University of Newcastle (Australia)

Not to be confused with Newcastle University.
The University of Newcastle

Coat of Arms of the University of Newcastle
Latin: Universitas Novocastrium
Motto "I look ahead"
Type Public
Established 1965
Chancellor Paul Jeans[1]
Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen
Visitor Governor of New South Wales[2]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 39,131[3]
Undergraduates 24,445[3]
Postgraduates 8,150[3]
Other students
Location Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
32°53′34″S 151°42′16″E / 32.89278°S 151.70444°E / -32.89278; 151.70444Coordinates: 32°53′34″S 151°42′16″E / 32.89278°S 151.70444°E / -32.89278; 151.70444
Campus Urban

Maroon and White

Affiliations Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Association of Commonwealth Universities

The University of Newcastle (UoN), informally known as Newcastle University, is an Australian public university established in 1965. It has a primary campus in Callaghan, a suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales. The university also operates campuses in Ourimbah, Port Macquarie, Singapore and the central business districts of Newcastle and Sydney.[4]

Historically, the University of Newcastle Medical School has implemented the problem-based learning system for its undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine program – a system later mandated for use by the Australian Medical Council throughout Australia. It pioneered use of the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) in the early 1990s. UMAT has since been accepted widely by different medical schools across Australia as an additional selection criteria.[5]

The University of Newcastle is a member of Universities Australia and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.[6]

In 2015 Times Higher Education ranked the University of Newcastle number 2 in Australia and number 30 in the world for universities under 50 years of age.


The earliest origins of the present-day University of Newcastle can be traced to the Newcastle Teachers College (est. 1949) and Newcastle University College (NUC, est. 1951).[7] NUC was created as an offshoot of the New South Wales University of Technology (now known as the University of New South Wales) and was co-located with the Newcastle Technical College at Tighes Hill.[8] At the time of its establishment, NUC had just five full-time students and study was restricted to engineering, mathematics and science.[9] Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Newcastle residents campaigned for NUC to be re-constituted as a university in its own right. The campaign was ultimately successful, with the University of Newcastle being established as an autonomous institution on 1 January 1965 by gubernatorial proclamation under the University of Newcastle Act 1964 (NSW). The new university was granted a heraldic coat of arms by the College of Arms in London, an event seen by many in the community as signifying the new institution's independence.[7] In 1966, the University relocated from Tighes Hill to a largely undeveloped bushland site in Shortland. As enrolments grew, the University embarked on a major building program and redeveloped the Shortland site into the Callaghan campus, named for Sir Bede Callaghan, foundation member of the University council and chancellor from 1977 to 1988.[10]

Students at the university celebrate Autonomy Day on 1 July of each year. According to unverified sources, official autonomy was marked on 1 January 1965 with a "symbolic ceremonial bonfire held at the site of the Great Hall".[7] This celebration is said to have been officiated by Professor Godfrey Tanner who is said to have poured wine libations onto the ground as to "sanctify the land upon which the University rests".[7] Since the university technically became autonomous on 1 January 1965 autonomy day should be held on 1 January. 1 July actually coincided with the New South Wales University of Technology’s autonomy from the Public Service Board’s authority on 1 July 1954.[7] According to Don Wright, students interpreted Autonomy Day as celebrating the autonomy of the University of Newcastle from the University of New South Wales. The students were entitled to give the celebration whatever meaning they chose. The fact that they called it ‘autonomy day’ heightened the students’ sense of the importance of autonomy and their need to defend it against outside interference.[11]

In 1989, the Dawkins reforms amalgamated the Hunter Institute of Higher Education with the University of Newcastle.[12] Newcastle Teachers College had been established in 1949 and was later renamed the Newcastle College of Advanced Education and finally the Hunter Institute of Higher Education as it had expanded its educational offerings beyond teacher education to nursing, other allied health professions, business, and fine arts. The Hunter Institute was located in a series of buildings on land immediately adjacent to the University at Callaghan and amalgamation expanded the campus to some 140 hectares. Under the reforms, the University also gained the Newcastle branch of the NSW Conservatorium of Music located in the city's central business district.[13]

In 1998, the university established a partnership with the Institut Wira, a Malaysian private business school. In 2002, Ian Firms, a lecturer, failed a large number of student papers from Wira for academic dishonesty, but his actions were reversed by the Newcastle administration and he was discharged. He then appealed to the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption, which made a finding of corruption against Dr Paul Ryder, a failure by Vice Chancellor Roger Holmes in the execution of his duty and recommended disciplining the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Brian English.[14][15]

In 2003, the University of Newcastle, together with five other Australian universities (Macquarie, La Trobe, Flinders, Griffith and Murdoch) established Innovative Research Universities Australia (IRUA).

