University of Wollongong

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University of Wollongong
University of Wollongong Logo.png
Motto Stands For Purpose
Type Public research university
Established Founded in 1951 as a Division of the New South Wales University of Technology (established in 1975 as an independent institution)
Endowment A$543 million (2011)[1]
Chancellor Jillian Broadbent AO
Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings CBE[2]
Undergraduates 21,804 (2014)[3]
Postgraduates 9,364 (2014)[3]
Location Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
34°24′24″S 150°52′46″E / 34.40667°S 150.87944°E / -34.40667; 150.87944
Campus Urban, Parks 82.4 ha
Combined Staff 2,720 (Total FTE, 2014)[4]
Blue, Gold, Red
Mascot Baxter The Duck[5]
Affiliations AACSB, ACU, AEN, ASAIHL, AUC, IAU, Universities Australia, Group of Eight (engineering associate),[6] UGPN

The University of Wollongong (UOW), informally known as Wollongong University, is an Australian public research university located in the coastal city of Wollongong, New South Wales, approximately 80 kilometres south of Sydney. As of 2014 the university has an enrolment of over 30,000 students (including over 12,800 international students from 134 countries), an alumni base of over 112,000 and over 2,000 academic related staff.[7] As of 2015, Wollongong consistently ranks among the top 2% of universities in the world.[8]

In 1951 a division of the New South Wales University of Technology (known as the University of New South Wales from 1958) was established at Wollongong for the conduct of diploma courses.[9] In 1961 the Wollongong University College of the University of New South Wales was constituted and the college was officially opened in 1962.[10] In 1975 the University of Wollongong was established as an independent institution. Since its establishment, the university has conferred more than 100,000 degrees, diplomas and certificates. Its students, originally predominantly from the local Illawarra region, are now from over 140 countries, with international students accounting for more than 30 percent of total.[7]

The University of Wollongong has fundamentally developed into a multi-campus institution, three of which are in the Illawarra (Wollongong, Shoalhaven and Innovation Campus in North Wollongong), one in Sydney and one overseas in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Wollongong campus, the university's main campus, is on the original site five kilometres north-west of the city centre, and covers an area of 82.4 hectares with 94 permanent buildings including six student residences. In addition, there are university education centres in Bega, Batemans Bay, Moss Vale and Loftus as well as the Sydney Business School in the City of Sydney. The university also offers courses equally based on the Wollongong campus in collaboration with partner institutions in a number of offshore locations including in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.[11][12]


The graduation ceremony (held in 1966) was held out of doors, a feature of the open-air ceremony of the 1960s.


The University of Wollongong traces its origins to 1951.[13] The foundation of the university was in 1951 when a division of The New South Wales University of Technology (currently known as the University of New South Wales, UNSW) was established in Wollongong. In 1962, the division became the Wollongong College of the University of New South Wales.[14]

On 1 January 1975, the New South Wales Parliament incorporated the University of Wollongong as an independent institution of higher learning consisting of five faculties (including engineering, humanities, mathematics, sciences and social sciences) with Michael Birt as its inaugural vice chancellor. In 1976, Justice Robert Marsden Hope was installed as chancellor of the university. As of 1982, the university amalgamated the Wollongong Institute of Higher Education which had begun life in 1962 as the Wollongong Teachers' College; thus the merger formed the basis for a period of rapid growth in the 1980s.[15]

Years in history[edit]

In 1951, a foundation of the University of Wollongong was founded as a division of the New South Wales University of Technology in Wollongong, New South Wales. A decade later, the division became the Wollongong College of the University of New South Wales.[14]

In 1975, the University of Wollongong gained its autonomy as an independent institution of higher learning by the New South Wales Parliament.

In 1977, the Faculty of Computer Science (currently known as the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences) developed a version of Unix for the Interdata 7/32 called UNSW 01, this was the first non-PDP Unix.[16] In the late 70s, Tim Berners-Lee sourced TCP/IP software, an integral element of the World Wide Web, from the University of Wollongong.[17]

In 1981, Ken McKinnon was appointed vice chancellor, overseeing the amalgamation of the university with the Wollongong Institute of Education (also known as WIE) in 1982. The Wollongong Institute of Education had originated in 1971 as the Teachers College (renamed the Wollongong Institute of Education in 1973)[13] This merger formed the basis of the contemporary university.

In 1983, the Faculty of Commerce was established along with the School of Creative Arts, followed by the creation of the Faculty of Education in 1984. Also in 1984 the commencement of the new Wollongong University building program began, which led to the construction and opening of the Illawarra Technology Centre (1985), Kooloobong (1985, 1986, 1990), Weerona College (1986), Administration, Union Mall (now known as UniCentre), URAC (1987), multi-storey carpark (1990) and heated swimming pool (1990).[15]

In 1993, the University of Wollongong Dubai Campus in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates was established.

