Victoria University, Melbourne

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Victoria University
Victoria University Melb Aus Logo Master K reduced.jpg
Former names
Footscray Technical School (1916–1958)
Footscray Technical College (1958–1968)
Footscray Institute of Technology (1968–1990)
Victoria University of Technology (1990–2005)
Established1916; 105 years ago (1916)
1990; 31 years ago (1990) (university status)
ChancellorSteve Bracks
Vice-ChancellorAdam Shoemaker
Students28,412 (2019)[1]
Other students
15,390 (2019)[1]

Victoria University (VU or Vic Uni) is a public research university based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is a dual-sector tertiary institution providing courses in both higher education and Technical and Further Education (TAFE). 2016 marked VU's centenary as an educational institution and its 25th anniversary as a university.

The University has several campuses in Melbourne Central Business District, Melbourne Western Region, and in Sydney, comprising six academic colleges, six research institutes, seven research centres and VU's Victoria Polytechnic (providing vocational education and training). It also offers courses at partner institutions throughout Asia.


The idea for a technical school based in the western suburbs of Melbourne was first proposed in 1910. The Footscray Technical School opened its doors to 220 students and 9 teachers in 1916 after five years of fundraising.

Charles Archibald Hoadley was the school's principal from its founding until his death in 1947. His vision was to aid students who had both a sound technical knowledge and an appreciation of the arts, sports, the outdoors and community activities. He believed in educating students "for life as well as for living",[2] wanting students to view education as opening the doors of opportunity.

Under Hoadley's leadership, the school expanded rapidly and began offering trade certificate courses, diplomas in architecture, building, and contracting, as well as evening classes. War and the Depression saw a dip in student numbers. However, by 1943, there were 2500 students enrolled in courses taught at the Footscray Park and Footscray Nicholson campuses.

The following decades saw gender and cultural shifts. In 1958, the school changed its name to the Footscray Technical College. Ten years later, it changed its name again, this time, to the Footscray Institute of Technology (FIT). Women first enrolled in day diploma courses in 1960, and changes to the federal government's immigration policy resulted in many more European and Asian students entering the school. The secondary school component, now known as Footscray City College, was separated from the rest of the institute in 1972. By the mid-1970s, the expanded curriculum included degree courses and was well beyond the technical focus of the original Footscray Technical School. Further changes occurred in the 1980s, with the technical and trade education section separating from FIT to form the Footscray and Newport Colleges of TAFE.

In 1990, FIT merged with the Western Institute, which had been founded three years earlier to provide TAFE and higher education courses to the outlying suburbs in western Melbourne. In 1990, it was established as a university by the Victoria State Parliament as Victoria University of Technology.[3] The University further amalgamation with the Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE in 1998. In 2005, the Victoria University of Technology Act of 1990 was amended[4] to rename the University as Victoria University, reflecting the development of its teaching and research.

The institutions that combined to form VU include:

  • Footscray Technical School, renamed Footscray Technical College and later Footscray Institute of Technology
  • Newport Technical College, renamed Newport College of TAFE
  • Melbourne School of Hairdressing
  • School of Painting, Decorating and Sign Crafts
  • Melbourne Technical College of Hairdressing
  • Melbourne College of Decoration
  • Footscray College of TAFE
  • Flagstaff College of TAFE
  • Western Institute
  • Gellibrand College of TAFE, renamed Western Metropolitan College of TAFE
  • Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE
  • Victoria University of Technology
  • Victoria Polytechnic


Victoria University has campuses located throughout Melbourne's western region and the city centre. One campus is located in central Sydney.

VU courses are also delivered by partner institutes throughout Asia, including in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Two of the largest partners are Sunway University College in Malaysia and Liaoning University in China.

