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Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

University of Newcastle stands strong among the world’s best

The University of Newcastle continues to stand strong among the world’s best, ranking in the top 300 universities in the world, in the 2018 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

University of Newcastle stands strong among the world’s best

THE World University Rankings (Image via: UON)

Now in their 14th year, the THE World University Rankings, evaluate universities worldwide across five key areas: teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.

The 2018 THE ranking includes 1,102 of the world’s leading research universities, up from 980 from the previous ranking, and includes 67 universities not previously assessed.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen said the independent ranking was an excellent achievement that reflected UON’s vision to stand as a global leader, distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence, creating a better future for its regions through innovation and impact.

“Our performance in the 2018 THE World University Rankings is recognition of the hard work of our researchers, academics and professional staff in delivering superior education and world-class research and innovation that creates new thinking, new ideas and new breakthroughs, not just in Australia, but around the world.

“We are also delighted the University of Newcastle’s reputation for delivering specialised degrees, shaped around global learning, work placements and entrepreneurial approaches to study has been acknowledged.”

UON also performed strongly in the categories “industry income,” which measures the level of engagement between academics and their industry partners; and “international outlook,” the proportion of international students and staff, as well as international research collaborations.

“We’re proud that today’s THE World University Rankings recognise our many strengths and place UON among the world’s best.”


Learn more about how you can study at the University of Newcastle! Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com, or phone toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

University of Newcastle opens NeW Space facility

The University of Newcastle’s (UON) $95-million NeW Space facility will soon be welcoming students and the community, with staff moving into the building last week.

Staff at NeW Space

Staff at NeW Space (Photo: University of Newcastle)

UON Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen said this first stage in the transition of staff and students was an exciting milestone for the university.

“Over the past four years, we have watched this remarkable building take shape in the heart of the CBD, visibly transforming the Newcastle skyline and contributing to the renewal of our city and region,” Professor McMillen said.

“Opening the doors to our staff on Monday is a proud moment. While a building may have ‘great bones’ and a strong physical presence, it is the people who work and study there who will deliver the full potential of its design for the benefit of our community.”

UON’s Faculty of Business and Law and staff from the new School of Creative Industries will move into the city from Monday, with 320 staff working from the new city campus this week. Up to 3,000 students will study at NeW Space from the start of Semester 2, 2017.

NeW Space will deliver new academic and research programs in business, law and emerging fields including creative industries, innovation and entrepreneurship. The new campus will also play an important role in connecting the university with business, industry and community partners in Newcastle and the Hunter.

As part of NeW Space planning, the university has developed an integrated transport strategy to support students, staff and community members travel to and from NeW Space.

Transport options include new Callaghan-based park-and-ride facilities with over 300 parking bays available, a free UON-exclusive express shuttle bus service running every half hour during semester, and the introduction of a new Liftango ridesharing app to encourage ride sharing with 20 dedicated RideSharing car parks adjacent to The Conservatorium. One hundred fifty parking spaces with an independent parking operator have also been secured for staff and students in the CBD to support the university’s transition into the city.

University of Newcastle Chief Operating Officer, Nat McGregor, said the university also strongly encouraged active travel and public transport.

“We are actively encouraging staff and students to consider a range of travel options, including more sustainable modes of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transport,” he said.

“The university also continues to advocate for better and more frequent public transport options for our students and staff. We are working closely with transport providers and those that are responsible for planning the future transport strategies for the city and the region to facilitate further improvements to service provision.”

Independent analysis show that NeW Space will contribute $1.3bn in economic benefit to Newcastle and the Hunter, including almost $200 million during construction and a further $134 million annually flowing from the emergence of the CBD as a vibrant student hub.

NeW Space was supported by Australian Government funding of $30 million through the Education Investment Fund Regional Priorities Round, NSW Government funding of $25 million and an investment of $40 million from UON.

University of Newcastle Law School

Newcastle Law School will be moving to NeW Space, where law students will enjoy the highest quality social learning spaces, digital library services and information commons, collaborative learning and research spaces, and facilities for engagement with industry, business and the community.

Program: Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice
Location: Newcastle
Duration: 3 years
Intakes: February and July
Application deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Apply to the University of Newcastle Law School!


Discover more about how you can study at Newcastle Law School! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Law Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

UON receives million-dollar investment for regional incubator spaces

The University of Newcastle (UON) has received $1 million in New South Wales state funding to support the development of an Integrated Innovation Network across the Hunter regions.