In 2000, the Shoalhaven Campus was opened at Nowra on the New South Wales south coast.

In 2008, the university opened the first building at Wollongong Innovation Campus (abbreviated as iC) on a 20-hectare site at Brandon Park in Wollongong.[18] In August, the Faculty of Science dean, Rob Whelan, took up a new role as president of the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

In 2009, the chancellor, Mike Codd AC, announced his retirement after three four-year terms.[19] His replacement, effective on 1 October, was Jillian Broadbent AO. Ms Jillian Broadbent, who has a banking background, is on the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia; and has been a director of Qantas Airways Limited, Special Broadcasting Service and Australian Securities Exchange. She became the third Chancellor after Justice Robert Hope and Mr Michael Codd.

In 2010, the New South Wales Health Minister, Carmel Tebbutt, opened the $30 million Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute in July. In August, a $20 million building housing the Sydney Business School and the UOW/TAFE Digital Media Centre opened at the Innovation Campus. The centre was named the Mike Codd Building in honour of a former chancellor, Michael Codd AC.

Overseas expansion[edit]

In 1993 the University of Wollongong in Australia opened what was to become the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) in the United Arab Emirates. Initially called the Institute of Australian Studies (IAS), this centre made UOW the first foreign university to open a campus in the UAE, and the first Australian tertiary institution represented in the Arabian Gulf, as well as one of the earliest tertiary institutions founded in the UAE.[20] IAS initially offered English language programs, before becoming a "feeder college" by 1995, where students completed part of a degree in business or IT in Dubai before coming to Australia to complete their studies.[21] In 1999, it was the first foreign-owned institution in the world to be issued a licence from the federal government of the United Arab Emirates,[22] and was formally opened as University of Wollongong, Dubai Campus in October 2000. It was officially incorporated as University of Wollongong in Dubai in 2004 and at present it has approximately 3500 students from almost a hundred countries.[23][24]

After the years[edit]

In over 60 years the university has grown from a provincial feeder college with 300 students to an international university with over 30,000 students spread across three campuses and five access centres. Originally established as a provider of technical education for engineers and metallurgists required for the region's steel industry, and the university now offers a wide range of courses across five super faculties including the Faculty of Business, the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, the Faculty of Social Sciences and, lastly, the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. These faculties incorporate 40 teaching units with over 900 members of academic staff and over 1,900 staff overall.

Since the university's foundation it has conferred more than 100,000 degrees, diplomas and certificates. Its students, originally predominantly from the local Illawarra region, are now from over 140 countries, with international students accounting for more than 30 percent of the total.[7]


The University of Wollongong comprises several locations:[25]


The Wollongong campus as the university's main campus is located on the New South Wales coast, 3 km from the centre of Wollongong and 80 km from the south of Sydney and served by the North Wollongong railway station which opened in 1915.

The Wollongong campus offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The courses are offered across five faculties comprising the Faculty of Business, the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. All together, nearly 30,000 students attend classes along with around 2000 staff on the Wollongong campus. Apart from the extensive teaching and research buildings, the campus includes student residences, conference facilities, food halls, cafes, restaurant and bar, conferences facilities, indoor sports centres and gymnasium, Olympic-standard swimming pool and sports fields.


The Shoalhaven campus is located at West Nowra in the City of Shoalhaven, the university and the Illawarra Institute of TAFE have built a facility that provides teaching space for both institutions, a joint library, a canteen and student facilities. Students attending at the Shoalhaven campus have access to the full range of services offered by the University of Wollongong and learning is structured and supported by computers and information technology.

South Western Sydney (Liverpool Campus)[edit]

Satellite campuses[edit]

Innovation Campus[edit]

The Innovation Campus, abbreviated as iC, is located in Wollongong, New South Wales. The campus was established with seed funding from the New South Wales government and has received ongoing support from the federal and state governments as well as the Wollongong City Council and was established to drive partnerships and collaboration between the research and business communities by co-locating commercial and research organisation.[26]

The Innovation Campus is a centre of Australian innovation and research, as the centre to a number of the university's leading research institutes working to develop solutions to the scientific, engineering and social issues. The campus is also a centre for executive education, as the headquarters for the university's Graduate School of Business and the ANCORS law centre, an international research and training centre of maritime law.[26]

Sydney Business School[edit]

Further information: UOW Sydney Business School

The Sydney Business School, abbreviated as SBS, is mainly located in the Sydney CBD. The school operates from three locations: the Innovation Campus in Wollongong, the Southern Sydney Campus and the Gateway Building at 1 Macquarie Place in the heart of Sydney on Circular Quay. The school offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate, master and higher research degree programs; and also provides professionally focused executive education programs.

