University of Canberra

The University of Canberra (UC) is a public research university with its main campus located in Bruce, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The campus is within walking distance of Westfield Belconnen, and 8.7 km (5.4 mi) from Canberra's Civic Centre. UC offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering five faculties: Health, Art and Design, Business, Government and Law, Education, and Science and Technology.

University of Canberra
Other name
Established1967 (CAE)
1990 (University Status)
Academic affiliations
ASAIHL, New Generation Universities
ChancellorTom Calma AO[1]
Vice-ChancellorPaddy Nixon[2]
Administrative staff
Location, ,
CampusUrban, 296 acres (1.2 km2) (Bruce campus)

UC partners with two local ACT schools: UC Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra and University of Canberra High School Kaleen. The University of Canberra College provides pathways into university for domestic and international students.[4]


The University of Canberra was first established in 1967 as the Canberra College of Advanced Education. The Canberra CAE became the University of Canberra under sponsorship of Monash University in 1990.

Over 70,000 students have graduated from the university since 1970.[5]

The University of Canberra has grown by 78% since 2007, going from 7,300 students to over 13,000 in 2014.[6][7] The median Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of UC students is approximately 71.[8]

Foundation stone and Stone Day

Building 11, Walkway connecting the refectory with the gym

At the end of the year after classes finish but before exams, Stone Day was once held, a music festival with local bands, which lasted several days. The day before it was known as Stone Eve. It started as a celebration held annually to mark the placing of the foundation stone by Prime Minister John Gorton on 28 October 1968. The stone is displayed near Building 1 at the university, and an inscription on it reads:

This Stone was unveiled by the right honourable J.G. Gorton, M.P., Prime Minister of Australia, on 28 October 1968, to mark the establishment of the Canberra College of Advanced Education.

Over the years the Stone Day program gradually became larger and larger, eventually encompassing an entire week and transforming into one of Australia's most popular music festivals.[9] The first foundation celebrations were held in 1971. In 1973 Stone Day celebrations were held over two days, which was expanded to take up a whole week in 1976. In the 1980s and 1990s, Stoneweek became a popular Canberra entertainment event, which in 2000 became Stonefest. Beginning in 2012, the Stonefest event was not held for a number of years at the University of Canberra. In 2014, the university decided to create a 'Stonefest' mini music festival where there was a DJ and numerous activities. It was not received well, and has not been held since. In June 2019 the University of Canberra announced that Stonefest would return in October in an expanded format, with both local and international acts performing.


One of the entrances to the University of Canberra
Futuro House is located at the University of Canberra

The university has one campus, located in the suburb of Bruce, which covers 290 acres of buildings, roads and access routes. There are just over 28 buildings, each dedicated to a particular discipline of learning or faculty. Most of these buildings are arranged around the main concourse. Each building is numbered and many do not hold any title or namesake. New students are advised during orientation that the buildings are not numbered in a particular order, however the buildings around the concourse are progressively numbered in a counter-clockwise direction from building 1. It is a common myth that the numbers relate to when each building was constructed, however, a master plan was designed to have these building around the concourse numbered this way.


The University of Canberra Library is located in Building 8. The building has four floors.[10]


The Refectory is the main food hall located in Building 1, operated by the UC Union.[11] It provides cafes, post office, general shop, pool tables, and lounges, and is also concert venue. Upstairs there are study rooms which can be booked by students and staff.

The Hub is located under the main concourse, providing cafes, a hairdressing salon, and a branch of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The University of Canberra's student radio station 87.8 UCFM studios are also located in The Hub. The UC HUB also hosts DJs.

A sport and fitness centre is located in Building 29 with gym facilities and is home to Brumbies Rugby administration. There are basketball and squash courts nearby in Building 4, and various sporting ovals available.[12]

Student accommodation

There are three accommodation options for students - UniLodge (consisting of Cooper Lodge, Weeden Lodge and more recently UC Lodge,[13] all run by UniLodge Australia Pty Ltd), Campus West (run by UniLodge) and University Gardens (located in neighbor suburb of Belconnen, run by UniGardens Pty[14]). All options are provided to all students, including international students.

Organisation and administration


The current Chancellor of the university since 1 January 2014 is Tom Calma, AO, an Australian Aboriginal elder of the Kungarakan people, and a human rights and social justice campaigner.[1]

The current Vice-Chancellor of the university since 6 April 2020 is Professor Paddy Nixon, a technologist and computer scientist.[15] The former Vice-Chancellor from 1 September 2016 to 21 December 2019 was Professor Deep Saini, a plant physiologist.[16]

Like most Australian universities, University of Canberra derives the majority of its revenue from Australian Government funding and student fees. The ACT Government provides around one percent of the university's operating budget.[17]


The five faculties are:

Arts and Design

Arts and design specialises in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Graphic Design, Communication Studies, Culture and Heritage, Journalism, Creative Writing and Poetry, International Studies, and Media Arts. The faculty has two schools: School of Design and the Built Environment and School of Arts and Communication.

