.


According to a 2017 Australian Human Rights Commission report based on optional surveys given to students, UNE had the highest reported rate of sexual assaults at universities in Australia, with 4% of respondents saying they had been sexually assaulted; the average rate across all universities was 1.6%.[16][17] Under a previous 2016 freedom of information request UNE had reported there were 22 officially reported cases of sexual assaults on campus over the previous five years, resulting in two expulsions, no suspensions and seven warnings.[18] In February 2017 vice-chancellor Annabelle Duncan said that past UNE policies dealing with sexual harassment did not allow management to handle some cases satisfactorily.[19]


As of 2011 more than 106,000 people hold qualifications from UNE, with many in senior positions in Australia and overseas.[20] There is an active Alumni network which contributes to the University, enabling the institution to continue expanding its work and offerings.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UNE Overview". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "About UNE". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Scholarships". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  4. ^ "HDR Scholarships". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "Amalgamation and its aftermath". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "History". University of New England. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "UNE Accommodation". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  8. ^ Hare, Julie; Ross, John (4 December 2015). "All unis winners in research audit". The Australian. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "Australian University Rankings". Australian Education Network. 
  10. ^ a b "Research". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  12. ^ "SiMERR Home". SiMERR National Research Centre. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  13. ^ "The Institute for Rural Futures". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  14. ^ "Browse Courses". University of New England. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  15. ^ "New England grazier James Harris named as UNE’s new Chancellor". University of New England. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "Search how every university in Australia ranks for sexual harassment and assault". The Age. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  17. ^ Bagshaw, Eryk (2 August 2017). "'We should all be shocked' leader of university with worst results comforts students". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Funnell, Nina (10 October 2016). "Full list of universities exposed by sexual assault investigation". News Limited. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 
  19. ^ Bagshaw, Eryk (27 February 2017). "'Devastating' report shows universities are 'failing' students". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "Alumni of Distinction and Award Winners". University of New England. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  21. ^ "Alumni and Giving". University of New England. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 

External links[edit]