Thursday, 13 August 2020 Sydney

University of Western Sydney is playing a key role in Australia's most culturally diverse region::

The University of Western Sydney (UWS) is a large, research-led metropolitan university operating over multiple campuses in Greater Western Sydney – one of the most economically significant and fastest growing regions in Australia.


Established in 1989, UWS can trace its history back to 1891 when its oldest predecessor, the Hawkesbury Agricultural College, enrolled its first students. Today the University has over 45,000 students and over 3000 staff. Its diverse local and international population creates a vibrant, intellectual environment, and enriches the student experience.


In 2014, UWS celebrated its 25th anniversary and in doing so acknowledged more than 200 cumulative years of its three antecedent institutions. Today, UWS is enterprising and forward-looking, with a commitment to excellence and opportunity.


The University is now ranked in the top two percent of universities worldwide, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and is also ranked in the top 100 universities in the world under 50 years of age. This recognition underscores the significant work being undertaken to broaden the University’s international horizons.


UWS also continues to build its profile as a research leader in Australia, investing in areas of research strength and facilities, and developing the next generation of researchers. In the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) national report, 70 per cent of the University’s assessed research is rated at world standard or above.


The University has four Research Institutes: 


1)    The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment with specialisations ranging across: soil biology and genomics; plants, animals and interactions; and ecosystem function and integration;

2)    The Institute for Culture and Society with a portfolio encompassing: cultural studies, sociology, media and communications studies, human geography, anthropology, history, heritage studies and urban studies;

3)    The Institute for Infrastructure Engineering with four research themes focussing on infrastructure: systems, computations, materials, and health monitoring; and

4)    The MARCS Institute with a focus on: exploring the believability of the behaviour of virtual agents in cyber-physical worlds; investigating cyber-interfaces; and developing the means to achieve natural interactions between the virtual and physical worlds.

The specialisations of the University’s Research Centres' extend across education, health, mathematics, complementary medicine, and writing and society. Additional research concentrations exist in the areas of artificial intelligence, digital humanities, molecular medicine, and nanoscale organisation and dynamics.


The University’s teaching is among the best in the country, with UWS academics winning the Prime Minister’s Award for the Australian University Teacher of the Year two years in a row, and winning three prestigious National Teaching Fellowships in 2014.


The University’s excellence in all these areas culminates in our focus on students – over 60 per cent of whom are first in their family to attend university. UWS students acknowledge this through the national Course Experience Questionnaire, rating overall UWS student satisfaction above the sector average.




UWS also provides pathways opportunities, through its highly-successful UWSCollege, which in terms of size and scale is unique in the sector and is a proven national leader for improving access to university study for thousands of students. UWSCollege Foundation Studies and Diploma programs offer direct academic pathways to UWS bachelor degrees. UWSCollege also offers high-quality English Language Programs to provide students with the confidence and communication skills they need to meet the challenges of university study.


UWS graduates create an impact through their professional endeavors and help to make a difference in their communities. They are known by employers for being work-ready and are achieving career successes in government, the legal profession, health, scientific and research fields, business, and through the arts, creative disciplines and the humanities.


Geographically, the University's presence extends across six major campuses in the following Western Sydney regions: Bankstown, Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Westmead, Campbelltown, Parramatta and Penrith. The University's largest campus at Parramatta South, is approximately 20 minutes travel time (by road or rail) from Sydney, Australia's largest city. Parramatta has been officially identified as Sydney's 'second-CBD', making it a priority destination for government, corporate and industry investment. UWS also has a smaller-scale presence in the rural centres of New South Wales at Bathurst, Lismore and Lithgow.


Western Sydney is Australia's most culturally diverse region, with over 40 per cent of its residents speaking a language other than English at home and over one-third born overseas. This diversity is reflected across the University, one of Australia's most ethnically and culturally diverse higher education institutions.


Western Sydney is also the focus of the biggest urban infrastructure investment (in excess of $13.5 billion) by government in recent Australian history, ensuring that UWS is geographically at the centre of the nation's economic growth agenda of the next decade. This development - including a network of roads, transport and associated soft and hard communications and logistics infrastructure - is complemented by a recent multi-government commitment to building a new commercially vibrant, state-of-the-art airport close to UWS's network of highly integrated campuses.


The University is a recognised contributor to the planning, activation and realisation of the range of the region's major government and industry investments.  With a series of key corporate and industry partners, UWS recently conceived an economic strategy - the Western Sydney Innovation Corridor - designed to leverage these government funding commitments.


UWS also actively facilitates commercial and community-integrated ventures. In the past year, the University developed the Ideas Lab concept, a research engagement initiative that brings researchers, industry, community and government groups together to explore, address and resolve 'real world' challenges via practical collaboration and ideas exchange.


The University's interface with community, corporate and government partners is an extension of the innovative and engaged practices characteristic of its course delivery structures and tailored student experiences. As people's lives and commitments change, and technology continues to evolve, UWS is giving students even greater flexibility to juggle work, family, travel and study.  It is opening a high-rise campus in the heart of the Parramatta CBD in 2017, and has launched UWSOnline – a range of fully online degrees developed by UWS and a number of courses in partnership with one of the world's leading online universities, Open University UK.


The University helps its students secure success, preparing its students to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing and complex global environment. It brings knowledge to life in the education of students for employment, the application of research to contemporary problems, and mutually enriching partnerships with local schools, businesses, and community groups. This mission remains central to the ongoing growth and success of UWS.



Professor Barney Glover

Vice-Chancellor and President

University of Western Sydney