The Innovation Campus at night

Overseas campus[edit]


UOWD logo.png

The University of Wollongong in Dubai (commonly referred to as the University of Wollongong Dubai Campus), abbreviated as UOWD, was established by the University of Wollongong in Australia and is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The university is one of the United Arab Emirates' oldest universities. The campus has approximately 3500 students from almost a hundred countries.

Education centres[edit]


The science buildings at the Wollongong Campus
The McKinnon Building at the Wollongong Campus, named after former Vice-Chancellor Ken McKinnon
The SMART Infrastructure Facility at the Wollongong Campus
The Sydney Business School’s Circular Quay Campus

The University of Wollongong has five faculties.[28]

  • Faculty of Business
    • School of Accounting & Finance
    • School of Economics
    • School of Management & Marketing
    • Sydney Business School
  • Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences
    • School of Civil, Mining & Environmental Engineering
    • School of Engineering Physics
    • School of Mechanical, Materials & Mechatronic Engineering
    • School of Electrical, Computer & Telecommunications Engineering (SECTE)
    • School of Computer Science & Software Engineering (SCSSE)
    • School of Information Systems & Technology (SISAT)
    • School of Mathematics & Applied Statistics (SMAS)
    • SMART Infrastructure Facility
  • Faculty of Law, Humanities and The Arts
    • School of Law
    • School of Arts
    • School of Creative Arts
    • School of English Literatures & Philosophy
    • Language Centre
    • School of History & Politics
    • School of Social Sciences, Media & Communication
    • Indigenous Studies Unit
  • Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
    • Graduate School of Medicine
    • Illawarra Health & Medical Research Institute
    • School of Biology
    • School of Chemistry
    • School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
    • School of Health Sciences
    • School of Nursing, Midwifery & Indigenous Health
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
    • School of Education
    • School of Psychology

In addition to these areas of study, the University also provides access for students to differing levels of academic involvement and research through SMART (Simulation, Modelling, Analysis, Research, Teaching) Infrastructure Facility. Completed in February 2011, SMART is for applied infrastructure research and education. The SMART Infrastructure Facility has laboratories and research collaboration spaces. It has 30 laboratories concerned all aspects of infrastructure such as water, energy, transport and economic assessment. The different laboratories are connected by a simulation centre.[29]


Awards, rankings and recognition[edit]

University rankings
University of Wollongong
QS World[30] 218
QS GER World[31] 151-200
THE-WUR World[32] 251-300
ARWU World[33] 301-400
USNWR World[34] 313=
CWUR World[35] 455
CWTS Leiden World[36] 411
Australian rankings
QS National[30] 10
THE-WUR National [37] 11=
ARWU National[38] 15-21
USNWR National[39] 15=
CWUR National[40] 10
CWTS Leiden National[36] 13
ERA National[42] 9[41]

The University of Wollongong consistently ranks among the top 2% of universities in the world.[8][43][44] Besides, The Good Universities Guide, an annual assessment of Australian universities which is published by Hobsons (a subsidiary of Daily Mail and General Trust plc.), named UOW the Australian University of the Year in 1999–2000 (joint winner) for "Outstanding Research and Development Partnerships" and again in 2000–2001 (joint winner) for "Preparing Graduates for the E-World". Additionally the University has scored a five out of five star rating every year since 1999 on 'Getting a Job', 'Positive Graduate Outcomes'.[45][46]

  • Australian Government's Learning and Teaching Performance Fund 2008 – Top tier rankings in every discipline category[47]
  • Excellence in Research for Australia University Rankings 2012 – UOW is ranked at 9th in Australia.[48][49]
  • Australian Good Universities Guide 2013 – 1st in Australia for Educational Experience and Graduate Outcomes (Rated five stars in the five major subjects)[45]


Judith Wilyman PhD controversy[edit]

In January 2016 the university awarded a PhD for a thesis, which is alleged to advocate a vaccine conspiracy theory,[50][51][52] by vocal anti-vaccinationist[53] Judith Wilyman titled "A critical analysis of the Australian government’s rationale for its vaccination policy" in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts.[52] The university received criticism over this decision from a number of different quarters.[50][54] The university defended its decision to award the PhD citing the need to permit 'freedom of opinion', and noting that the thesis passed the university's assessment procedures.[55] In reaction to awarding the PhD to Judy Wilyman at least 65 UOW faculty members released a statement supporting vaccination and urging parents to get their children vaccinated,[56][57] which in turn was also supported by 11 medical research and clinical societies.[58] In 2016 the Australian Skeptics awarded the Social Sciences Department of the University, Judith Wilyman, and Brian Martin, the satirical Bent Spoon Award for "a PhD thesis riddled with errors, misstatements, poor and unsupported 'evidence' and conspiratorial thinking"[59][60]

