University of Wollongong

University of Wollongong students on campus



Wollongong, Australia

Region: Oceania

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A message from the University of Wollongong

In less than 40 years, the University of Wollongong has become a benchmark for Australia’s new generation of universities: dynamic, agile, innovative and prominent in national and international rankings for the quality of our research and teaching.

UOW routinely rates among the top Australian universities in key areas including teaching quality, graduate satisfaction and graduate starting salaries. Many of our researchers are leaders in their fields, nationally and internationally, while our research institutes have important global collaborative partnerships.

Our home is the coastal city of Wollongong – 80km south of Sydney on Australia's east coast. We also have two campuses in Sydney, as well as four in the South Coast and Southern Highlands regions of the state of New South Wales.

With 24,700 students and 2,400 staff in Australia, our activities generate around $2 billion in economic activity annually, making UOW a major economic force in Wollongong and the wider region. UOW has been the catalyst for Wollongong's transformation into a university city with a clear focus on developing 21st century "knowledge economy" industries based on technology and innovation.

We also have a strong international focus with the flourishing University of Wollongong in Dubai celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, and a long history of successful off-shore course delivery in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. UOW also helped pioneer Study Abroad and Study Exchanges among Australian universities in the late 1980s, and now has partnerships with 260 universities in 43 countries, including 55 in the United States.

Our 120,000 alumni are making their mark on the world, from chief executives of global mining companies to senior government ministers and leaders in business, IT, engineering, the arts, science, medical science, law, education and much more.

Our vision

To be a leader in ideas and solutions, a community of campuses and partners where discovery, learning and technology connect to transform people and the world we live in.


UOW's main Wollongong campus is set in native Australian bush and is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque university campuses in Australia. The campus caters for the vast majority of our 24,700 students and 2,400 staff. Apart from the extensive teaching and research buildings, our main 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.

Innovation Campus

UOW's Innovation Campus in Wollongong is a 33-hectare high-tech research and development precinct that allows innovative corporations from around the world to co-locate with some of UOW's leading research institutes in a collaborative campus environment. Leading companies such as global mining giant BHP Billiton, US IT company Commscope and Chinese IT provider Pactera are among the tenants at the Innovation Campus, alongside research institutes including the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials, the Sustainable Buildings Research Institute and the Centre for Health Initiatives.

Sydney campuses
UOW has two campuses in Australia's largest city, Sydney, the capital of New South Wales and a leading financial centre for the Asia-Pacific region. UOW's Sydney Business School occupies three floors of an office tower at 1 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay, in the heart of Sydney's financial district, where it offers world-class business courses. UOW Southern Sydney at Loftus on the city's southern outskirts provides a range of courses for students living in the area.

Regional campuses
UOW established the first of its satellite campuses in the Shoalhaven, 80km south of Wollongong, in 1993, so that residents of the area could benefit from a university education without the need to travel long distances or live away from home. Since then the network has been extended to include Batemans Bay and Bega on the NSW South Coast and Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands. Each centre offers a range of degree and diploma courses, with teaching on-site and via high-speed links with the main Wollongong campus, while the Shoalhaven Campus also includes a wing of our Graduate School of Medicine.

University of Wollongong in Dubai
UOW established the University of Wollongong in Dubai in 1993. From humble beginnings with a handful of students, it is now one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United Arab Emirates. UOWD currently has around 4,300 students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Business, Finance, Computer Science, Engineering, International Studies and Media & Communications at its campus in Dubai's Knowledge Village.

Overseas course delivery
Around 1,500 students are currently undertaking UOW courses in Malaysia under a partnership with leading South-east Asian education provider INTI International University and Colleges. UOW offers a Masters degree in International Business and Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Computing Science, Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Media and Communications degrees at INTI's campuses in Kuala Lumpur and on the island of Penang.

UOW also has long-standing partnerships with two of Singapore's leading private colleges, the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and the PSB Academy, to deliver internationally-recognised academic programs in business, information technology and psychology.

We also deliver a Master of Education degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) at Thailand's Assumption University in Bangkok, and a Bachelor of Nursing Conversion and Master of Nursing in partnership with IRI Hong Kong.