Forty years after obtaining autonomy, the University of Newcastle has developed a reputable position in national and international university standings; ranked in the 10–14 range of the 38 universities in Australia by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and 215th in the world by the Times Higher Education Supplement in 2007.[16]

The university unveiled a new logo on 31 March 2007 as part of a brand refresh to align the university's image more closely with its new strategic direction.[17]

On 11 May 2007, the university launched a campus at the PSB Academy's two main campuses in Singapore.[18] On 30 July 2015, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete was the first head of state to be awarded an honorary degree (Doctor of Laws) by the university.[19]


The university offers online, face-to-face, or a mix of the two, with campuses at Callaghan, Ourimbah, Port Macquarie, Singapore and Sydney CBD. The university also has three premises within the Newcastle city centre.

Newcastle (Callaghan campus)

The Callaghan campus is the university’s main and largest campus. It is located in the Newcastle suburb of Callaghan situated approximately 12 kilometres (7 mi) from Newcastle CBD. The campus is placed on 140 hectares (346 acres) of natural bushland within which the university’s numerous buildings are located.[20] The land is traditionally owned by the Pambalong Clan of the Awabakal people,[21] a connection which has been developed by the University and is seen as a selling point for academics.[22]

Many of the university's operations are run out of the Callaghan campus, including student administration, course and degree program planning, and the university's Teaching and Learning division. All the major faculties are based on the campus. The campus also has access to the Auchmuty and Huxley libraries. Various other facilities are available on the campus, including several sporting fields, a sports and aquatic centre, and four on-campus residential colleges (Edwards Hall, International House, Evatt House and Barahineban).[20][23] The business and commerce programs offered by Newcastle Business School via the Callaghan campus are accredited by AACSB International.

Central Coast (Ourimbah campus)

Ourimbah Campus is a cross-institutional campus, with the University of Newcastle, TAFE NSW – Hunter Institute, and the Central Coast Community College each having a presence.[24] It is located in the Central Coast suburb of Ourimbah. The Faculties of Business and Law, Education and Arts, Science and Information Technology, and Health each have a presence on the campus. In total, they provide sixteen undergraduate degree programs and one postgraduate program, five of which are exclusive to the campus.[25] The Bachelor of Commerce program offered by Newcastle Business School via the Ourimbah campus is accredited by AACSB International.

Port Macquarie campus

The University of Newcastle has a presence on the TAFE NSW – North Coast Institute Port Macquarie campus.[26] The university provides three degree programs at the campus, including one of the university’s enabling programs: Open Foundation.[27]

Singapore campus

The Singapore campus is the university's first overseas campus, which includes both the Delta campus and the Henderson campus of PSB Academy in the Central Region (Tiong Bahru) of Singapore. This new campus covers an area of 19,000 square metres (204,514 sq ft) behind the Tiong Bahru Plaza.[28] The undergraduate Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Commerce programs, and the Master of Business Administration offered by Newcastle Business School via the UoN Singapore campus are accredited by AACSB International.

Sydney CBD campus

The University of Newcastle Sydney CBD campus provides short courses open to the general public as well as a number of postgraduate degree programs from the Faculty of Business and Law and the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre. It is located in the Sydney CBD.[29] The postgraduate programs offered by Newcastle Business School via the Sydney CBD campus are accredited by AACSB International.

Newcastle city precinct

The University of Newcastle also has a presence on three sites within the Newcastle CBD. The School of Music and Conservatorium is located in the Civic Theatre precinct, the School of Law, Legal Centre, and Graduate School of Business are located in University House, and the Newcastle Institute of Public Health is located in the David Maddison Building on the site of the Royal Newcastle Hospital. University House is a landmark Art Deco sandstone building directly opposite Civic Park. The postgraduate programs offered by Newcastle Business School via the Newcastle City precinct campus are accredited by AACSB International.

GradSchool (Online)

GradSchool[30] is the University of Newcastle's dedicated hub for postgraduate coursework[31] students. Since 2001, GradSchool has been responsible for online learning, offering graduate students from around the world convenient access to more than 60 postgraduate qualifications delivered by the University of Newcastle. Online interaction is via "Blackboard", a web based learning system which hosts our courses. Through Blackboard, communication is entirely online. Students interact with instructors and fellow students on discussion boards, submit assignments, view grades and check announcements. As is the case with on-campus study, online students have access to all University facilities such as online library resources and support tools, including over 300 information technology, management, interpersonal and professional development skills training courses.

Faculties and schools

The Medical Sciences Building
Nursing Lecture Theatre near Hunter Building, Callaghan campus (formally the Richardson Theatre)

The University offers certificates, diplomas and degrees through five faculties and twelve schools.

List of faculties and schools
Faculty of Business and Law
  • Newcastle Business School
  • Newcastle Law School
Faculty of Education and Arts
  • School of Creative Arts
  • School of Education
  • School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
  • School of Architecture and Built Environment
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
  • School of Design, Communication and Information Technology
  • School of Environmental and Life Sciences
  • School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • School of Psychology
Faculty of Health
  • School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Medicine and Public Health
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery

The University offers Indigenous studies through The Wollotuka Institute. Additionally, the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre provides tertiary preparation programs for both domestic and international students.

Rankings and reputation

University rankings
University of Newcastle, Australia
QS World[32] 245
THE-WUR World[33] 201-250
ARWU World[34] 301-400
USNWR World[35] 313=
CWTS Leiden World[36] 387
Australian rankings
QS National[37] 11
THE-WUR National [38] 9=
USNWR National[39] 14=
CWTS Leiden National[36] 12
ERA National[40] 13=

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. For each discipline, University of Newcastle was ranked:[41]

Discipline R 1 No. R 2 No.
Arts & Humanities15381438
Business & Economics20392638

Student body and organisations

In 2011, the University had a total enrolment of approximately 36,000 students, including over 7,500 international students from more than 115 countries.[42]

The university is recognised for its commitment to equity in education, and consistently enrols more students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background than any other Australian university. It has graduated more than 60% of the nation's indigenous doctors.[43]

Students at the Callaghan campus of the university are represented by the Newcastle University Students' Association (NUSA), UoN Services Limited (UoN Services), Newcastle University Postgraduate Students' Association (NUPSA);[44] while students at Ourimbah campus are represented by Campus Central.

UoN Services is responsible for the social life of the university, as well as most of the commercial facilities on campus. It organises all the main entertainment events, usually performed at the University's two licensed venues, the Bar on the Hill and the Godfrey Tanner (GT) Bar. Apart from student contributions (which have dropped significantly since the abolition of universal student unionism), the UoN Services generates income from the stores, restaurants and bars on the Callaghan and city campuses. UoN Services also funds the production of Yak Media. Yak Media includes Yak Magazine and Yak TV (formerly UTV).[45] Yak Magazine is a monthly publication run by an editorially independent student team. Yak TV is produced by a student media production team and reports on upcoming university events, gigs and services.

NUSA and NUPSA are primarily advocacy organisations, representing undergraduate and postgraduate students respectively on a variety of issues from political activism to the internal organisation of the University. NUSA also produces Opus, the University's magazine written by and for students.

Campus Central (Central Coast Campus Union Limited trading as Campus Central) is a single organisation looking after all the interests (commercial, sporting and advocacy) of students at the Ourimbah campus.

Facilities and services


The University of Newcastle library consists of numerous libraries across a number of the university’s campuses. They include The Auchmuty library, The Huxley library, The Ourimbah library and the City Precinct library. The largest of these is The Auchmuty Library on the Callaghan campus, which holds a significant traditional collection, including rare books and archives. In addition, the Callaghan campus has a smaller secondary library known as The Huxley library. This primarily supports a collection for a number of schools, including education, nursing, and fine arts. The Ourimbah library on the Central Coast campus holds a collection of both university and TAFE texts to facilitate the needs of the joint campus. An information common, similar to the one located in the Auchmuty library, is also available. The City Precinct library is also part of The University of Newcastle library.[46]

The whole catalogue of the University library is available across any of its constituent libraries. The library is a member of the Council of Australian University Librarians. It also keeps New South Wales state archives that have been held by the university since 1975. The state archives reside within the University Archives, and consist of a collection of approximately 600 linear shelf metres.[47]