Footscray Park[edit]

Victoria University Footscray Park Campus – Building P

Footscray Park Campus on Ballarat Road, Footscray is the University's main campus and administrative centre. It offers higher education courses primarily in engineering, education and sport-related disciplines. It occupies a 7-hectare (17-acre) site overlooking Flemington Racecourse and the Maribyrnong River. A A$68.5 million sport and learning precinct, including sport and exercise science research labs, was completed in early 2011. The campus also has a 25-metre swimming pool and a childcare centre.[5]

St Albans[edit]

St Albans VU Campus

St Albans Campus on McKecknie Street, St Albans, is the University's health and education hub, with a focus on psychology, nursing, arts, and paramedic and biomedical sciences. It is set on 32 hectares (79 acres) of native grasslands and sugar gums. The new St Albans Health and Fitness Centre was opened in 2013.[6]

Footscray Nicholson[edit]

Victoria University Footscray Nicholson Campus – Building T as viewed from Buckley Street

Footscray Nicholson Campus is in central Footscray, on the corner of Nicholson and Buckley Streets. It delivers TAFE, VCE and short courses. Its new learning commons was opened in 2012 offering a broad range of educational and student services.[7]

City Flinders and City Flinders Lane[edit]

VU City Flinders

Situated in two buildings at 300 Flinders Street and 301 Flinders Lane in central Melbourne. The Flinders Lane building focuses on osteopathy and English language training (VU English, quality endorsed by NEAS Australia), and is also the University's administrative centre for international student recruitment and support. The 19-storey Flinders Street building overlooks Melbourne's historic Flinders Street station, the Yarra River and the Southbank precinct. The University's postgraduate business courses and many of its courses in graphic design, visual art and multimedia are taught at this campus. The Flinders Street building also contains convention facilities.

City King[edit]

The City King Campus is located in a high-rise building close to Southern Cross station. It provides health and beauty courses, and includes a hair and beauty salon that is open to the public.[8]

City Queen[edit]

Victoria University City Campus on Queen Street

The City Queen Campus occupies two heritage buildings at 283 and 295 Queen Street in the heart of Melbourne's legal precinct. The campus houses the University's College of Law and Justice, a law library, the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre and two moot courts. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate law courses, including continuing legal education courses for legal professionals.[9][10]


VU Weribee Campus

The 16-hectare (40-acre) Werribee Campus is located in the Werribee agricultural research and tertiary education precinct. It offers trades training as well as facilities for water, food and fire safety research.[11]


The Sunshine Campus of Victoria Polytechnic is located on Ballarat Road, Sunshine. It offers TAFE courses, focusing mainly on business and the construction industries.[12] The A$44 million high-technology Construction Hub was opened in 2013 for building and construction training. The campus also has a convention centre with a 200-seat auditorium.


Victoria University delivers a number of business courses for international students at its campus in central Sydney,[13] which operates in partnership with the Education Centre of Australia (ECA).[14]

Whitten Oval[edit]

In late 2010, VU opened an A$8 million Sport and Recreation Learning Centre in partnership with the Western Bulldogs at the Whitten Oval in West Footscray.[15] The Centre contains massage therapy clinics open to the public, as well as a 140-seat lecture theatre, a library, classrooms and offices.


Several of the University's colleges offer internationally recognized qualifications ranging from certificates and diplomas to degrees, postgraduate certificates and diplomas, and masters and doctoral research degrees (PhD). Victoria Polytechnic and VU College offer vocational education courses and higher education diplomas.

  • The College of Arts and Education offers a range of pre-degree, undergraduate, and postgraduate courses and conducts research in education, youth work, arts, communication, community development, creative arts and industries, psychology, social science, and social work. The College emphasises workplace learning in teacher and youth work education through its partnerships with schools, community organizations, and industry, especially in western Melbourne. VU is one of the few Australian universities to offer a Bachelor of Education (P-12) course, so graduates can teach at any level. The Victoria Institute, which focuses on inclusive education, is part of the College of Education.
  • The College of Business is one of the largest business schools in Australia. Training is provided across various business-related areas including business, management, accounting, finance, supply chain and logistics, marketing and human resources. It conducts research at its associated centres: the Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics and the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies.
  • The College of Engineering and Science offers architectural, building, civil, mechanical, electrical and sports engineering courses, as well as courses in information technology, building surveying and science.
  • The College of Health and Bio-medicine provides hands-on learning, teaching, and research in nursing and midwifery, dermal therapies, osteopathy, beauty therapy, nutrition, and paramedics. Most courses include use of simulation labs, training clinics and salons.
  • The College of Law and Justice operates through the Victoria Law School at the University's Sir Zelman Cowen Centre. It offers undergraduate and graduate law degrees, as well as continuing legal education, including migration law courses. Second and third-year students participate in real cases at the Melbourne, Sunshine, and Werribee magistrates' courts.
  • The College of Sport and Exercise Science offers courses in aspects of sport, physical education, recreation management, coaching and exercise science. The courses are based mainly at the Footscray Park Campus, the site of the University's new sport and learning precinct, which includes the Institute of Sport, Exercise, and Active Living (ISEAL).
  • VU College provides a range of student support programs for local and international students, including assistance and courses in English language, literacy, and numeracy. It also delivers nationally accredited and customised higher education courses, foundation studies and career development services.

