University of Tasmania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
University of Tasmania
UTAS Coat of Arms
Motto Ingeniis Patuit Campus ("The Field is Open to Talent")
Established 1889
Type Public
Chancellor Michael Field AC
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen
Visitor The Governor of Tasmania ex officio
Academic staff 1,226 (2010) [1]
Undergraduates 21,243 (2010) [1]
Postgraduates 5,540 (2010) [1]
Location Hobart, Launceston and Burnie, Tasmania, Australia
Campus Urban
Affiliations ASAIHL, ACU, Sandstone Universities
University of Tasmania logo.jpg

The University of Tasmania (UTAS) is a public Australian university based in Tasmania, Australia. Officially founded on 1 January 1889,[2] it was the fourth university to be established in Australia. UTAS is a sandstone university and is a member of the international Association of Commonwealth Universities.[3]

UTAS offers various undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of disciplines. UTAS has links with 20 specialist research institutes, cooperative research centres and faculty based research centres; many of which are regarded as nationally and internationally competitive leaders.[4] UTAS has a student population of nearly 26,800, including over 6,000 international students (on and offshore) and 1000 PhD students.[4][needs update]



The university's first site in Queens Domain

The University of Tasmania [5] was established in 1889, after the abolition of overseas scholarships provided funds. The first campus location was the Queens Domain in Hobart. Richard Deodatus Poulett Harris, who had long advocated the establishment of the University, became its first warden of the senate. The first degrees to graduates admitted ad eundem gradum and diplomas were awarded in June 1890. Three lecturers began teaching a handful of students in 1893. Parliamentarians branding it an unnecessary luxury made the university's early existence precarious. The institution's encouragement of female students fuelled criticism. James Backhouse Walker, a local lawyer and briefly Vice-Chancellor, mounted a courageous defence. By the First World War there were over one hundred students and several Tasmanian graduates were influential in law and politics.

According to Chancellor Sir John Morris, from 1918 until 1939 the institution still 'limped along'. Distinguished staff had already appeared, such as historian William Jethro Brown, physicists and mathematicians Alexander McAulay and his son Alexander Leicester McAulay, classicist RL Dunbabin, and philosopher and polymath Edmund Morris Miller. Housed in the former Hobart High School, facilities were totally outgrown, but the state government was slow to fund a new campus on the old Sandy Bay rifle range.

World War II[edit]

During the Second World War, while the Optical Munitions Annexe assisted the war effort, local graduates, replacing soldier academics, taught a handful of students. New post-war staff, many with overseas experience, pressed for removal to adequate facilities at Sandy Bay. Chancellor Sir John Morris, also Chief Justice, though a dynamic reformer, antagonised academics by his authoritarianism. Vice-Chancellor Torliev Hytten, an eminent economist, saw contention peak while the move to Sandy Bay was delayed. In a passionate open letter to the premier, Philosophy Professor Sydney Orr goaded the government into establishing the 1955 Royal Commission into the University. The Commission report demanded extensive reform of both University and governing council. Staff were delighted, while lay administrators fumed.

First PhD[edit]

On 10 May 1949, the university awarded its first Doctorate of Philosophy to Miss Joan Munro Ford.[6]

The Orr Case[edit]

In early 1956 Orr was summarily dismissed, mainly for his alleged though denied seduction of a student. A ten-year battle involved academics in Australia and overseas. Orr lost an unfair dismissal action in the Tasmanian Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia. The Tasmanian chair of Philosophy was boycotted. In 1966 Orr received some financial compensation from the University, which also established a cast-iron tenure system. The latter disappeared with the federal reorganisation of higher education in the late 1980s.

The 1960s[edit]

In the early 1960s UTAS at last transferred to a bright new campus at Sandy Bay. It profited from increasing federal finance following the 1957 Murray Report. Medical and Agricultural Schools were established and the sciences obtained adequate laboratories. Physics achieved world recognition in radio astronomy, while other departments attracted good scholars and graduates were celebrated in many fields. Student facilities improved remarkably.

Merger and the 'new' University[edit]

Centenary Building, Sandy Bay campus

In 1981 UTAS incorporated the College of Advanced Education, recently established on nearby Mount Nelson, which raised numbers to 5000.

In the early 1990s, the 'Dawkins Revolution' and the unified national system ensured amalgamation with the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology at Launceston. The Tasmanian State Institute of Technology became the Newnham Campus of the university in 1994. A new centre at Burnie was opened in 1995, and later became known as the Cradle Coast Campus. Though the University of Tasmania has retained its old name, like other contemporary institutions a new era dominated by market forces rather than generous public funding controls its future.

The University of Tasmania and Tasmania Polytechnic and Skills Institute are the only remaining institutions of higher education in Tasmania. The Australian Maritime College (AMC) integrated with the university in 2008.


The Centre for the Arts in November 2010

UTAS has three main campuses. The southern campus encompasses a 100-hectare site in Sandy Bay, about 10 minutes' walk from the Hobart CBD. The Sandy Bay campus overlooks the estuary of the River Derwent and has the majestic Mount Wellington as its backdrop.

The northern campus is in the suburb of Newnham, looking down to the River Tamar, about 10 minutes from the centre of Tasmania’s second largest city, Launceston.The Australian Maritime College [7] is based on the Newnham campus.

Established in 1995, the Cradle Coast campus [8] in Burnie caters for academics and students in the State’s north-west. It underwent significant expansion in 2008. Also in Burnie is the University’s state-of the-art Rural Clinical School.[9]

There are a number of satellite campuses including the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music [10] and the Tasmanian School of Arts and the Centre for Legal Studies in the Centre for the Arts [11] in the heart of Hobart’s cultural precinct. Also in downtown Hobart is the Medical Sciences Precinct, part of a new education and research complex that encompasses the School of Medicine [12] and the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania.[13]

UTAS established a presence in Sydney in 2006 and is now delivering nursing and paramedic courses from the Darlinghurst and Rozelle campuses.[14]

The Academy of the Arts [15] and the School of Architecture & Design [16] are housed in the Inveresk Arts Precinct, an award-winning, 17-hectare inner city site comprising arts studios, galleries, performance spaces, a museum and specialist workshops.

  • Sandy Bay[17] - the Sandy Bay campus is set on 100 hectares of land in the suburb of Sandy Bay – a short distance from the centre of Hobart. Much of the upper campus is in natural bushland. Closer to the city centre are the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, the Clinical School (and more recently the medical sciences building) and the Tasmanian School of Art. About 10,000 students are enrolled at the Sandy Bay campus. N.B. The Conservatorium of Music campus is no longer a public building. Access to the premises by the public will not be easily accessible, nor will it be by students or staff.
  • Newnham - the Newnham campus is set on 50 hectares at Newnham overlooking the Tamar River, ten minutes from the centre of Launceston. Students studying Visual and Performing Arts and Architecture are located at the Inveresk campus. Over 5000 students are enrolled at both campuses.
  • Cradle Coast - the Cradle Coast campus is located in the city of Burnie. This campus was established in 1995 as the North-West Study Centre.

The university also has a 334 hectare property located 20 km from the Sandy Bay campus. The University Farm is set in the cropping and grape growing area of Cambridge located in the Coal River valley, serving the teaching and research needs of the School of Agricultural Science.[18]


The University of Tasmania library system comprises eight libraries:[19]

  1. Morris Miller (Sandy Bay)
  2. Law (Sandy Bay)
  3. Science (Sandy Bay)
  4. Art (Central Hobart)
  5. Music (Central Hobart)
  6. Clinical (Central Hobart)
  7. Launceston Campus (Launceston)
  8. Cradle Coast Campus (Burnie)



The University of Tasmania is divided into six faculties and three institutes:

In addition to these faculties, UTAS has six theme areas through which multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations in research and research training, learning and teaching, and community engagement are fostered. The theme areas are: Antarctic and Marine Science; Community, Place and Change; Environment; Frontier Technologies; Population and Health; and Sustainable Primary Production.

UTAS currently holds the secretariat role of the International Antarctic Institute established in 2006 in partnership with 19 institutions in 12 countries.[20]

A partnership between UTAS and the Cradle Coast Authority established the Institute for Regional Development at the Cradle Coast campus in 2005.


The University is a university offering both research and teaching. Domestically, ranked within the 14-17th bracket in Australia.[21] based on the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), issued by Jiao Tong University. Also, in the newly published Excellence in Research for Australia, the University was ranked 14 in Australia for its research quality.[22]

Publications 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Research Block Funding[23] 11 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 11
Academic Ranking of World Universities[24] - - - 11-14 12-16 12-17 10-14 10-13 14-17 10-13
Melbourne Institute - - 11 11 11 14 - - -
Excellence in Research for Australia - - - - - - - - - 14

Internationally, the University is ranked 357 based on the QS World University Rankings 2012.

Publications 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
THE-QS World University Rankings(2004–2009)

QS World University Ranking (2010-onwards)

161 166 232 264 291 326 320 357
Academic Ranking of World Universities[24] 302-403 401-500 401-500 403-510 303-401 303-401 401-500 301-400

Research produced by the Melbourne Institute in 2006, ranked Australian universities across seven main discipline areas: Arts & Humanities, Business & Economics, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Science. Based on data collected, the university ranked amongst the best in several of its discipline including Arts & Humanities, Law, Medicine, and Science but fared poorly in Business & Economics, Education and Engineering.

Discipline National Academic Ranking.[25] National Survey Ranking.[25]
Arts & Humanities 12 12
Business & Economics 27 20
Education 24 17
Engineering 21 15
Law 12 12
Medicine 12 11
Science 9 11
  • National Academic Ranking is based on the research output and teaching quality of institution.
  • National Survey Ranking is based on Australian and overseas academics, scholars & professionals perception of institution.


The university's priority research themes include[26]

  • Antarctic and Marine
  • Community, Place and Change
  • Sustainable Primary Production
  • Population and Health
  • Environment
  • Frontier Technologies

Research Institutions[edit]

  • Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
  • Menzies Research Institute Tasmania
  • Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies
  • Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath
  • Centre for Law and Genetics
  • Tasmania Law Reform Institute
  • Centre for Aboriginal Education
  • Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies
  • Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute
  • Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies
  • Centre for Marine Science
  • Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC
  • Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science
  • Australian Innovation Research Centre
  • Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits -
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research
  • Australian Food Safety Centre of Excellence

Student life[edit]

Student unionism[edit]

Until 2008, there were two separate student unions the Tasmania University Union (TUU) in Hobart and the Student Association (SA) in Launceston. Due to the abolition of compulsory student unionism in 2007, the SA and the TUU amalgamated into one statewide organisation representing all UTAS students.[27]

The TUU is responsible for the overseeing of all the university’s many sports clubs and societies. Some of these include faculty-based societies, such as the law students, medical students and engineering students societies; societies related to various interests, such as PLoT (Produces Lots of Theatre), The Anime Society; and various sporting clubs, including white water rafting, soccer, hockey, touch football,[28] Australian Rules football, and rugby union.

Postgraduate students are represented by the TUU through the Tasmania University Union Postgraduate Council. The TUU Postgraduate Council was previously organised as the Tasmania University Postgraduate Association (TUPA). TUPA was established in 1982 to represent postgraduate research students on campus independently of the TUU.

Residential Colleges and Student Accommodation[edit]

The university maintains a strong residential college system, as well as providing more independent apartment-style living. A key aspect of campus life, the residential colleges are equipped with modern facilities and host several events during the semesters. The colleges also maintain their respective student clubs, key in the passing of traditions from one cohort to the next. The southern colleges annually compete in a series of sporting events including Rugby, Australian Football, Cricket, Softball, Basketball, Table Tennis, Tennis and Soccer.

The college system comprises Christ College, Jane Franklin Hall and St. John Fisher College in Hobart, and Kerslake Hall, Leprena and Investigator Hall in Launceston. The university accommodation system also includes the University Apartments in Sandy Bay, Endeavour Hall in Beauty Point for students of the Australian Maritime College, and the newly opened Newnham Apartments in Launceston.

Residence Est. Location Students Mascot Colours
Christ College 1846 Sandy Bay 200 Black Pigs black gold blue               
Jane Franklin Hall 1950 South Hobart 190 Raiders red white black               
St. John Fisher College 1963 Sandy Bay 111 Hellfish blue white          
University Apartments 2004 Sandy Bay 173 Possum blue green grey yellow
Hytten Hall (closed in 1980) 1959 Sandy Bay
Leprena Student Residences 1985 Newnham 155
Kerslake Hall 1970 Newnham 107
Investigator Hall 1980 Newnham
Endeavour Hall 1979 Beauty Point 112
Newnham Apartments 2014 Newnham 180

Tasmania Scholarships[edit]

The Tasmania Scholarships program supports the University’s commitment to offer students equal learning opportunity. It assists talented students, both locally, nationally and internationally. Industry contributions now make up the backbone of the Tasmania Scholarships program. The development and growth of this initiative into one of the most successful sponsored programs in the country is exceptional by any standard. Around 10 per cent of all domestic students at UTAS receive some sort of scholarship or financial assistance.

Notable Alumni[edit]

There are around 50,000 graduates. University of Tasmania alumni include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "University of Tasmania Statistics". University of Tasmania. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ University of Tasmania at ACU
  4. ^ a b "UTAS Study Abroad Brochure 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  5. ^ University of Tasmania
  6. ^ "DEGREES.". Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954) (Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 12 May 1949. p. 4. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Australian Maritime College
  8. ^ Cradle Coast campus
  9. ^ Rural Clinical School
  10. ^ Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music
  11. ^ Centre for the Arts
  12. ^ School of Medicine
  13. ^ Menzies Research Institute Tasmania
  14. ^ "Campus Information". University of Tasmania. 
  15. ^ Academy of the Arts
  16. ^ School of Architecture & Design
  17. ^ "Campus maps - Campuses - University of Tasmania, Australia". 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  18. ^ "Facilities - School of Agricultural Science - University of Tasmania". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  19. ^ "University Library website, Our Libraries". Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  20. ^ IAI information: Background, staff, partners[dead link]
  21. ^ "Australia Universities in Top 500 - 2010". Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  22. ^ "RESEARCH EXCELLENCE | Research Excellence". The Australian. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b "Academic Ranking of World Universities". ARWU. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^ "Research - International Students". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  29. ^ "HRH the Crown Princess[dead link]." Government of Denmark. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  30. ^ "Aussies Crawshay and Brennan win double sculls gold - 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  31. ^ "Lieutenant Governor named - Tasmanian Government Media Releases". Retrieved 2010-05-16. [dead link]
  32. ^ "NOTES FOR READING GROUPS - Richard Flanagan". Picador Australia. 2004-11-03. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  33. ^ "Griffiths, Philip Lewis (1881 - 1945) Biographical Entry - Australian Dictionary of Biography Online". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  34. ^ Australian Government, Department of Defence. "Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation - Department of Defence". Retrieved 2010-05-16. [dead link]
  35. ^ "An examination of shifting costs and their effects on Tasmanian exporting industries / by C.P. Haddo... | National Library of Australia". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  36. ^ "LawAlumni News". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  37. ^ "McCracken, Kenneth Gordon". CSIRO. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  38. ^ "Permaculture - A Quiet Revolution :: An Interview with Bill Mollison". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  39. ^ "bhutantimes - SAARC’s council of ministers summit kicks off". 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  40. ^ Shanker R., Hari (2009-10-15). "Metro Plus Thiruvananthapuram: On a roll". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 
  41. ^ Curriculum Vitae of The Governor
  42. ^ "Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan". Retrieved 2012-09-27. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°54′17″S 147°19′22″E / 42.90472°S 147.32278°E / -42.90472; 147.32278