Victoria University, Australia

Victoria University
Type Public
Established 1916 (University status 1990)
Chancellor George Pappas
Vice-Chancellor Peter Dawkins
Students 27,695 (2014)[1]
Other students
18,503 (2014)[1]
Location Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Campus Urban
Affiliations ASAIHL

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

The university has several campuses in Melbourne's central business district, western region, and in Sydney, comprising seven 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.

VU is ranked in the world’s top 2% (THE World University Rankings 2016/2017) and firmly positioned in the QS World University Rankings 2016/2017.


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 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 the university's teaching and research.

The institutions that combined to form VU over more than 80 years include:


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, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Two of the largest partners are Sunway University College in Malaysia and Liaoning University in China.

Footscray Park

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 7 ha (17 acres) 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.

St Albans

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 ha (79 acres) of native grasslands and sugar gums. The new St Albans Health and Fitness Centre was opened in 2013.[5]

Footscray Nicholson

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 2013 offering a broad range of educational and student services.

City Flinders and City Flinders Lane

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, 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

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.

City Queen

Victoria University City Campus in 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.


The 16 ha (40 acres) 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.


The Sunshine Campus is located on Ballarat Road, Sunshine and offers TAFE courses, focusing mainly on business and the construction industries.[6] 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 to international students only at its campus in central Sydney, which operates in partnership with the Education Centre of Australia (ECA).

Whitten Oval

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.[7] 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.


In 2014, VU had 46,198 students.[1] Approximately 60% studied in higher education degree programs, and 40% enrolled in TAFE training courses. Of these students, 5,682 were international students studying at one of VU's Melbourne or Sydney Campuses, and 8,761 were international students studying at VU programs overseas at one of its partner organizations located mainly in Asia.[1]


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. The university's Research Plan 2012–2016 supports multidisciplinary research in several target areas: applied informatics, creative arts and writing, diversity and well being, education, diversity and lifelong learning, food and nutritional sciences, medical and health sciences, supply chain, logistics and transport, sport, exercise and active living, strategic economics and sustainable environmental technologies.[8]

Victoria University has six research institutes and seven research centres.

Research institutes

Research centres

University rankings
Victoria University, Australia
QS World[9] 651-700
THE-WUR World[10] 351-400
Australian rankings
QS National[11] 30


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

Student accommodation

VU owns and operates student accommodation for students, staff, and guests of the university.[12] 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.

Victoria Place is a three-storey apartment complex at 117–119 Ballarat Road, Footscray, a five-minute walk from the Footscray Park Campus. It has fully furnished and self-contained apartments, as well as three-bedroom units with en suite and disability access.

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

Notable people



Sexual assault, attacks and harassment statistics

A report released by the Crime Statistics Agency of Victoria in 2015 highlighted that one-third of on-campus sex attacks in Victoria had occurred on a Victoria University campus.[13] 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.[13] 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.[13] However, the Crime Statistics Agency later advised the data provided in their report was incorrect. VU announced a zero tolerance policy toward sexual assault and harassment and has partnered with Universities Australia in the Respect. Now. Always program.

See also


Further reading

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

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