Victoria University Polytechnic[edit]

Victoria University Polytechnic is the TAFE division of Victoria University. It offers National Training Package qualifications in construction, engineering and machining, hairdressing, hospitality, and make-up. These courses include skills development for pre-apprentices, apprentices, trainees, and current workers, as well as tailored workforce development for enterprises, both nationally and internationally.


In 2019, VU had 43,802 students.[1] Approximately 65% student in higher education degree programs, and 35% enrolled in TAFE training courses. Of these students, 5,662 were international students studying at one of VU's Melbourne or Sydney Campuses, and 3,772 were international students studying at VU programs overseas at one of its partner organisations located mainly in Asia.[1]



Victoria University ranked in 351-400 in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021.

University rankings
Victoria University, Australia
QS World[16]551-560
THE World[17]351-400
ARWU World[18]901-1000
US News World[19]543=
Australian rankings
QS National[16]27
THE National[20]25-27
ARWU National[21]32-34
US News National[22]25
ERA National[24]29[23]

28 VU research disciplines were ranked at or above world standard in the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) assessments 2018.[25] Victoria University emphasises research that is relevant to the community, industry and government – both nationally and internationally, but particularly in the western region of Melbourne. VU Research conducts research across seven Areas of Research Focus:

  • Institutes, centres & research
  • Building resilient & inclusive communities
  • Effective teaching & learning practices for diverse populations
  • Enabling healthy & active populations
  • Enhancing high performance in sport
  • Enhancing the evidence base for public policy development
  • Supporting industry responses to change


Victoria University has six research institutes and seven research centres.

Research institutes[edit]

  • Victoria Institute
  • Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
  • Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics (ISCL)
  • Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
  • Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies (VISES)
  • Mitchell Institute

Research centres[edit]

  • Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
  • Centre for Applied Informatics (CAI)
  • Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing
  • Centre for Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering (CESARE)
  • Centre for International Research on Education Systems (CIRES)
  • Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS)


Victoria University has developed partnership agreements with several organisations, with the aim of strengthening the University's community and industry relationships. These include:

  • Melbourne Writers Festival: Victoria University manages the "Reviewer for a Day" program, blogging festival experiences.
  • Malthouse Theatre: as official education partner, Victoria University staff and students can access the productions and facilities of the Malthouse, including placement opportunities.
  • Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC): a longstanding relationship with FCAC offers students engagement opportunities across the centre's program. The centre's first incarnation was housed in a tin shed on the campus of the Footscray Institute of Technology.
  • City West Water: City West Water and VU collaborate on a number of research projects in the areas of water treatment and sustainable water resource management.
  • Western Health: Western Health is VU's main industry training partner for provision of nursing and midwifery work-integrated learning. Each year, hundreds of VU students complete over 110,000 hours of clinical placement at Western Health locations.
  • Real Madrid Graduate School Universidad Europea: Through this partnership, students enrolled in the Master of Sports Science (Football Performance) and Master of Sport Business and Integrity have the opportunity to complete a two-week residential program in Madrid, Spain.
  • Western Bulldogs: Students can take up placements with Australian Football League team the Bulldogs in areas including biomechanics, exercise physiology, remedial massage and exercise rehabilitation, business, administration, event management, marketing, tourism, and hospitality. VU and the Bulldogs also have a shared commitment to the development of Melbourne's western region through collaborative community building programs.
  • Melbourne Vixens: workplace learning opportunities across the disciplines of exercise science, massage, management, psychology, nutrition, marketing, accounting and more are offered with the Vixens netball team and at the VU Netball Academy.
  • Western Jets: VU's partnership with this football club began in 2000 and today offers community engagement opportunities in west Melbourne and workplace opportunities for students.
  • Footscray University Town: Victoria University and Maribyrnong City Council are partners in a ten-year revitalisation plan for the area. It includes the VU MetroWest community hub in Footscray, which comprises a café, bookshop, hot desks, meeting rooms, psychology clinic, exhibition space and more.