Sporting facilities

The university offers access to a number of sporting facilities across its campuses. The Callaghan campus has the majority of these facilities; this includes six sporting ovals,[48] squash & tennis courts, and a sports and aquatic centre. NUsport manages these facilities through an organisation known as "The Forum".[49] "The Forum Sports & Aquatic Centre, University" boasts an olympic-sized swimming pool, the second highest climbing wall in the southern hemisphere and various other sporting facilities.[50] It is also the site of training for sport teams including the Newcastle Knights from National Rugby League (NRL), the Newcastle Jets from the A-League and the Hunter Hurricanes National League Water Polo team. The Forum also has a centre near the Newcastle CBD known as "The Forum, Health and Wellness centre, Habourside".[51]

Internship services

The university works with partners including CRCC Asia and The Intern Group to arrange internship placements outside of Australia for its students.[52]

Notable alumni

Coat of arms

See also


  1. "New Chancellor announced". The University of Newcastle. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  2. University of Newcastle Act 1989 (NSW)
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Annual Report 2013" (PDF). University of Newcastle. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  4. "Locations". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  5. "UMAT: A Validity Study" (PDF). Australian Council for Educational Research. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  6. "All Member Schools – ordered by country/region, state, name". AACSB International. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 "Grant of Arms – The University of Newcastle's Declaration of Independence". Archives Outside. NSW Government. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  8. "University of New South Wales - Records and Archives Office - 1949 - 1959". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  9. "History". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  10. "Sir Bede Callaghan". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  11. Looking back, a history of the University of Newcastle, Don Wright, 1992):113
  12. Higher Education (Amalgamation) Act 1989 (NSW) s 11
  13. Higher Education (Amalgamation) Act 1989 (NSW) s 8
  14. "Report on investigation into the University of Newcastle's handling of plagiarism allegations" (PDF). Independent Commission Against Corruption. June 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  15. David Cohen (14 October 2005). "A Tarnished Reputation". The Chronicle of Higher Education. p. 52(8) A39.(subscription required)
  16. "University of Newcastle". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  17. "About our new brand". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  18. "The University of Newcastle, Singapore". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  19. "President of Tanzania receives honorary doctorate from UoN" (Press release). Newcastle, Australia: University of Newcastle. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  20. 1 2 "Callaghan About the campus". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  21. Maynard, John. "Whose Traditional Land?" (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  22. "Why Academics Love Newcastle". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  23. "Residential Colleges / On-Campus Accommodation / Accommodation / Services & Facilities / The University of Newcastle, Australia". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  24. "Central Coast / Locations / The University of Newcastle, Australia". Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  25. "Central Coast Campus". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  26. "Port Macquarie / Locations / The University of Newcastle, Australia". Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  27. "Degree Programs / Port Macquarie / Locations / The University of Newcastle, Australia". Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  28. Singapore Campus Retrieved 17 December 2011
  29. "Sydney CBD / Locations / The University of Newcastle, Australia". Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  30. "GradSchool". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  31. "Postgraduate Coursework". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  32. "QS World University Rankings 2016/17". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited.
  33. "World University Rankings 2016-2017". TSL Education Limited.
  34. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  35. "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities Rankings 2016". U.S. News and World Report.
  36. 1 2 "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2016". Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University.
  37. "QS World University Rankings 2016/17". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited.
  38. "THE 2016-2017 - Australia". Times Higher Education.
  39. "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities in Australia/New Zealand". U.S. News and World Report.
  40. "Australian University Rankings". Australian Education Network.
  41. "Melbourne Institute Rankings" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
  42. "Annual Report 2011" (PDF). The University of Newcastle. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  43. Kerrie A Lawson, Ruth M Armstrong and Martin B Van Der Weyden (21 May 2007). "The Medical Journal of Australia". Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  44. NUPSA Official Website, Newcastle University Postgraduate Students Association.
  46. "About the Library / Library / University Services / The University of Newcastle, Australia". 24 February 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  47. "Archives Outside » University of Newcastle Library". 12 June 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  48. "Ovals". The Forum. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  49. "About NUsport". The Forum. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  50. "The Forum, University". The Forum. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  51. "The Forum, Harbourside". The Forum. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  52. "Internships and placements". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  53. "Newcastle Graduate Named As NSW Woman of the Year / Current news / The University of Newcastle, Australia". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  54. "The Hon. Justice Kevin Edmund LINDGREN". Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  55. Fitzhenry, Maureen (25 November 2000). "Susie Porter exposed". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  56. "University Alumnus appointed UN Ambassador / Current news / The University of Newcastle, Australia". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  57. Low, Charles (1971). A Roll of Australian Arms. Adelaide: Rigby Limited. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-85179-149-2. OCLC 246821.
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