Campus Management

Context: University

The University of Western Australia’s mission is “To advance, transmit and sustain knowledge and understanding through the conduct of teaching, research and scholarship at the highest international standards, for the benefit of the Western Australian, Australian, and international communities”.

The University strives to achieve international excellence, as measured by academic ranking among the world’s universities. The University aims to be among the top 50 Universities in the world by 2050.

  1. Recognition and awards
  2. Student profile
  3. Teaching and learning
  4. Research and research training
  5. Benefiting the State of Western Australia
  6. Social and economic benefit
  7. University snapshot in 2010
  8. The University of Western Australia's Strategic Plan
  9. Growth of the University

Recognitions and awards

The University continues to increase its international ranking according to the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. The University was ranked 110th in 2011, the highest ranked University in Western Australia and the 5th ranked University in Australia.

The research focus and track record, and the calibre of the student body, including postgraduates, have enabled the attraction and retention of academic staff with outstanding credentials by international standards.

In 2010, the University counts among its staff the 2005 Nobel Laureate for Medicine or Physiology, Professor Barry Marshall, seven Australian Laureate Fellows and five Federation Fellows, and six Premier’s Fellows. University researchers have received numerous awards and fellowships for their respective contribution to research, including but not limited to: Australian Laureate Fellowships, Future Fellows, Premier’s Fellows and WA Premier’s Science Awards including WA Scientist of the Year, as well as numerous international disciplinary bodies’ awards, scholarships and prizes.

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Men playing drums Student profile

The University has the highest quality student and graduate profile, a key driver in achieving international excellence. This level of student talent reflects and defines the University’s aim for quality.

The University’s graduates are sought after by employers, with the proportion of graduates in full-time employment within five months of completing studies the highest of all Western Australian universities and among the highest in Australia.

The ongoing achievement of student and graduates provides generations of cumulative benefit to the community.

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Teaching and learning

The University of Western Australia was ranked second in Australia for the quality of its undergraduate programs. The University’s high calibre staff are committed to deliver a high quality learning experience. The University has also recognised for top levels in teaching and learning in several disciplines reflecting the University’s commitment to providing a teaching and learning environment that aims to achieve international excellence.

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modern roof lineResearch and research training

The University is the major research-focused university in Western Australia. As a member of Australia’s Group of Eight, the University is responsible for the majority of the State’s university-based research and development.

The University has several major research themes, for example: plants, animals, agriculture and environment; exploration, production and utilisation of minerals, oil and gas; indigenous knowledge; bio-engineering and bio-imaging; and neurosciences.

The University has also recently been engaged in the following projects that are of significance not only to the University, but also the State and Australia as a whole, such as The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, and The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre.

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Benefiting the State of Western Australia

In 2010, Western Australia had the strongest State economy in Australia, with generally strong growth and low employment, supported by the resources sector. However the State faces increasing challenges from emerging issues, such as climate change and financial instability.

The Western Australian resources and agricultural sector, both widely seen as the backbone of the State, are highly knowledge-based sectors. They are reliant on new technologies suited to local conditions to push the competitive boundaries of exploration, production and processing activities.

The University provides valuable contributions to the State of Western Australia through generating skilled graduates and postgraduates, offering employment opportunities and providing community services via teaching and learning, research and development, social and cultural activities as well as sporting events, in an environment that actively supports equity and diversity.

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Social and economic benefit

The University is a major participant in the local community. “Benefit to the community” is embodied in the University’s mission statement to advance, transmit and sustain knowledge and understanding through the conduct of teaching, research and scholarship at the highest international standards, for the benefit of the Western Australian, Australian and international communities. Most importantly, the University’s core teaching and research functions over almost 100 years have developed the potential of more than 100,000 graduates, many of whom are inextricably linked to the state’s social, cultural and economic development. For most of the past century, the University has been alone in supplying the state with the key professionals (such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, architects) who continue to support the State’s development.

The cultural impact the University has on the city and regions should not be underestimated. More than 221,000 people visit the University each year to attend events at theatres, exhibitions, public lectures and seminars. In addition to the more than 300,000 people who enjoy events each year during the Perth International Arts Festival and the 15,000 attending UWA Extension courses, tens of thousands of Australians use the University sporting facilities each year. The University also sponsors many local groups who use the campus, such as the Rotary Club’s Subiaco Craft Fair and the Perth Sun Fair. In fact, the University – both the institution and the individuals who make up the University community – underpin the amenity and prosperity of the suburban landscape around it.

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Winthrop hall archesUniversity snapshot in 2010

Almost 100 years after its foundation, The University of Western Australia (in 2010):

  • Provides teaching and/or employment for more than 24,000 people and, with the QEII Medical Centre, is the second largest commuter destination in the Metropolitan region outside of the CBD;
  • Provides the premier undergraduate education in the State, and has a student intake with a high proportion of school leavers with TEE marks in the upper percentiles. In 2009 the University enrolled 89.6 per cent of the State’s top 5 per cent school leavers and 86.3 per cent of the top 10 per cent of school leavers who were enrolled at Western Australian universities;
  • Is in partnership with numerous government, industry, business, professional associations and other institutions. These collaborations involve mutual benefits such as the sponsorship of research, scholarships, named professorial chairs and visiting professor appointments;
  • Establishes strong infrastructure links with the State Government such as contribution to public transport funding, integration of the University library with the State Library of Western Australia and significant teaching and research facilities in Western Australia’s major hospitals; and
  • Provides a range of cultural and sporting facilities in the region including art galleries, museums, contributions to cultural events such as the Perth International Arts Festival, more than 30 sports clubs, and a range of community sport training programs including the provision of facilities for elite athletes.

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The University of Western Australia's Strategic Plan

The University’s Strategic Plan articulates a set of defining characteristics:

  • High quality, as the pervading criterion for all our activities;
  • Comprehensive, with a broad teaching and research profile in the arts, sciences, and professions;
  • Selective, within a comprehensive base, to develop particular areas of research strength and emphasis;
  • Research-intensive, with a strong teaching and research nexus across all our disciplines;
  • Internationally focussed, for both the content and standards of our activities;
  • Technologically innovative, to maximise our flexibility; and
  • Responsive, to meet the needs of the community, our students and our graduates.

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Growth of the University

The University has already achieved substantial growth over the last decade through investment in research and teaching facilities and the continued attraction of high calibre students and staff. In 2010, the University enrolled more than 22,500 students and employed more than 3,500 staff. Further growth is anticipated with both State and Commonwealth Government policies having a significant effect on student intake over the next few years. The University aims to grow to 25,000 enrolments within the next 10 years. The University is currently reviewing its optimal size.

The day-to-day population of the University is now greater than that of some metropolitan local authorities. It reflects the changes in required infrastructure and services from that of a small University campus to that of a small city.

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