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Swinburne University of Technology

Swinburne University of Technology (often simply called Swinburne) is an Australian public university based in Melbourne, Victoria. It was founded in 1908 as the Eastern Suburbs Technical College by George Swinburne in order to serve those without access to further education in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.[46] Its main campus is located in Hawthorn, a suburb of Melbourne which is located 7.5 km from the Melbourne central business district.[47]

Swinburne University of Technology
Swinburne University of Technology (logo).png
Former names
Eastern Suburbs Technical College (1908–1913)
Swinburne Technical College (1913–1992)
MottoFactum per Litteras (Latin)
Motto in English
"Achievement through learning"[1]
1992 (university status)
ChancellorJohn Pollaers
Vice-ChancellorLinda Kristjanson
Other students
Location, ,

In addition to its main Hawthorn campus, Swinburne has campuses in the Melbourne metropolitan area at Wantirna and Croydon as well as a campus in Sarawak, Malaysia.[48]

In the 2016 QS World University Rankings, Swinburne was ranked 32nd for art and design, making it one of the top art and design schools in Australia and the world.[49]



Swinburne University of Technology has its origins in the Eastern Suburbs Technical College, which was established in 1908 in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn by George Swinburne. In 1913, the institution changed its name to Swinburne Technical College. It attained university status on 1 July 1992 with the passage of the Swinburne University of Technology Act.[50]

Swinburne Technical College (1940s)

As a consequence of the Dawkins reforms to Australian higher education in the early 1990s, the university began teaching in the suburb of Prahran through a merger in 1992 with Victoria College (previously the Prahran Institute of TAFE),[51] which stood on the site of Victoria's first training institute, the Prahran Mechanics' Institute.

In 1997, Swinburne opened a campus at Lilydale, Victoria. In 1998, it merged with the Outer East Institute of TAFE and began operating from campuses at Croydon and Wantirna.[52]

In 1999, Swinburne established the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA).[53]

In 2000, the university opened a campus in Sarawak, Malaysia, as a partnership between the university and the Sarawak State Government.[54]

In February 2011, the university opened the Advanced Technologies Centre,[55] a 22,000 square metre building of modern architectural design at its Hawthorn campus,[56] known locally as "the cheese grater building".[57]

Following a series of funding cuts announced by the Victorian Government to vocational education in May 2012,[58] Swinburne announced that it would close its Lilydale and Prahran campuses.[59] Lilydale campus officially closed on 1 July 2013.[60] The university sold its Prahran campus to the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE in 2014.[61]

In 2015, Swinburne launched its law school and became the first university in Victoria to enable students to complete their practical legal training during the final year of their law degree.[62][63]


The Hawthorn campus is Swinburne’s main campus. It hosts a range of vocational, undergraduate, and postgraduate programs.

Wantirna is a TAFE-specific campus.[64] The campus also offers courses in areas including health and community services, visual arts, business and accounting.[65]

The university's Croydon campus is a TAFE-specific campus, with a focus on training in trades such as building, carpentry, electrical and plumbing.[66]


While Swinburne no longer operates at the Prahran campus, the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) continues to be based there.[67]

Sarawak, MalaysiaEdit

The Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus is located in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.[68]

Swinburne OnlineEdit

The university's joint venture with SEEK Limited led to the creation of Swinburne Online in 2011.[69]

Academic profileEdit


University rankings
Swinburne University of Technology
QS World[70]383
THE-WUR World[71]401-500
ARWU World[72]301-400
USNWR World[73]399
CWTS Leiden World[75]283[74]
Australian rankings
QS National[70]19
THE-WUR National[76]20
ARWU National[77]18
CWTS Leiden National[75]6
ERA National[78]15

Swinburne is internationally recognized for the output from international partnership researches.[79]

Swinburne is also renowned for producing favorable academic-industry partnership.[80]

Swinburne was ranked top 75 in the field of physics by the Academic Ranking of World Universities in the 2014.[81]

Swinburne was also ranked 32nd in the world for art and design in the 2016 QS World University Rankings, making it one of the top art and design schools.[82]

Swinburne has been placed in the top 75 for civil engineering and physics in the top 100 in Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects by the 2016.[83]

The university was listed in the top 40 for the art and design subject area by the 2018 QS World Rankings of Universities by Subject.[84]

Swinburne also performed well in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019, with Swinburne ranked in the top 200 for Education, the top 300 for Psychology and the top 500 for Business and Economics.[85]

Swinburne Business School ranked in the top 25% Economists and Institutions in Australia and 265th Business School in the world as of October 2018.[86][87] Swinburne ranked 351-400th in the Business & Management Studies in 2019 by QS World University Rankings.[88] There were three Swinburne Master programs that ranked in top 200 worldwide by Eduniversal in 2018.[89] Swinburne's online MBA ranked in the top 35(Tier One)internationally by the CEO Magazine 2019 ranking.[90] Swinburne is affiliated with Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative[91] and accredited by AACSB[92] and Principles for Responsible Management Education(PRME).[93]

Swinburne CollegeEdit

The university also operates Swinburne College, a provider of pathway education courses which prepare students for university study. Programs offered by Swinburne College include English language, foundation studies, diploma and professional year programs.[94] Swinburne College had collaborated with Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies.[95]


Student lifeEdit

Students on campus

Swinburne Student Union (SSU)Edit

Swinburne Student Union (SSU) is the independent student representative body of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Membership is opt-in for all students.[96]


Member Faculty position Period
Ian Young Vice-Chancellor 2003 - 2011
Alan Kin-Tak Lau Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research Performance and Development
Margaret Reid Professor at the Centre for Quantum and Optical Sciences
Lisa Given Associate Dean, Research and Development, for the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design
Ken Friedman Dean of the Faculty of Design
Matthew Bailes Professor at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
Katharine Betts Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology
Con Stough Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology
Arran Gare Associate Professor in the Faculty of Life and Social Sciences
Lawrence Pendlebury Instructor and then Head of the Art School 1946 - 1963, 1963 - 1974
Per Mollerup Professor of Communication Design
Jeremy Mould Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
Michael Kyrios
David Williamson Lecturer in mechanical engineering and thermodynamics, Lecturer in social psychology 1966 - 1970
Karl Glazebrook Professor of Astronomy 1966 -
James Clancy Phelan Instructor first year fiction 2016 -
Alan Duffy Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
Peter Hannaford Director of the Centre for Atom Optics and Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit