- The University of Queensland
The University of Queensland
The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. We strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.
UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the QS World University Rankings and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 52 in the US NewsBest Global Universities Rankings, 60 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 77 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
The University’s global research positioning was highlighted by the election of five UQ scientiststo the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) in 2015 – almost one quarter of the 21 new Fellows and the most from any institution in the country.
The five new Fellows joined an existing group of 29 UQ scientists admitted to the AAS as Fellows since 1988, bringing the total number of UQ academics who are members of one of Australia’s six prestigious learned academies to 166.
UQ is one of only three Australian members of the global Universitas 21, a founding member of the Group of Eight (Go8) universities, and a member of Universities Australia.
Teaching and learning excellence
Skilled and motivated teachers are integral to providing positive teaching and learning outcomes for students.
UQ has a strong focus on teaching excellence, winning more Australian Awards for University Teaching than any other in the country and attracting the majority of Queensland’s highest academic achievers, as well as top interstate and overseas students.
The educators of UQ are committed to excellence in learning experiences and outcomes for their students.
In late 2013, UQ joined edX – the world’s leading consortium of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), jointly founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
UQ is one of only two Australian charter member universities included in the not-for-profit edX enterprise, and UQx represents this organisation on behalf of the University. UQx works with the University’s academic teaching staff to create and present a range of MOOCs through the edX platform.
UQx has ten MOOCs running on edX. Another four are being developed, covering subjects including scientific enquiry, healthcare, and meta-skills courses in employability and teamwork. Since releasing its first course on edX in March 2014, UQx has registered more than 640,000 participants from 219 countries.
The UQ Advantage provides students with opportunities, choices and support that will enable them to achieve their individual aspirations, to become leaders in their chosen fields and to positively impact on the society in which they live. In addition to flexibility in program choice, student benefits include the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of extracurricular activities during their studies. Students can study abroad, participate in conferences and research opportunities, access more than 190 clubs and societies, and utilise sporting and cultural facilities.
In 2015, the University had 50,836 students including 12,666 international students from 141 nations. It has one of Australia’s largest PhD enrolments, with more than 13,800 postgraduate students, and celebrated its 12,000th PhD graduation in 2015.
UQ is continually discovering and practising innovative approaches to fostering student retention and employability. The University works towards and achieves its strategic objectives by developing ways to engage students – and by pursuing best-practice inductions and student experiences.
The University’s outstanding 225,000-plus alumni include a Nobel laureate, two Fortune 500 company CEOs, an Academy Award winner, and leaders in government, law, science, public service and the arts. The University celebrates its alumni as its greatest assets. Their achievements make the University great – and, in return, the University will work hard to strengthen its reputation.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
- Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
- Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
- Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
- Faculty of Science
Proposals for a university in Queensland began in the 1870s. A Royal Commission in 1874, chaired by Sir Charles Lilley, recommended the immediate establishment of a university. Those against a university argued that technical rather than academic education was more important in an economy dominated by primary industry. Those in favour of the university, in the face of this opposition, distanced themselves from Oxford University and Cambridge University and proposed instead a model derived from the mid-western states of the USA. A second Royal Commission in 1891 recommended the inclusion of five faculties in a new university; Arts, Law, Medicine, Science and Applied Science. Education generally was given a low priority in Queensland’s budgets, and in a colony with a literacy rate of 57% in 1861, primary education was the first concern well ahead of secondary and technical education. The government, despite the findings of the Royal Commissions, was unwilling to commit funds to the establishment of a university.
In 1893 the Queensland University Extension Movement was begun by a group of private individuals who organised public lecture courses in adult education, hoping to excite wider community support for a university in Queensland. In 1894, 245 students were enrolled in the extension classes and the lectures were described as practical and useful. In 1906 the University Extension Movement staged the University Congress, a forum for interested delegates to promote the idea of a university. Opinion was mobilised, a fund was started and a draft Bill for a Queensland University was prepared. Stress was laid on the practical aspects of university education and its importance for the commerce of Queensland. The proceedings of the Congress were forwarded to Queensland Premier William Kidston. In October 1906, sixty acres in Victoria Park were gazetted for university purposes.
In 1910 the first teaching faculties were created. These included Engineering, Classics, Mathematics and Chemistry. In December of the same year, the Senate appointed the first four professors;Bertram Dillon Steele in chemistry, John Lundie Michie in classics, Henry James Priestley in mathematics and Alexander James Gibson in engineering. In 1911 the first students enrolled. The University’s first classes in the Government house were held in 1911 with 83 commencing students and Sir William MacGregor is the first chancellor (with Reginald Heber Roe as vice-chancellor). The development of the University was delayed by World War I, but after the first world war the university enrollments for education and research took flight as demand for higher education increased in Australia. Thus, in the early 1920s the growing University had to look for a more spacious campus as its original site at George Street, Brisbane has limited room for expansion.
In 1927, Dr James O’Neil Mayne and his sister Mary Emelia Mayne, provided a grant of approximately £50,000 to the Brisbane City Councilto acquire 274 acres (111 ha) of land at St Lucia and provided it to the University of Queensland as its permanent home. In the same year, the pitch drop experiment was started by Professor Thomas Parnell. The experiment has been described as the world’s oldest and continues to this day. Lack of finance delayed development of the St Lucia campus. Hence, the construction of the University’s first building in St Lucia only began in 1938. It was later named the Forgan Smith Building, after the Premier of the day and it was completed in 1939. DuringWorld War II, the Forgan Smith Building was used as a military base and it served first as advanced headquarters for the Allied Land Forces in the South West Pacific.
In 1990, Australia reorganised its higher education system by abolishing the binary system of universities and colleges of advanced education. Under this transition, the University merged with Queensland Agricultural College, to establish the new UQ Gatton campus. In 1999, UQ Ipswich began operation as one of the completely Web-enabled campuses in Australia.
The Ipswich campus was made up of nearly 20 buildings and more than 5001 students on nearly 25 hectares (62 acres). Courses offered included: arts, business, medicine and social sciences as well as Interaction design. It is located near central Ipswich, Queensland, just south of the CBD. Nearby landmarks include Limestone Park, Workshops Rail Museum and RAAF Base Amberley. The site dates back to 1878 with the opening of the Ipswich branch of the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum. Operations continued until 1910 when it became the Ipswich Hospital for the Insane. In 1938 it was renamed the Ipswich Mental Hospital and in 1964 it was renamed again as the Ipswich Special Hospital. It was finally named the Challinor Centre in 1968 in honour of Dr. Henry Challinor, the ship’s surgeon on the Fortitude. From 1968 to 1997 the Challinor Centre served as an institution for people with intellectual disabilities. In late 1997 the Challinor Centre began its first stage of transformation as the new UQ Ipswich campus. In 2014, UQ sold the Ipswich Campus to the University of Southern Queensland, believing that this regional teaching campus would be better utilised by USQ. In May 2013, UQ joined edX, an international consortium of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Due to start in May 2014, the initial four UQxcourses will cover hypersonics, tropical coastal ecosystems, biomedical imaging and the science of everyday thinking.
The University of Queensland was established by an Act of State Parliament on 10 December 1909 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Queensland’s separation from the colony of New South Wales. The Act allowed for the university to be governed by a senate of 20 men and Sir William MacGregor, the incoming Governor, was appointed the first chancellor with Reginald Heber Roe as the vice chancellor. Government House (now Old Government House) in George Street was set aside for the University following the departure of the Governor to the Bardon residence Fernberg, sparking the first debates about the best location for the university.
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