Curtin University

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 57,784 students in 2019.[1]

Curtin University
Curtin University Logo.svg
Former names
Western Australian Institute of Technology (1966–1986)
Curtin University of Technology (1986–2010)
MottoMake Tomorrow Better
Established1966; 55 years ago (1966)
ChancellorAndrew Crane
Vice-ChancellorJohn Cordery (interim)
Academic staff
1,710 (2019 FTE)[1]
Undergraduates50,223 (2019)[1]
Postgraduates9,460 (2019)[1]
Location, ,

32°00′22″S 115°53′36″E / 32.00611°S 115.89333°E / -32.00611; 115.89333
CampusUrban; 116 hectares[2]
AffiliationsATN, ASAIHL, OUA
View of Curtin University Chancellery Building
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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]


Curtin University was founded in 1966 as the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT).[7] Its nucleus comprised the tertiary programs of the Perth Technical College, which opened in 1900.[8]

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).[9] Between 1966 and 1976 WAIT experienced an expansion from 2,000 to 10,000 students.[10]

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.[11] Curtin University took its name from the former Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin. In 1987, Curtin University of Technology became Western Australia's third university and Australia's first university of technology.

In 2005, Curtin and Murdoch University were engaged in a feasibility study into the possibility of a merger.[12] However, on 7 November 2005, both institutions announced that a merger would not be undertaken.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

In 2020, a roof at Curtin University collapsed, killing one 23-year-old construction worker after falling more than 20 metres (66 ft), and leaving two injured.[16][17] In 2011, the roof of building 201, the Architecture and Planning building ironically, required urgent work.[18]

Other campusesEdit

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[19]) which also houses offices of CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering[20] and National Measurement Institute.[21] 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[22] 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 CampusEdit

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 campusEdit

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.[23] Curtin Malaysia is the only approved CISCO Networking University in Miri and Brunei.[24]

Singapore campusEdit

Curtin University opened a Singapore-based campus on 23 November 2008.[25][26] Curtin Singapore courses use the same structure and unit curriculum as those offered at the Bentley campus.

Mauritius CampusEdit

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

Former Sydney campus (2005–2016)Edit

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. The operation of Curtin Sydney was contracted out to private tertiary education provider Navitas Group. It offered diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students. In 2014 Curtin Sydney was involved in a cash-for-results scandal where students since 2012 had paid MyMaster, a Sydney company, up to $1,000 each to write essays and assignments for them, as well as sit online tests.[27] In 2015 Curtin announced the closure of Curtin Sydney from early 2017.[4]

Chinese funding concernsEdit

Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China, and has received funding from major Chinese companies such as Tencent.[28] 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.[29] The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.[30] Funding from major Chinese companies connected to the state have led to concerns that Curtin University has limited academic freedom on certain topics.[28]



Grounds of Curtin University

From 2007, the university's teaching and research is divided into five faculties (previously known as divisions).[31] 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.[32] Curtin University Library includes the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library collection.[33]

John Curtin GalleryEdit

The John Curtin Callery (JCG) is located on the Bentley campus, in building 200A.[34] 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.[35]


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.

Academic profileEdit

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.[36]

Rankings and reputationEdit

University rankings
Curtin University
QS World[37]217=
THE-WUR World[38]201-250
ARWU World[39]201-300
USNWR World[40]174=
CWTS Leiden World[41]239
Australian rankings
QS National[37]13
THE-WUR National[42]13
ARWU National[43]9-15
USNWR National[44]10
CWTS Leiden National[41]12
ERA National[46]25[45]

Curtin was ranked 174th globally and 10th nationwide by U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings in 2020.[47] The university was ranked in the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities in the top 201-300 world universities.[48]

Curtin was ranked 217th in the 2020 annual QS World University Rankings.[49] It was ranked 2nd in the world for Engineering - Mineral & Mining, and ranked 5th in Australia for Architecture in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject.[50][51]

Curtin's Creative Writing staff and alumni have won the Miles Franklin Award seven times.[52]

Student lifeEdit


Curtin University offers on campus accommodation at four separate precincts which is managed by UniLodge.[53] These accommodation options include Kurrajong Village,[54] Erica Underwood House,[55] Guild House[56] and Vickery House.[57]

Student GuildEdit

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.[58] 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.[59] Postgraduate students are represented by the Postgraduate Students Committee, a committee of the Guild Council.


Men's SoccerEdit

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 soccerEdit

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.[60] Previously they had been a part of the Women State League Division 1 from (at least) 2012 to 2019.

