Victoria University, Australia: Wikis


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Victoria University
Established 1916
Type Public
Chancellor George Pappas
Vice-Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Harman
Staff 2,854 (2008) [1]
Undergraduates 23,999 (2008) [1]
Postgraduates 4,568 (2008) [1]
Other students 28,587 TAFE (2008) [1]
Location Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Campus Urban
Affiliations ASAIHL

Victoria University (VU) is a multi-sector tertiary institution (higher education and TAFE) based in Melbourne, Australia with 10 campuses.

VU offers qualifications in higher education, vocational education (TAFE), as well as short courses. VU also offers learning pathways enabling students to move from a certificate course through to an advanced diploma, degree, or postgraduate qualification by coursework or research.



Victoria University founded in 1916 as Footscray Technical School. In 1968, it became the Footscray Institute of Technology.

In 1991, the Footscray Institute of Technology and the Western Institute were merged to form the Victoria University of Technology. The Foundation Vice Chancellor, Professor Jarlath Ronayne, believed that the university could best serve the West by being a strong, teaching and research-based institution along traditional lines. He built partnerships that would support this in Europe and in eastern Melbourne. [2]

On 1 July 1998 Victoria University of Technology was forced to merge with the Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE by the Victorian state government, against the wishes of Professor Ronayne.[2] The merger gave the university control of nearly all government tertiary institutions between Melbourne's CBD and the Werribee River.

In April 2005, the University applied to the Victorian government to have the name "Victoria University" formally recognised in legislation, although the name had already been widely used for seven years. At this time, Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Harman said of the word "technology", "The word reflects the past, not the future and it suggests we are a narrow specialist when in fact we are a broad educational provider". A change of name was said to help the Uni "position itself for the future in ways that are not about an old technology specialist label or traditional approach - we are not trying to be Cambridge on the Maribyrnong River, either."

2005 also saw the university launch a new operational ethos embodied in the tagline - "A New School of Thought". [3] The university uses this slogan widely in public communications.

2008 saw the Vice Chancellor announce 270 forced staff redundancies (one quarter of teaching staff and one fifth of general staff), the closure of the Melton and Sunbury campuses, and significant course and subject "rationalisations". As a result, staff at Victoria University went on strike and instituted work bans. [4]


VU offers qualifications ranging from short course diplomas through to apprenticeship level training (TAFE), higher education degrees, postgraduate masters programs and postdoctoral research (PhD).

Within Higher Education, there are three faculties:

The Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development works at the frontline of cultural enquiry and social engagement, developing the social, physical and educative well-being of members in western Melbourne's community, and cultivating critical analysis and thought. The Schools within the faculty include: Communication and the Arts, Education, Sport and Exercise Science, Social Sciences and Psychology.

Victoria University's Faculty of Business and Law is one of the largest business schools in Australia, with over 10,000 students studying at campuses spread across the city's west, as well as the state of the art city campus. The Schools within the faculty include: Accounting, Economics and Finance, Hospitality, Tourism and Marketing, Law and Management, and Information Systems.

The Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science bases learning on solving real problems - through innovative Problem Based Learning. The Schools within the faculty include: Biomedical and Health Sciences, Engineering and Science, and Nursing and Midwifery.

Within Vocational Education (TAFE) there are three faculties and one service area:

The Faculty of Technical and Trades Innovation brings together trades, post-trades and para-professional education in areas of skill shortages including engineering, information technology, electrical, building and construction industries, and personal services. The Schools within the faculty include: Engineering and Electrotechnology, Construction Industries, Industry Skills Training, Information and Communications Technology, and Personal Services.

The Faculty of Workforce Development delivers courses in business, tourism, enterprise, health, creative media, hospitality and sport and recreation. The Schools within this faculty include: Business and Hospitality, Community Services, Creative Industries, Enterprise, Finance and Library, Health, Sport and Science

VU College provides a wide range of services and programs designed to support student access to all VU courses and programs. The College offers nationally-accredited courses, learning support, customised courses and career development services to all students.

