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Curtin University (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley, Perth, Western Australia. It is named after John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 to 1945, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with 56,662 students in 2017.[1]

File:Curtin University from Edinburgh Oval.jpg

View of Curtin University Chancellery Building

File:Curtin Stadium.jpg

Curtin Stadium

Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries.[2] The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. It had a Sydney campus from 2005 to 2016; on 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.[3]

Curtin University was established as Australia’s first university of technology and is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN). Curtin University is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.[4]

It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.[5]

Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China, and has received funding from major Chinese companies such as Tencent.[6] It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh.[7] Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas.[8] The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.[9] Funding from major Chinese companies connected to the state have led to concerns that Curtin University has limited academic freedom on certain topics.[6]


Curtin University was founded in 1966 as the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT).[10] Its nucleus comprised the tertiary programs of the Perth Technical College, which opened in 1900.[11]

Curtin University's current site in Bentley was selected in 1962, and officially opened in 1966. The first students enrolled the following year.

In 1969, three more institutions were merged with WAIT: the Western Australian School of Mines (opened in 1902), the Muresk Agricultural College (opened in 1926), and the Schools of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (in operation since the 1950s at Shenton Park).[12] Between 1966 and 1976 WAIT experienced an expansion from 2,000 to 10,000 students.[13]

In December 1986 the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT) was made a university, under provisions of the WA Institute of Technology Amendment Act 1986.[14] Curtin University took its name from the former Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin. Curtin accepted its first students as a university in 1987.

In 2005, Curtin and Murdoch University were engaged in a feasibility study into the possibility of a merger.[15] However, on 7 November 2005, both institutions announced that a merger would not be undertaken.[16]

In 2009, Curtin became the first university in the Australian Technology Network to be listed on the Academic Ranking of World Universities of research universities.[17]

In 2010, Curtin dropped the "of Technology" suffix, from then operating as "Curtin University". The legal name remains Curtin University of Technology until the Act under which it operates is amended by the Western Australian parliament.[18]

In 2020, a roof at Curtin University collapsed, killing one 23-year-old construction worker after falling more than Template:Convert, and leaving two injured.[19][20] In 2011, the roof of building 201, the Architecture and Planning building ironically, required urgent work.[21]

Other campuses[]

Curtin has three smaller off-site campuses within the Perth metropolitan area. The Graduate School of Business building is located in the Perth Central Business District in the renovated former Government Printing Office and the law school is located on Murray Street in the old Public Health Department and Chief Secretary's building, a listed building on the State Register of Heritage Places.

Exploration Geophysics and Petroleum Engineering are located at the co-location research facilities of the Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC[22]) which also houses offices of CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering[23] and National Measurement Institute.[24] The ARRC is located in the Technology Park Bentley, adjacent to the main Bentley campus. Some University staff, researchers and students on practicum work in other locations such as the Oral Health Centre of WA (OHCWA) in Nedlands[25] and at Royal Perth Hospital, amongst other organisations.

Curtin has campuses outside Perth, the largest being the Western Australian School of Mines at Kalgoorlie, and a number of micro-campuses in locations such as Esperance, Margaret River and Geraldton. Nursing is the only course offered in Geraldton. The Muresk Institute at Northam left Curtin in 2012.

Dubai Campus[]

In April 2017 Curtin University established its newest campus in Dubai at Dubai International Academic City. Australian Ambassador to the UAE HE Arthur Spyrou officially opened the campus on 10 September 2017. Curtin University Dubai courses use the same structure and unit curriculum as those offered at the Bentley campus. Curtin University Dubai is accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority-KHDA. The Academic qualifications granted by Curtin University is certified by KHDA and is recognised in the Emirate of Dubai by all public and private entities.

Malaysia campus[]

Main article: Curtin University, Malaysia

The campus in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia, is a significant development for the university and is Curtin's largest international campus. Curtin's operations in Miri began in February 1999. In 2002, a purpose-built campus was opened as Curtin's first offshore campus and the first foreign university campus in East Malaysia. It has around 4,000 students from over 45 countries, and academics from more than 15 countries.[26] Curtin Malaysia is the only approved CISCO Networking University in Miri and Brunei.[27]

Singapore campus[]

Main article: Curtin Education Centre

Curtin University opened a Singapore-based campus on 23 November 2008.[28][29] Curtin Singapore courses use the same structure and unit curriculum as those offered at the Bentley campus.

Mauritius Campus[]

Curtin University opened its fourth international campus in Mauritius on 3 May 2018.

Former Sydney campus (2005–2016)[]

Curtin University Sydney (Curtin Sydney) was established on 20 June 2005. The first campus was located in The Rocks area. It was later relocated to the suburb of Chippendale where it occupied the historical Berlei Building. Curtin Sydney previously offered diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses to students from all over the world.

In 2015 the Curtin University Council concluded that Curtin's presence in Sydney was not in line with the university's research and marketing objectives, and scheduled its closure for early 2017.[3]


Curtin has its own bus station, which is connected to the Transperth public transport network. The station is also linked to the Mandurah railway line's Canning Bridge Station by a shuttle bus service. Curtin has its own internal bus network trialling autonomous buses on campus.



