“A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning.” - Benjamin Disraeli
Although Wollongong is New South Wales’ third-largest city, Wollongong has more of a large country-town feel. It’s essentially a working-class industrial centre (Australia’s largest steelworks at nearby Port Kembla looms unattractively over Wollongong City Beach) but the Illawarra Escarpment, rising dramatically beyond the city, provides a lush backdrop. The students of Wollongong University certainly give it extra life in term time and the city also enjoys a big dose of surf culture as the city centre is set right on the ocean.
The University of Wollongong, abbreviated as UOW, is a public research university located in the coastal city of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, approximately 80 kilometres south of Sydney. As of 2012, the University had a total of 30,516 students enrolled, included 11,440 international students from more than 140 countries. The University ranked 276th in the 2013 QS World University Rankings, 276-300th in the 2013-2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 301-400th (352nd) in the 2013 Academic Ranking of World Universities.
The University of Wollongong has fundamentally developed into a multi-campus institution, three of which are in Wollongong (Wollongong, Shoalhaven and Innovation), one in Sydney and one 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 main Wollongong Campus in collaboration with partner institutions in a number of offshore locations including Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The University of Wollongong traces its origins to 1951. The University was founded 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 subsequently became the Wollongong College of The University of New South Wales.
On the 1st January 1975, the New South Wales Parliament incorporated the University of Wollongong as an independent institution of higher learning consisting of five faculties (Engineering, Humanities, Mathematics, Sciences and Social Sciences) with Professor Michael Birt as its inaugural Vice Chancellor. In 1976, Justice Robert Marsden Hope was installed as Chancellor of the University.
The University in Wollongong is on a delightful, well-treed and gardenesque campus, whose serenity is conducive to study and enquiry. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my visit there was the beautiful smell from the gum trees and native flora around the university buildings. The rustle of the leaves and the birdsong was a wonderful backdrop to the chatter of students socialising on the campus grounds. The facilities are world class and the academics passionate and dedicated. The Campus offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The Courses are offered across nine faculties including Arts, Commerce, Creative Arts, Education, Engineering, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Informatics, Law and Science. All together, nearly 30,000 students attend classes on the Wollongong Campus.