TAFE at VU is characterised by a focus on relevant, work-based learning initiatives and a strong connection with business and industry.


Research Institutes:

  • Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives
  • Institute for Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Institute for Sustainability and Innovation

Research Centres:

  • Centre for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise and Sport Science
  • Centre for Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering
  • Centre for Strategic Economic Studies
  • Centre for Telecommunications and Micro-Electronics
  • Centre for Tourism and Services Research
  • Work-based Education Research Centre


Victoria University currently has 11 campuses - City Flinders, City King, City Queen, Footscray Nicholson, Footscray Park, Melton, Newport, St Albans, Sunbury, Sunshine and Werribee.

The Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music is an independent body affiliated with the University that delivers courses at its main Richmond campus and also at the Sunbury campus of Victoria University.

Victoria University courses are also delivered by a number of affiliates in Asia. In 2006, these offshore students made up 10% of the student body and 15% of the university's income. [5] Two of the largest affiliates are Sunway University College in Malaysia and Liaoning University in China.


Footscray Park

Footscray Park campus

The Footscray Park campus is located on Ballarat Road, Footscray and is the University's primary campus. Located within walking distance from the Footscray railway station, this campus occupies a seven-hectare site next to parklands along the Maribyrnong River. Features include: full gym and indoor 25m heated pool, cafes and restaurants, a student bar and a childcare centre.

It was first opened in 1943 and was the main campus of the former Footscray Institute of Technology. The campus now delivers almost exclusively higher education courses.

St Albans

The St Albans campus is located in McKecknie Street St Albans and is the second-largest campus of the university (by student population). The extensive grounds of the 32 hectare St Albans Campus sit alongside Jones Creek and native grasslands dotted with sugar gums. The campus consists of contemporary buildings encircling a large piazza.

Both higher education and TAFE courses are delivered at the site with a focus on psychology, nursing, arts, paramedic and biomedical science. The campus has state-of-the-art research centres, including a sleep laboratory and a 'wet lab' for marine studies.

First founded in 1986 in Princess Arcade, it was moved to the current site in 1987. It is located on Jones Creek on the site of a decommissioned army base and later explosives works. It was the main campus of the former Western Institute.

Footscray Nicholson

The Footscray Nicholson campus is located in central Footscray, on the corner of Nicholson and Buckley Streets. It delivers TAFE, VCE and short courses. It was the main campus of the Western Metropolitan Institute of TAFE when it became part of the University and was earlier the original campus of the Footscray Institute of Technology.

The campus was first founded in March 1916 when the Footscray Technical School began teaching. On 1 July 1972 the secondary education part of the Institute was separated but continued to operate on this site until May 1980. Today it is known as Footscray City College. On 23 October 1973 the trade section of the Institute was renamed "Footscray Technical College". It was based at this campus. This college was renamed "Footscray College of TAFE" in April 1982. It separated from FIT on 30 June 1982, taking with it this campus.

This college remained independent until 1991, when it merged behind-the-scenes with the Newport College of TAFE. From 1992, the merged entity operated as "Western Metropolitan College of TAFE". It was renamed "Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE" (WMIT) in 1996. This merged with Victoria University of Technology in 1998.


This collection of campuses each has a specialised focus. They share some resources, and in some respects are treated as a single campus.

City Flinders

City Flinders is located across two buildings at 300 Flinders Street and 301 Flinders Lane in central Melbourne and was originally a centre for postgraduate students working in the CBD. However, it has more recently expanded its focus and since 2006 it has also been the base for the university's undergraduate visual design courses. Most recently the building has had a major renovation with the first of selected undergraduate business courses such as International Trade and banking and finance taking place from 2007 onwards. The Flinders Lane building focuses on Osteopathic Medicine. Also offered on this campus are Masters courses within the Faculty of Business. The 300 Flinders St building was built by Floyd Podgornik. [6] It overlooks Melbourne's historic Flinders Street Station, the Yarra River and the Southbank precinct.

The campus is home to the University's multimedia courses, postgraduate business courses, and Conference Centre.