Student accommodation[edit]

VU owns and operates student accommodation for students, staff, and guests of the University.[27] In February 2016, the Student Village in Maidstone was replaced with the newly built UniLodge@VU, a 13-story apartment building across the road from the Footscray Park Campus on Ballarat Road, Footscray.

International House, a traditional residential college located at the University of Melbourne, also offers places to Victoria University students.

Notable people[edit]



Sexual offence statistics[edit]

A report released by the Crime Statistics Agency of Victoria in 2015 incorrectly highlighted statistics regarding reported on-campus sexual offences had occurred on a Victoria University campus. As a result, an article by Beau Donelly appeared in The Age newspaper which included incorrect data. When the error was brought to their attention, The Age removed the article from online, however an incorrect cached version remains. [29] Compared to eight other Victorian universities, six containing a larger body of students than Victoria University, the University had the highest number of sexual offences recorded from 2004 to 2015.[29] From 2004 to 2015, 31 sexual offenses and 10 reports of sexual harassment, stalking, and threatening behaviour were recorded by the Crime Statistics Agency of Victoria. The Crime Statistics Agency has issued a letter of correction stating: Victoria University had 17 not 31 sexual offences and 8 cases not 10 of stalking, harassment/threatening behaviour. Victoria University does not have the highest number of sexual offences recorded from 2004 to 2015. [29] VU has a zero tolerance policy toward sexual assault and harassment and has partnered with Universities Australia in the Respect. Now. Always program.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Victoria University 2019 Annual Report" (PDF). VU.
  2. ^ 90 Years 90 Legends. Victoria University. ISBN 1862726655.
  3. ^ "Victoria University of Technology Act 1990". Parliament of Victoria.
  4. ^ "Victoria University of Technology Act 2010 preamble".
  5. ^ "Footscray Park Aquatic & Fitness Centre". Victoria University – Melbourne Australia. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  6. ^ "VU's new sports centre brings a world of fitness to the west" (Press release). VU. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  7. ^ "New learning commons at Footscray Nicholson Campus | Victoria University | Melbourne Australia". Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  8. ^ "City King campus | Victoria University | Melbourne Australia". Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Study at VU: Law & Justice courses". Victoria University. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  10. ^ "About VU: What you can support". Victoria University. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Werribee Campus". Victoria University. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Tour Victoria University's new Trades College building at Sunshine" (Press release). VU. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  13. ^[0]=field_cricos_code%3AVU%20Sydney
  14. ^ "About VU Sydney – Victoria University – Sydney Australia".
  15. ^ "Victoria University unveils its new teaching facilities in a bright new kennel" (Press release). VU. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  16. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2021". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited.
  17. ^ "World University Rankings 2021". Times Higher Education.
  18. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  19. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities Rankings". U.S. News and World Report.
  20. ^ "THE 2021 - Australia". Times Higher Education.
  21. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020 - Australia". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  22. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities in Australia". U.S. News and World Report.
  23. ^ "All unis winners in research audit". The Australian. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Australian University Rankings". Australian Education Network.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Housing & accommodation – Victoria University – Melbourne Australia".
  28. ^ "Community champion – Victoria University – Melbourne Australia".
  29. ^ a b c Donelly, Beau (23 October 2015). "One-third of reported on-campus sex attacks in Victoria occurred at one university". The Age. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rasmussen, Carolyn (1989), Poor Man's University: 75 years of Technical Education in Footscray, Melbourne: The Press of the Footscray Institute of Technology ISBN 1-86297-000-9
  • 90 Years, 90 Legends (2006), Melbourne: Published by Victoria University ISBN 1-86272-665-5

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°47′39″S 144°54′0″E / 37.79417°S 144.90000°E / -37.79417; 144.90000