International students and reports of discrimination[edit]

As reported in The Australian, a 2016 review commissioned by the university into postgraduate research programs found that "discrimination against international students" was one of a number of problems identified that were faced by postgraduate students. The review also found that "international students also have to do a lot more research themselves" when compared to domestic students and there was "feelings of discrimination felt by international students". The report found that the university's current framework, policies and procedures are comparable to those of other benchmarked Australian universities, but recommended a number of improvements. The university has committed to implementing all of the report's recommendations.[61]

Handling of reports of on-campus sexual assaults[edit]

The university has been criticised for their handling of reported sexual assaults.[62][63] One case highlighted the way in which the University claimed to "assist" a student after the student alleged sexual assault by another student. News Limited reported that the University did not take any disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator, instead advising the victim to change behaviour, with the victim adding: "Nothing happened to him. Instead I was told to make all the changes". For self-protection the victim independently succeeded in taking out an Apprehended Violence Order via the courts against the alleged. Karen Willis, the executive officer of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia, described the actions of the university as "disgraceful", as it placed the "onus and responsibility on the person who has experienced violence". The university responded that its instructions are "standard procedure", it "does not comment on specific allegations", and it is not able to investigate sexual assault claims, as those must be investigated by the NSW Police.[62] Another alleged victim considers their sexual assault and UoW's "response to be equally despicable."[64] Between 2011-2016, there were 40 officially reported cases of sexual abuse on campus, resulting in no expulsions, one suspension and three reprimands. Freedom of information investigations reported by News Limited suggest this may represent "just the tip of the iceberg ... due to under-reporting".[63]

Student life[edit]


The Wollongong Undergraduate Students' Association produces the magazine Tertangala, and many other services including representation, advocacy and student support. Postgraduate representation is provided by the Wollongong University Postgraduate Association, a member of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.

Wollongong UniCentre, an on-campus organisation and controlled entity of the university, provides the social and commercial infrastructure on the campus, administering the UniBar, student clubs and interest groups, food outlets, entertainment and activities, a books and news shop and other student services.

The geographical and social centre of the university is the Duck Pond Lawn, and its surrounding eateries and other facilities, including the UniBar. The UniBar serves alcoholic drinks and a small range of lunch foods. The UniBar building was opened by Colin Markham MP, Simon Zulian Student Rep, Nigel Pennington UniCentre GM and Gerard Sutton VC on 14 May 2001. The UniBar has since won numerous awards including the Major Award and the Public Building Award of the Architectural Design Awards held in Wollongong in 2003, the "ACUMA" award for Best New Campus Facility and the Master Builders Award for Excellence in Construction by Camarda and Cantril.[65]

In line with Commonwealth legislation introduced in October 2011, the University of Wollongong instated the Student Services and Amenities Fee. This fee was charged to student depending on their study load and location, and has been used to upgrade and subsidise existing facilities and install new facilities such as common barbecue areas.[66]


Campus News is the university's official quarterly publication.It was first published when the university was established as an institution in its own right – in 1975. It started life as a weekly magazine on 2 April 1975 but moved to less regular publication dates in 1976. The magazine features news and announcements about the university, stories about graduates, research news, opinion pieces and awards and achievements.

WUSA produces the campus magazine Tertangala. Tertangala has a 45-year history, making it older than the University of Wollongong itself. It began in 1962, when the university was an external campus of the University of New South Wales. The magazine features student investigative and feature articles, news, artwork, opinion, film and music reviews, as well as interviews and editorials. Submissions from staff and students (including student association representatives) makes up the bulk of the magazines content, however submissions from other members of the community are also accepted. Tertangala is produced eight times a year.

TIDE is an annual literary compilation edited and published by third-year creative writing students. It features prose, poetry and artworks from students and community members and was first published May 2004.

Paper, Rock is a magazine created by the School of Journalism and Creative Writing at UOW. It incorporates features, sections on arts and entertainment, stories about university life, fashion, food and wine. It was first published in August 2007.

Rhizome Magazine is the magazine for postgraduate and research students at UOW. It features submissions from current postgraduate students at UOW, in many cases on the topic of the students' own research. It is produced by the Wollongong University Postgraduate Association (WUPA).