City King

Close to Southern Cross Station, this modern high-rise building provides training for a range of industries including hairdressing, health and beauty, office administration and retail.

The institution that became this campus began as the "Melbourne School of Hairdressing" in 1964 on another site. In 1975 it was renamed "Melbourne Technical College of Hairdressing". This became known as "Flagstaff College of TAFE" in 1984, due to its proximity to the Flagstaff Gardens.

On 1 July 1993 Flagstaff College of TAFE merged with the Western Metropolitan College of TAFE. [7]. At this point, the old Flagstaff College campus merged with the adjacent campus of the Melbourne School of Decoration that had become part of the college six months before. The new "Flagstaff campus" operated in three buildings adjacent to William Angliss College.

In 1996, the painting, decorating and signwriting courses moved to Sunshine, while the other courses moved to the current King St site. The campus then became part of Victoria University on July 1 1998.

City Queen

The City Queen Campus occupies two heritage buildings in the heart of Melbourne's legal precinct.

295 Queen Street houses the University's School of Law, the Law Library, The Sir Zelman Cowen Centre for Continuing Legal Education, and Victoria University's Judicial Administration and Justice Studies Institute. The building also contains two moot courts, computer laboratories, lecture theatres and seminar rooms.

283 Queen Street houses some of the University's Business and Law activities, including postgraduate business programs, undergraduate law, and continuing legal education.

Melbourne's Public Records Office and Land Titles Office were formerly located in these Victorian-era buildings.


The Werribee Campus is located in the Werribee agricultural research/tertiary education precinct in two diagonally adjacent parts and is a major contributor to the local scientific community.

Spread over 16 hectares, it features specialised facilities for teaching and research including major research centres for the Faculty of Health Engineering and Science; and a recently completed animal care and breeding facility.

The main part of the campus was envisioned as a Western Institute campus, though it only began once that institution had become part of Victoria University of Technology in 1992.

The other was a campus of Footscray College of TAFE that opened in the 1980s as its "Hoppers Crossing" campus. It joined the Western Metropolitan College of TAFE in 1991, and was renamed "Werribee" campus in 1995. After an institutional name change, it became part of VU in 1998. The two diagonally adjacent "Werribee" campuses merged at this time.

This campus is home to community radio station WYN-FM. [8]


The Sunbury campus is on the 22 hectare site of an old mental hospital (in its last days known as "Caloola Centre"), on the top of a hill. Opened in 1995, it offers TAFE and Higher Education courses. It is the only VU campus with student accommodation on site - Sunbury Hall. It contains a campus-within-a-campus of the Melba Conservatorium of Music. It is also home to community radio station 3NRG [9].

In 2008 it was announced that the campus was to close, with the final new enrolments being taken in 2010. [10] Staff and students will be relocated from Sunbury campus by the end of 2009. The only exception is students studying VET Diploma of Events Management. Student accommodation at Sunbury Hall will be available until the end of 2010.


the soon to be defunct Melton campus

The Melton campus offers TAFE and higher education courses. It is adjacent to Staughton College, a government high school (previously "Melton Technical School"). Together they form the "Melton Learning Precinct".

In 1987, the Western Institute took over the Melton annex of the Footscray College of TAFE (founded in the mid 1980s). Later that year, they moved to the current Melton South site, collocating with the now adjacent Technical School, before opening on its current site soon after.

In 2008 it was announced that the campus was to close, with the final new enrolments being taken in 2010 [10]. From 2010, there will be no new higher education intakes on the Melton campus. However, it will remain as a VU vocational education community campus.

No current courses will dropped. New and continuing students will still have the opportunity to study all courses on offer, either at Melton or at other VU campuses.


The Sunshine campus is located on Ballarat Road,Sunshine and offers TAFE courses. It is the site of the university's Convention Centre, the premier conference centre of Melbourne's western suburbs.

An ambulance depot is surrounded by the campus. Sunshine campus is adjacent to Dempster Park and 200 metres from the Australian Technical College - Sunshine.