Business, Government and Law

The Business Government and Law Faculty provides courses in Accounting, Applied Economics, Business Administration, Business Informatics, Construction, Economics, Finance, Law, Management, Marketing, Politics, Sociology, Public Policy, Tourism, and Urban and Regional Planning.


The Education faculty offers courses designed to cover all stages of teacher development with courses in early childhood, primary and secondary.


The Faculty of Health prepares allied health professionals, including nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, optometrists & vision scientists, psychologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dietitians, nutritionists, radiologists, speech pathologists, exercise scientists, and sports management professionals.

Science and Technology

The Faculty of Science and Technology trains students in Environmental Sciences, Biomedical and Forensic as well as Information Technology, Information Systems, Engineering, and Mathematics.

UC also offers a range of double degrees that combine two degrees from different faculties.

Academic profile


University rankings
University of Canberra
QS World[18]484
THE World[19]184=
ARWU World[20]601–700
US News World[21]645
Australian rankings
QS National[18]26
THE National[22]15
ARWU National[23]26–27
US News National[24]29
ERA National[25]33 [26]

The university is named among the world's top 20 young universities in the 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings.[27] The university has risen to number 18 from number 34 in the latest THE's list of the best universities under 50 years of age.[28][29]

Research centres

The university has a number of research centres relating to its areas of research strength. These are:

  • Institute for Applied Ecology[30]
  • Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis
  • Research Institute for Sport and Exercise
  • Health Research Institute
  • Centre for Creative and Cultural Research
  • News and Media Research Centre
  • Centre for Research and Action in Public Health
  • Centre for Research in Therapeutic Solutions
  • STEM Education Research Centre
  • SYNERGY Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre
  • Nexus Research Centre
  • Canberra Urban and Regional Futures
  • Collaborative Indigenous Research Initiative
  • Murray-Darling Basin Futures Collaborative Research Network
  • Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre

Notable people


Notable staff members include/have included:

  • Janine Deakin, geneticist
  • John Dryzek, political scientist
  • Patricia Easteal, Professor of Law
  • Donald Horne, journalist, writer, social critic, historian and public intellectual
  • Peter Leahy, former Chief of Army (Australia)
  • Ingrid Moses, Emeritus Professor and a former Chancellor
  • Susan Ryan, one-time Labor government Minister

See also


  1. Doman, Claudia (20 February 2014). "New UC Chancellor calls for a fairer Australia" (streaming video) (Press release). University of Canberra. Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  2. "University of Canberra announces Professor Paddy Nixon as new Vice-Chancellor". 20 December 2019. Archived from the original on 7 March 2022. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  3. "uCube - Higher Education Statistics". Archived from the original on 3 April 2022. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  4. Martindale, [Marketing] Rhys (20 May 2014). "UC Schools". Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  5. University of Canberra 2014
  6. UC intake hits record high Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Canberra Times, 15 March 2011
  7. Towell 2011
  8. Item 4.2 Archived 21 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, March 2012
  9. "the AU Review 7 Oct 2011". Archived from the original on 28 August 2016.
  10. "About the Library". 11 September 2009. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  11. "Food & Drink (Refectory)". 6 June 2016. Archived from the original on 8 April 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  12. "Gym and Group Fitness". 9 June 2016. Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  13. "@ UC - UC Lodge - UniLodge". UniLodge. Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  14. UniGardens Canberra University student accommodation Archived 17 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, official website
  15. Hope", "Megan"] ["Reeder (20 December 2019). "University of Canberra announces Professor Paddy Nixon as new Vice-Chancellor". Archived from the original on 7 March 2022. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  16. Unknown (1 September 2016). "UC welcomes new Vice-Chancellor". Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  17. MacDonald 2011
  18. "QS World University Rankings 2023". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited.
  19. "World University Rankings 2021". Times Higher Education.
  20. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  21. "U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report.
  22. "THE 2021 - Australia". Times Higher Education.
  23. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2021". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  24. "U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities in Australia". U.S. News & World Report.
  25. "Australian University Rankings". Australian Education Network.
  26. "All unis winners in research audit". The Australian. 4 December 2015. Archived from the original on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  27. "Young University Rankings 2020". Times Higher Education. 2019. Archived from the original on 22 May 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  28. "University of Canberra rises to world's top 40 young universities". 26 June 2019. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  29. "Young University Rankings 2019". Times Higher Education. 2019. Archived from the original on 26 June 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  30. University of Canberra 2017


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