University of Wollongong Titans
UOW Titans.png
Club information
Full name University of Wollongong Rugby League Football Club
Short name UOW Titans
Colours      Red
Current details
Competition Illawarra Rugby League

The University of Wollongong Titans (or UOW Titans) is an Australian rugby league football team based in Wollongong. The club are a part of Country Rugby League and competes in the Illawarra Rugby League premiership. The club plays out of University Oval, Wollongong. The Titans wear red, navy and white jerseys. An earlier team from the University of Wollongong were nicknamed the "Books".

Residential colleges[edit]

The university has a number of residential college and halls of residence:[67]

The International House is the oldest residential college of the University of Wollongong and is an affiliate of the 16 International Houses Worldwide. It provides accommodation to approximately 218 students who are attending the University of Wollongong. It is situated at the corner of Porter and Hindmarsh Avenue in North Wollongong, near the North Wollongong railway station.

Residents of the residential college are predominantly undergraduate students, with some postgraduate students also accommodated. International House provides catered, dormitory style accommodation. There are 218 beds, 14 shared rooms (28 beds) and 190 single rooms.

  • Kooloobong
  • Keiraview
  • Weerona College
  • The Manor
  • Marketview



The University of Wollongong has affiliated to a number of associations and organisations:

  • Jubilee Oval in Kogarah, New South Wales, is commercially known as "UOW Jubilee Oval".[74]


A key part of the university's strategic agenda is research. The university’s research program includes 19 research strengths, 9 externally funded centres, 3 strategic research priority areas, 3 research networks and 7 strategic research initiatives.[75]

A recent[when?] research initiative is the Global Challenges Research Program.[76] It brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines to work together on three of Australia’s biggest challenges: managing an ageing population, coping with industrial transformation and sustaining coastal environments.[77][78]

International research[edit]

The University of Wollongong has formed key alliances with a number of international corporations and organisations:[79]

  • Co-operation between the Geological Survey Organisation of Indonesia and the GeoQuEST Research Strength.
  • Members of the Institute for Social Transformation Research participating in numerous international networks dedicated to understanding the causes and implications of social change and cultural transformation. Current collaborative projects engage with research centres in Japan, Sweden, Malaysia, the UK and elsewhere.
  • Research partnerships between CAPSTRANS and a range of research groups in the Asia Pacific.
  • The Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) has developed global linkages with research institutions in the USA, Japan, South Korea, China, Ireland, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom working on multifunctional, stimuli-responsive materials for various applications.
  • The Smart Foods and Public Health Centre is collaborating with research groups in Finland, Sweden, the USA and Spain.

Illawarra Health & Medical Research Institute[edit]

Established in 2008, the Illawarra Health & Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) is a joint initiative of the University of Wollongong and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. It was initiated to improve the health and wellbeing of Illawarra residents by developing a regional centre of excellence in health and medical research. The building was dedicated to former Vice Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Gerard Sutton representing his significant contribution from 1995 to 2011 at the university.[80]

International exchanges[edit]

The University of Wollongong has been made international exchange agreements including short-term programs and internships with over 140 universities including University of California, Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, University of Toronto and other universities in the following regions:[81]

Exchange destinations

Alumni and staff[edit]

Graduates of the University of Wollongong are considered to be some of the most employable in the world. As of 2016 the QS World University Rankings placed Wollongong at the 61–70 band in the world for graduate employability.[82]

As of 2014, the University has turned out more than a hundred thousand graduates, and also has members all over the world in 143 countries. Although a large number of alumni live in Wollongong and Sydney, and a significant number also live in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, London, New York and Washington, D.C..[7][83][84]

See also[edit]


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  74. ^ "UOW Jubilee Oval Announcement". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  75. ^ "Themes and Strengths". 
  76. ^ "Global Challenges". 
  77. ^ "Local Scientists to Discuss Global Health and Energy Challenges in San Francisco". 
  78. ^ "UOW Research Challenges to Transform Lives and regions". 
  79. ^ "Global Connections at UOW". University of Wollongong. 
  80. ^ "Building Dedication Ceremony Honours Former Vice-Chancellor". 
  81. ^ "International Student Exchange Destinations". 
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Further reading[edit]

  • ^ Castle, Josie (1991). University of Wollongong: an illustrated history 1951–1991. Australia: University of Wollongong Press. ISBN 0-86418-179-5. 
  • Lawson, Amanda (2012). A Place For Art, The University of Wollongong Art Collection. Australia: University of Wollongong Press. ISBN 9781741282047. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°24′22.20″S 150°52′46.33″E / 34.4061667°S 150.8795361°E / -34.4061667; 150.8795361