File:View of Curtin University.jpg

Grounds of Curtin University

From 2007, the university's teaching and research is divided into five faculties (previously known as divisions).[30] These are:

  • Centre for Aboriginal Studies
  • Faculty of Business and Law
    • School of Accounting
    • School of Economics and Finance
    • School of Management
    • School of Marketing
    • Curtin Law School
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
    • Curtin Medical School
    • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine
    • School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science
    • School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology
    • School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science
    • School of Psychology
    • School of Public Health
  • Faculty of Humanities
    • School of Design and the Built Environment
    • School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry
    • School of Education
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
    • School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering
    • School of Earth and Planetary Sciences
    • School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences
    • School of Molecular and Life Sciences
    • Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals and Energy Engineering


The main library is TL Robertson Library, located on the Bentley campus.[31] Curtin University Library includes the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library collection.[32]

Template:AnchorJohn Curtin Gallery[]

The John Curtin Callery (JCG) is located on the Bentley campus, in building 200A.[33] It is "One of Western Australia’s major public art galleries and one of the largest and best-equipped university galleries in the country", with a focus on contemporary art, learning and research.[34]

Academic profile[]

The university is one of the partners in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study, one of the largest cohorts of pregnancy, childhood, adolescence and early adulthood to be carried out anywhere in the world.[35]

Rankings and reputation[]

Template:Infobox Australian university ranking

Curtin University is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017. In 2015, its position increased by more than 100 places to equal 303rd in the world, which was the biggest increase of any Australian university.

Curtin is ranked 190th globally and 9th nationwide by U.S. News & World Report-Best Global Universities Rankings in 2020.[36] As of 2018, the University is also ranked in The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) as one of the top 200 world universities.[37] Curtin was awarded five-stars overall in the annual QS Stars university ratings for 2014.[38]

Curtin is ranked 2nd in the world for Engineering - Mineral & Mining in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.[39] In 2019 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject Curtin was ranked 5th in Australia for Architecture.

Curtin Creative Writing staff and alumni have won the Miles Franklin Award seven times.[40]

Student life[]


Curtin University offers on campus accommodation at four separate precincts which is managed by UniLodge.[41] These accommodation options include Kurrajong Village,[42] Erica Underwood House,[43] Guild House[44] and Vickery House.[45]

Student Guild[]

The Curtin Student Guild is the student association at Curtin University. The Guild was founded as the WAIT Student Guild in January 1969.

In addition to student representation, the guild manages most of the food outlets on campus, including the Guild Second Hand Bookshop, G Mart store (Curtin University apparel), G Mart books, stationery and news outlet, Guild Copy and Design Centre, and The Tav.[46] The Guild funds many of the student clubs and societies on campus. The Guild also runs a number of events throughout the year, most notably the Toga Party held in semester one and the previous notable event Grasslands Music Festival held in semester two. The Guild publishes Grok Magazine. The Student Guild is governed by students through the Guild Council, the official spokesperson of which is the Guild President. Student representatives are elected to their positions by students in annual elections held in September.[47] Postgraduate students are represented by the Postgraduate Students Committee, a committee of the Guild Council.


Men's Soccer[]

The men's team of the Curtin University Football Club is based on the main campus. The club currently (2020) competes in the Football West State League Division 2.

Women's soccer[]

The Curtin University FC Women's team are one of the inaugural teams in the new National Premier Leagues WA Women competition (which commenced in 2020), and is a part of the National Premier Leagues Women’s structure.[48] Previously they had been a part of the Women State League Division 1 from (at least) 2012 to 2019.

Notable people[]

Faculty and staff[]

Curtin's faculty includes prominent scholars such as environmental scientist Peter Newman, writer Kim Scott and isotope geochemist Kliti Grice.

Past prominent faculty members include the post-modernist Niall Lucy, writer Elizabeth Jolley and journalist Robert Duffield.


Among notable people to attend Curtin University are:

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  • James Angus, sculptor;
  • Natalie Barr, news presenter on Seven Network's Sunrise;[49]
  • Carrie Bickmore, co-host of The Project (Australian TV program);
  • John Butler, musician;
  • Michaelia Cash, member of Australian Senate;
  • Natalia Cooper, journalist for Nine News at the Nine Network Sydney;[50]
  • Priya Cooper, Gold medal swimmer at the Sydney Paralympic Games;[51]
  • Joel Creasey, actor and comedian;
  • Judy Davis, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress;
  • Jessica De Gouw, actress;
  • Martin Dougiamas, creator of Moodle;
  • Jon Doust, comedian, writer, novelist and professional speaker;
  • Elissa Down, film director;[52]
  • Cody Fern, actor
  • Jim Geelen, professor
  • Valerie Glover, artist;
  • Samantha Hall, entrepreneur, environmental and Antarctic researcher;
  • Brad Hogg, cricketer;
  • Claire Hooper, comedian;
  • Clarissa House, actor;
  • Kenneth Maxwell, educationist;
  • Dean Israelite, film director;
  • Andrew Long, geophysicist;
  • Judith Lucy, comedian;[53]
  • Frances O'Connor, actress;[54]
  • David McComb, lead singer The Triffids, songwriter and poet;
  • Sheila McHale, former Cabinet minister in the Government of Western Australia;[55]
  • Dacre Montgomery, actor;
  • Ljiljanna Ravlich, former Cabinet minister in the Government of Western Australia;[56]
  • Kate Raynes-Goldie, game designer and social media scholar;
  • Deborah Robertson, novelist;
  • Tony Ronaldson, basketball player for the Perth Wildcats;
  • Tracy Ryan, poet;
  • Philip Salom, poet;
  • Elaine Smith, actor;
  • Ben Templesmith, illustrator & author of 30 Days of Night;
  • Tim Winton, author;[54]
  • Joan Winch, nurse and educator;
  • John Worsfold, coach of the Essendon Football Club and ex-coach of the West Coast Eagles;[57]

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See also[]



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