The campus began as "Sunshine High School" in 1955.[11] It eventually became a campus of Western Metropolitan College of TAFE.


The Newport campus offers automotive, carpentry and electrical TAFE courses. It is adjacent to the Newport rail yards.

The campus began operating as "Newport Technical School" on 1 March 1979. It was a campus of the Footscray Institute of Technology. It was officially opened on the 22nd October 1980 by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Henry Winneke. The school was renamed "Newport College of TAFE" in April 1982, before separating from the Footscray Institute in November of the same year.[12]

After a merge, the campus began operating as part of the new "Western Metropolitan College of TAFE" in 1992. Six year later, this TAFE and the campus became part of Victoria University.

In 2005, the university announced plans to close the campus, although to date this has not eventuated. [13]

The Student Village

Originally the Maribyrnong Migrant Hostel (later becoming the Midway Migrant Hostel and Phillip Migrant Hostels) [14], the 12 hectare site was converted to student accommodation in 1989. A consortium comprising Footscray Institute of Technology (FIT), the Western Institute, RMIT and the University of Melbourne originally owned the facility, however FIT and Western Institute descendent Victoria University took it over completely a few years later.

It is now home to up to 525 tertiary students, housed across six colleges. Since April 2009, Student Village has adopted a dictatorial management style.

List of Colleges

College Color Buildings
Astley green Ada, Albert, Avoca, Arter
Barton royal blue Barham, Barkley, Bourne, Bemm, Bass
Chifley yellow Calder, Cann, Carlisle, Carey
Dalton red Darby, Dart, Don, Dee
Endeavour maroon Elliot, Elgin, Emu, Erskine
Falcon navy blue Forest, Ford, Franklin, Fraser

Gilmore College was previously on the Phillip Migrant Hostel site. Some sections of the surrounding land are currently being redeveloped with housing.

Whitten Oval

In 2008 it was announced that the University planned to open a sport and recreation learning centre in West Footscray at Whitten Oval. [15][16] It is planned to include a 140-seat lecture theatre, classrooms and offices. [17]

Past campuses

City South Melbourne

The South Melbourne campus was a TAFE-only campus, first opened in 1885 and closed in 2006. It was located at 207 City Road, Southbank and shared some facilities with the Victorian Institute of Sport. In its last days it offered sport, graphic design and business courses. On closure the Department of Visual Arts, Design and Multimedia relocated to City Flinders Campus, and the Department of Sport, Recreation and Performance moved to the Footscray Park Campus. It was sometimes known as "Kavanagh St campus" due to its location, and "JH Boyd campus" due to its history. The main buildings are heritage listed and City of Melbourne is presently (2007) attempting to acquire the site from the state government for public use. [18]

The educational establishment on this site was first known as "State School No 2686". It was constructed in 1884-1885 to the design of the Education Department's Chief Architect Henry Bastow. It replaced "No. 222 St Luke's South Melbourne Church of England School" in Clarendon Street, Emerald Hill. In 1929 it was amalgamated with "Eastern Road State School No. 1852".

The building was reconstructed in 1930 by WH Bolger to become the "South Melbourne Girls' School" devoted to the training of girls in domestic arts. In 1932 it was renamed the "JH Boyd Domestic College" after its patron, a successful grazier, who bequeathed a large sum of money to establish a school of domestic science so 'that women should be taught to manage a home correctly'. It later became known as "JH Boyd Girls High School".

It was closed as a school in 1985 after 100 years of operation. Later, the Western Metropolitan College of TAFE took it over. The campus joined Victoria University in 1998.


The short-lived Echuca campus was a small shop near the Echuca Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE campus. It offered Nyerna Studies (Koori) courses.


The Yarraville campus was a TAFE only campus. At the end of its life it offered courses in plumbing and gas fitting, furniture studies and boat building. These moved to the Sunshine campus on its closure. The site was sold in 2004 for AU$4.9 million. [19] It has been converted into "Yarravillage", a housing estate. [20]

The campus was established as part of the Footscray College of TAFE. It was sometimes known as "Berry St campus" due to its location.