UON receives million-dollar investment for regional incubator spaces

Image credit: University of Newcastle

Announced recently by The Hon John Barilaro MP, the Boosting Business Innovation grant will help UON to create enabling environments where researchers, start-ups and SMEs can undertake multi-disciplinary collaboration and produce the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Kevin Hall said the grant would help kick start a networked innovation ecosystem across the region.

“This Boosting Business Innovation grant allows us to fast-track our plans for an Integrated Innovation Network in the Hunter, providing some of the key physical pieces of the enabling infrastructure our region needs to support and nurture an ideas boom,” said Professor Hall.

“Around the globe we are seeing that the best innovation ecosystems are those where new industries and opportunities are delivered through collaboration between research, industry, business, community and government partners,” said Professor Hall.

UON receives million-dollar investment for regional incubator spaces

Image credit: University of Newcastle

UON will anchor its entrepreneurial activities at key regional locations through five sub-projects:

Three76 (Newcastle Innovation Hub)

An innovation hub will be developed at 376 Hunter Street to provide a dynamic, co-working space designed to support activity across the various phases of incubation, acceleration and potential commercialisation. The Innovation Hub is due to launch in September 2016 and will draw on UON’s proud history of world-class research and innovation to facilitate the creation of novel products and services that benefit business and the community. Programming will be developed in consultation with stakeholders including students, local businesses and industry partners.

Innovation Defence Hub

UON will occupy a fit-for-purpose space at the Williamtown Aerospace Centre from mid 2017. Aimed at innovating research technology applications in the commercial aerospace and defence markets, the hub builds on UON’s acknowledged strengths in cyberspace, control systems, autonomous vehicles, simulation modelling and propulsion and energy storage, all of which offer opportunities for engagement with industries nationally and locally positioned in defence.

Upper Hunter Innovation Hub

An Upper Hunter Hub will be established as a co-location of office, teaching and lab spaces aimed at supporting the diversification goals of the Upper Hunter and its potential to transition into an innovation intensive region. The Hub will help to foster an innovation ecosystem that adds capacity for existing industries and becomes an enabler for the new.

Dantia Smart Hub (DASH)

In collaboration with Dantia, UON will develop innovation and entrepreneurial programming at the Lake Macquarie DASH co-working space and provide opportunities for SMEs to scale up their existing products and services and help to drive start-up activity in the local government area.

Innovation Vouchers

An Innovation vouchers program will leverage UON’s existing tech transfer expertise and longstanding relationships with the local start-up and seed investor community to create partner-led projects to complement the above innovation spaces.


Learn more about how you can study at the University of Newcastle! Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com, or phone toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Newcastle researchers to study impact of time on higher education students

Professor Penny Jane Burke and Dr Anna Bennett from the University of Newcastle, Australia have successfully secured a grant that will investigate the notion and impact of ‘time’ for students in higher education.

University of Newcastle research

Study at Newcastle!

Funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Professor Burke and Dr Bennett will work with Co-Investigator Dr Jacqueline Stevenson from Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

The project, It’s About Time, will examine how experiences of ‘time’, as well as dominant discourses about ‘time management’ impact on the attraction, retention and performance of students in higher education.

“Higher education experiences are increasingly intensified by competing obligations of study, work and personal commitments. Despite significant change, the assumption still remains that time is a neutral and linear framework in which all students are equally positioned,” said Professor Burke.

“Studies show that one of the main reasons students from equity groups cite for leaving study is ‘lack of time’ and ‘time pressures’. Research is needed to understand how each students’ relation to time plays out across different and intersecting equity groups, particularly those from regional and remote areas,” she added.

The study will engage students from undergraduate Nursing, Law and Engineering programs across two regional universities in Australia and the UK where the student population includes significant cohorts of equity groups.

One of the aims of the project is to develop a platform where embedded assumptions of ‘time’ and ‘time management’ in higher education can be re-configured in response to the needs of students to better support their learning experiences.

A report will be made available upon completion of the project at the end of this year.


Are you interested in research programs at the University of Newcastle? Want to study in Australia? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Research Programs Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

University of Newcastle’s Architecture and Built Environment rank well

The University of Newcastle’s  Architecture and Built Environment discipline has ranked in the top 50 in the world, for the second consecutive year in the 2016 QS World University Rankings by Subject list, announced last week.

University of Newcastle Architecture and Built Environment

Study at the University of Newcastle

Three other subjects, geography, engineering (civil and structural) and nursing, joined architecture in the year’s top 100 subject rankings. UON had eight subjects ranked in the world’s top 150 and an overall total of 14 subjects ranked in the world’s top 200.