Notable peopleEdit

Faculty and staffEdit

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:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Curtin University Overview Statistics 2015-2019" (PDF). Office of Strategy and Planning. Bentley, WA: Curtin University. 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Bentley (main campus)". Curtin University. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Explore global opportunities". 18 March 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b Cowling, Carole (17 September 2015). "Curtin to wind-up its Sydney operation - News and Events - Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia". Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Research & Development at Curtin". 2 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  6. ^ "AINSE Gold Medals". Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  7. ^ White, Michael (1996), WAIT to Curtin : a history of the Western Australian Institute of Technology, Paradigm Books (Curtin University), ISBN 978-1-86342-490-5
  8. ^ Perth Technical College (1979), The history of the Perth Technical College from, The College, retrieved 15 September 2020
  9. ^ "History: WAIT to Curtin". Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  10. ^ Gable, Guy (September 2008). "Overview of WA universities". The information systems academic discipline in Australia. ANU E-Press. ISBN 978-1-921313-94-3. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Western Australian Institute of Technology Amendment Act 1986: Proclamation". Western Australia Government Gazette. 19 December 1986. p. 1986:4861.
  12. ^ "Curtin agrees to discuss merger". Curtin University Media Releases. 23 June 2007. Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  13. ^ "Curtin Murdoch merger proposal not to proceed". Curtin University Media Releases. 2 November 2007. Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  14. ^ Lane, Bernard (4 November 2009). "Dawkins reforms bear fruit at Curtin University". The Australian. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  15. ^ "Our name change - Curtin University". 7 July 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  16. ^ Bourke, Keane; Perpitch, Nicolas; Warriner, Jessica (13 October 2020). "Curtin University roof collapse leaves worker dead and two others injured in Perth hospital". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Curtin University: One dead after roof collapses in Australia". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 13 October 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Curtin Uni Bldg 201 Roof Repairs & Height Safety System". Duratec Australia. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Perth: Australian Resources Research Centre (WA) - Participating Institutions". 18 December 2009. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  20. ^ "CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering". Archived from the original on 17 June 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  21. ^ "Home - National Measurement Institute". 1 July 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  22. ^ "Oral Health Centre of Western Australia (OHCWA)". 18 September 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  23. ^ "Curtin Sarawak Malaysia". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  24. ^ Academy Connection - search for either Miri or Brunei
  25. ^ Nicol, Julia (26 March 2008). "Curtin announces new Singapore Campus". Curtin News. Curtin University of Technology. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
  26. ^ Yeen Nie, Hoe (27 March 2008). "Australia's Curtin University of Technology to open Singapore campus". Singapore News. Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 27 March 2008.
  27. ^ McNeilage, Amy; Visentin, Lisa (12 November 2014). "WA's Curtin University caught in NSW 'essay writing' scandal". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  28. ^ a b Borrello, Eliza (11 November 2019). "James Jing says his research career is dead and he blames the 'tentacles' of influence from China". ABC News. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  29. ^ "China signs WA gas deal". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  30. ^ "Chinese Premier visits Curtin to view innovative technology". Curtin University Media Releases. 3 April 2006. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  31. ^ Curtin University (13 September 2010). "Our study areas". Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  32. ^ "Robertson Library". Curtin University. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  33. ^ "Our Collections". Curtin University. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  34. ^ "About JCG - John Curtin Gallery". John Curtin Gallery. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  35. ^ "Mission - John Curtin Gallery". John Curtin Gallery. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  36. ^ "Long may kids' health study Raine | Health+Medicine".
  37. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2021". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited.
  38. ^ "World University Rankings 2020". TSL Education Limited.
  39. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  40. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities Rankings". U.S. News and World Report.
  41. ^ a b "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020". Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University.
  42. ^ "THE 2020 - Australia". Times Higher Education.
  43. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019 - Australia". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  44. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities in Australia/New Zealand". U.S. News and World Report.
  45. ^ "All unis winners in research audit". The Australian. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  46. ^ "Australian University Rankings". Australian Education Network.
  47. ^ Morse, Robert; Vega-Rodriguez, Juan (19 October 2020). "Curtin University". Best Global Universities in Australia. Washington, D.C.: U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  48. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020". Shanghai: ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. 15 August 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  49. ^ "QS World University Rankings". QS Top Universities. London. 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  50. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject: Engineering - Mineral & Mining". QS Top Universities. London. 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  51. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject - Achitecture". QS Top Universities. London. 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  52. ^ "Curtin alumna in running for Miles Franklin Literary Award | News and Events". 27 March 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  53. ^ "Student Accommodation Australia - Housing & Apartments". Unilodge.
  54. ^ "Perth Student Accommodation | Curtin University". Unilodge.
  55. ^ "Curtin Uni Accommodation | UniLodge Erica Underwood House". Unilodge.
  56. ^ "Furnished Apartments Perth Near CU | UniLodge Guild House". Unilodge.
  57. ^ "Curtin University Housing Perth | UniLodge Vickery House". Unilodge.
  58. ^
  59. ^ "Student reps". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  60. ^ "Female football in WA moves into new era". Football West. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  61. ^ "Celebrity Speakers Biography: Natalie Barr". Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  62. ^ "Curtin Faculty of Humanities: Alumni". Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  63. ^ "Curtin Alumni: Priya Cooper". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  64. ^ Rachel, Donkin (15 January 2008). "WA's catwalk star Gemma shines in her feature film debut". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  65. ^ "Funny girl". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 July 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  66. ^ a b "Communication & Cultural Studies - Graduate Achievements". Archived from the original on 3 September 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  67. ^ "Curtin Alumni: Sheila McHale". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  68. ^ "Ljiljanna Ravlich MLC Biography". Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  69. ^ "Curtin Alumni: John Worsfold". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2008.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 32°00′17″S 115°53′39″E / 32.00469°S 115.89405°E / -32.00469; 115.89405