Old Williamstown Post Office Restaurant

The university operated a teaching restaurant at Cole and Parker Sts, Williamstown for a few years. It was regularly included in lists of campuses at this time. The post office was built in 1860.


Footscray Institute of Technology (1916-1992)

In March 1916, the Footscray Technical School began teaching at the currently used Nicholson St site. The land was previously owned by the Victorian Railways, and was and still is adjacent to the Footscray Mechanics Institute.

In 1943, a new campus was built on Ballarat Rd, on the edge of Footscray Park.

In July 1958, the school was renamed "Footscray Technical College". On 25 September 1968, it was renamed "Footscray Institute of Technology" (FIT). It was to keep this name until its end.

On 1 July 1972 the secondary education part of the Institute was separated and named "Footscray Secondary Technical School". It operated on the Nicholson St site. However, its council was not established until early 1975, a new site (on Ballarat Rd) was not acquired until 1975 and was not ready for occupation until May 1980. Thus during this period it remained closely linked to the Institute. Today it is known as Footscray City College.

Also in 1972, FIT began to issue degrees.

On 23 October 1973 the trade section of the institute was renamed "Footscray Technical College". It operated on the Nicholson St site. This college was renamed "Footscray College of TAFE" in April 1982. It separated from FIT on 30 June 1982.

On 1 March 1979 "Newport Technical School" opened. It is renamed "Newport College of TAFE" in April 1982. It separated from FIT in November 1982.

These three departures left FIT with its most advanced courses, and the Footscray Park site.

In 1984, FIT became self-accredited. According to some definitions, it became a university at this point.

On 1 July 1990 Victoria University of Technology was established through the merger of Footscray Institute of Technology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Western Institute. These 3 merged entities continued to operate as separate legal entities until 1 January 1992, by which stage RMIT had pulled out.

Western Institute (1987-1992)

The Western Institute was founded in 1986, and began teaching in 1987. In 1991 it merged behind-the-scenes with FIT to become VUT, and began operating as such in 1992.

The Institute had campuses in St Albans and Melton, and was establishing one at Werribee when it became part of VUT. It also delivered courses at the University of Melbourne's Mount Derrimut campus. It planned to open a campus in Keilor, most likely just south of Calder Park.

Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE (1992-1998)

In 1990, the "Victorian Education and Training Act" became law. Previously, Victorian TAFE colleges were closely run by the "State Training Board". But now they became independent state-owned businesses, and had many more freedoms.

On 1 May 1991 the Footscray and Newport Colleges of TAFE made use of this new-found freedom and amalgamated to form "Gellibrand College of TAFE", which on 1 August that year was renamed "Western Metropolitan College of TAFE".[3] The merged entity began operating as such on 1 January 1992. [4]

The merger brought together the two TAFE colleges that had succeeded from FIT in 1982.

On 1 January 1993 the Melbourne College of Decoration merged with the college. The Painting, Decorating and Signwriting departments became part of the college, while the Visual Merchandising and Interior Decoration and Design departments moved to RMIT. [5]

Six months later on 1 July 1993 Flagstaff College of TAFE merged with the college. [6] Its single campus was co-located with the decoration college, the two merging together to become the Flagstaff campus. William Angliss College was also on this site, [7] and the two shared some resources.

In 1994, the college had the following campuses: Footscray (Nicholson St), Hyde St annex (Footscray), Newport, Yarraville, Sunshine (Ballarat Rd), Sunshine (Morris St), Hoppers Crossing, South Melbourne, Old Williamstown Post Office Restaurant and Flagstaff.

The Morris St campus was a continuation of the Sunshine Technical School which was established in 1913.

On 1 January 1996 the college was renamed "Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE" (WMIT). [8] Also this year, the Flagstaff Campus moved into a new building at 255 King Street, becoming known as the "King Street campus".

In November 1996, the King Street campus' child care centre in West Melbourne was ceded to RMIT.

On 1 July 1998 WMIT was absorbed by VUT. At this time, VUT changed its public name to Victoria University. [9]


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