UOW has a number of national centres for research and training. These include:

SMART Infrastructure Facility
SMART is an international leader in applied infrastructure research and training, SMART undertakes interdisciplinary research to assist governments and business provide better infrastructure. It draws on UOW's proven inter-disciplinary research track record and its academic strength in the areas of engineering, commerce, informatics, law and science to holistically assess infrastructure solutions.

SMART's purpose-built headquarters on our main campus has sophisticated laboratories, teaching facilities and a simulation centre that allows its researchers to use a range of data sets, combined or in isolation, for infrastructure modelling and analysis.

Australian Institute for Innovative Materials
The Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) on UOW's Innovation Campus houses two of our research flagships, the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) incorporating the lead node for the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Electomaterials Science (ACES), and the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM). AIIM's $50 million Processes and Devices Facility, opened in 2012, was built with assistance from a $43.8 million Australian Government grant.The building was designed to bridge the gap between research breakthroughs, prototyping and eventual commercialisation and sets a new standard for multi-functional materials research facilities in Australia.It is equipped to develop the new production processes, devices and prototypes that will enable research breakthroughs to be scaled-up for commercial application.

The AIIM facility also houses UOW's Electron Microscopy Centre, which contains seven highly sophisticated microscopy suites, two state-of-the-art preparation laboratories housing precision cutters, quality grinding and polishing tools, room temperature and cryogenic microtomes and highly accurate ion polishing systems. The facility caters for characterisation of materials including metals, ceramics, polymers and biological specimens.

Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute
The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute is a collaborative venture between UOW and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, dedicated to excellence and innovation in health and medical research that will lead to better health services in the region and the broader Australian community. Based at a $30 million research facility with purpose-built clinical trials facilities and sophisticated laboratories on the UOW campus, IHMRI was established to bring the University’s best health and medical researchers together with the region’s best clinicians. More than 100 scientists are now based at IHMRI with a further 180 using the facilities on a regular basis. IHMRI’s research program is based around population health, with four core research themes: Diagnostics and Therapeutics; Neuroscience and Mental Health; Ageing and Chronic Conditions; and Health Care Delivery.

Australian National Centre for Ocean Research and Security
ANCORS is a unique international research and training centre within the Law arm of UOW's Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. It plays a key global role in international ocean management in areas including maritime security, maritime boundaries, ocean law, fisheries management and environmental issues.

Since its establishment in 1994, ANCORS has run regular capacity-building training courses for navy, coast guard and fisheries officers from maritime nations across the Asia-Pacific, Africa and more, recently, the Caribbean. It also provides consultancy services to many nations on international boundary dispute, management of ocean resources such as fisheries and policy advice on critical maritime issues ranging from piracy and people-smuggling to terrorism threats and marine pollution.

Early Start Facility
Early Start is the latest building nearing completion on UOW's main campus. Due to open in 2015, it is a $44 million inter-disciplinary project that firmly targets overcoming social disadvantage in education of young children. It has been established to radically transform educational, health and special outcomes for children in regional, rural and remote communities by acting as a hub connected to 38 centres across the state. Early Start will deliver targeted teaching programs and conduct multidisciplinary research and capacity-building programs in education, parental and family engagement, nutrition and health. Built with the assistance of $31 million in Australian Government funding and $7 million in philanthropic funding from the Abbott Foundation, Early Start will include a Children's Discovery Centre: 2,000 square metres of activity and exhibition space, outdoor exploration courtyards and discovery galleries expected to attract 120,000 visitors a year.

Sustainable Buildings ResearchCentre
UOW's Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) is the latest building on the Innovation Campus, and a showpiece of innovation and research excellence. SBRC has a major focus on reducing the carbon footprint of existing buildings and developing technologies that will make Australia's future buildings more environmentally sustainable. SBRC researchers' projects include developing sustainable building technologies for residential and commercial applications, analysing and improving thermal design for buildings to reduce the need for using energy for heating and cooling, and developing control and sensor technology to improve building performance.

The SBRC building has been designed to a 6-Star Green Star Design rating and is on track to be the first Australian building certified by the Living Building Challenge, the world's most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment. The Living Building Challenge comprises seven performance areas - site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty. As part of meeting the Living Building Challenge, the SBRC is an ultra-low energy building with natural ventilation and carefully-selected materials, many of which have been recycled and/or sourced locally.

University structure

The University is organised into five faculties:

Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts:

Executive Dean, Professor Amanda Lawson

Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences:
Executive Dean, Professor Chris Cook

Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health:
Executive Dean, Professor Alison Jones

Faculty of Social Sciences:
Executive Dean, John Steele

Faculty of Business:
Executive Dean, Professor John Glynn


In 2012 the Australian Research Council's research assessment system rated 90 percent of UOW's Fields of Research as above, or well above world standard. The results of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2012 Initiative confirmed what a succession of international ratings had also been indicating for some years: UOW has world-class researchers and world-class research facilities.

UOW received the highest ERA rating in the broad discipline of Chemical Sciences. Areas such as Law, Public Health, Psychology, Mathematical Sciences, Earth Sciences, History and Archaeology and Creative Arts at UOW were also recognised as leaders for the high quality research outputs and contributions to their disciplines.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper says the ERA 2012 results confirm UOW's research excellence in areas such as Chemical Sciences, Geology, Materials and Interdisciplinary Engineering, Clinical Sciences and Human Geography. "These ERA outcomes recognise the research effort across all UOW Faculties and areas of research strength, including for example the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials and Materials and Manufacturing Engineering," Professor Raper says.

Global Challenges

At UOW, we believe in thinking globally, acting locally. We know that tackling challenges in our own backyard is the first step towards solving the greater, global issues of the 21st century. Our Global Challenges Research Program 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. Of course these three issues don't just affect Australia; they are indeed global challenges, and UOW researchers are working on solutions that can be applied around the world.

Research partnerships

UOW is strongly focused on interdisciplinary research that has a real impact on our lives and contributes to solving global challenges. To achieve that, UOW's key research institutes have developed strong partnerships and collaborations with government and non-government organisations, corporations, universities and research institutes in Australia and around the world.

For example:

  • UOW's Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Gordon Wallace from our Intelligent Polymer Research Institute is leading a $4.7 million medical bionics research program working with Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital and other universities around Australia to develop ways to regenerate damaged nerves and muscles and ground-breaking brain implants for epilepsy patients.
  • The “BioPen”, developed at the UOW-headquartered Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Electromaterials Science, will allow surgeons to “draw” implants containing cells and growth factors onto damaged bone while they are performing surgery. This will reduce operation time and accelerating the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage.
  • Professor Shi Xue Dou and his team at the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials are working with Chinese steelmaking giant Baosteel and other partners to improve energy efficiency in steel plants by developing new ways to capture heat from steel-making processes and convert it into usable energy.
  • Professor Richard (Bert) Roberts from UOW's Centre for Archaeological Science has a 12-year collaboration with the Indonesia's National Centre for Archaeology that has resulted in one of the greatest palaeoanthropological discoveries of modern times—Homo floresiensis (the "Hobbit"), a previously unknown species of tiny humans on the Indonesian island of Flores that had co-existed with modern humans until relatively recently.
  • UOW's Centre for Medical Radiation Physics has partnerships with major organisations around the world, from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute at NASA in the United States to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. They work collaboratively on projects ranging from measuring the effects of cosmic radiation on NASA astronauts to developing innovative methods for treating prostate cancer.
  • Earth scientists at UOW's GeoQuest Research Centre work closely with governments of South Pacific island nations to provide them with accurate data about the changing nature of their islands and the sea that surrounds them as the deal with the impact of climate change and rising sea levels.

Key statistics (2014 year to date)

  • Students: 32,400 (24,700 in Australia and 7,700 off-shore)
  • 13,500 international students enrolled
  • 150 nationalities
  • Degrees on offer: 476
  • Staff: 2,400
  • Alumni: 120,000

Principal officers


Jillian Broadbent AO

Professor Paul Wellings CBE

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor:

Professor John Patterson

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research):

Professor Judy Raper

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education):

Professor Eeva Leinonen

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International):

Professor Joe Chicharo

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach):

Professor Paul Chandler

Acting President of University of Wollongong Dubai:
Professor Mohamed Salem

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Middle East and North Africa):

Professor Mohamed Salem (acting)

Pro Vice-Chancellor (South East Asia):

Professor Tony Simoes Da Silva

Chief Administrative Officer:

Melva Crouch CSM

Chief Finance Officer:

Damien Israe