The annual QS World University Rankings by Subject is a comprehensive guide to the world’s top universities in a range of popular subject areas.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen said the University of Newcastle’s global reputation for excellence in education, research and innovation had resulted in another outstanding performance in the 2016 QS subject rankings.

“UON consistently ranks in the top 300 universities in the world and in the top eight universities in Australia for the number of fields of research ranked as well above world standard in the Excellence in Research Australia assessment.

“We congratulate our Architecture and Built Environment colleagues on another outstanding result. The school has a unique focus on managing, designing and planning for resilience in our built environments and hosts five Architects in Residence, all recipients of the prestigious Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal.

“Our School for Architecture and Built Environment is also home to the United Nations International Training Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery, which builds on our academic strengths in disaster recovery disciplines and which will help our researchers and partners shape cutting-edge programs that make a real difference to communities around the world coping with disasters.

“We are proud that many of our faculties had subjects ranked in the top 200. Our continued success in the QS subject rankings is important for a university which as a global leader works to drive world class innovation with its partners across its regions,” said Professor McMillen.


Learn about architecture degrees available at the University of Newcastle! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Architecture Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor and President reappointed

The University of Newcastle’s Chancellor, Mr Paul Jeans, is pleased to announce that the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Caroline McMillen, has been reappointed until October 2019.

Sydney Dental School

Caroline McMillen (Photo: UON)

The UON Chancellor said the reappointment was an important step in continuing the momentum built in recent years under Professor McMillen’s leadership.

“Caroline’s vision and determination has seen the University’s identity grow as a world-class institution and has firmly marked UON as a leader in equity, indigenous education, regional transformation and global research,” said Mr Jeans.

“With a degree of uncertainty facing the Higher Education sector, it is important for the university to continue to build on the strong foundation of the last 50 years, while driving a bold and inspiring future for our regions and beyond.”

“We have a strong decadal strategic plan, New Futures, and under Caroline’s leadership and guidance, our focus is on delivering the outcomes to ensure the long term success and sustainability of the University of Newcastle.”

“The University of Newcastle will continue its commitment to equity, great teaching and learning, to produce work-ready graduates, innovators and entrepreneurs, together with leading edge research and innovation which will enhance the economic and social well-being of the communities we serve. We will also continue to expand our international outreach in both education and research.”

The University of Newcastle’s Vice-Chancellor and President said she was proud to have led one of the country’s top-ranked research-intensive universities and was committed to realising the university’s 2025 vision.

“We have a clearly defined vision which builds on our remarkable DNA and on our role as a global leader. UON is distinguished by our commitment to equity and excellence and the creation of a better future for our regions through world-class innovation and impact,” said Professor McMillen.

“There are challenging times ahead and UON has a vital role to play in transforming the future of our regions, Australia and the world.”


Learn more about how you can study at the University of Newcastle! Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com, or phone toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Eight projects boost equity at University of Newcastle

The University of Newcastle has attracted eight Higher Education Participation Programme (HEPP) National Priority Pool (NPP) grants, totalling almost $1 million, to help improve the tertiary education experience and process for students from diverse backgrounds.

University of Newcastle

Study at the University of Newcastle

UON’s Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) will oversee the eight projects and ensure their impact is sustained long after the funding period ends.

Professor Penny Jane Burke, Co-Director of CEEHE, said that the Centre’s unique framework brings together people committed to an equity agenda to share ideas and collaborate to tackle the complexity of educational inequalities.

“This funding is very important in supporting our aim to develop research across a range of challenging and complex issues in an emerging field. In order to tackle inequalities in higher education, we must build and sustain research-informed strategies and practices, for which funding such as this is crucial” said Professor Burke.

The 2016 funding success builds on eight existing HEPP NPP grants secured in 2015, aimed at enhancing equity across a number of disciplines – Creative and Performing Arts; Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), as well as digital resources and strategies aimed at access and student experience.

Successful 2016 Projects

  • Building Statistical Literacy for Success in Higher Education – Project Lead: Dr Peter Howley
  • Enhancing University Retention and Success for First-In-Family, Low SES Students Through a Flipped Classroom Learning Model – Project Lead: Dr Johanna Macneil
  • Equity & Medical Education – Project Lead: Dr Robbert Duvivier
  • Guiding futures: The role of teachers in the formation of students’ aspirations for higher education – Project Lead: Professor Jenny Gore
  • Indigenous enabling: ‘what works’? Developing a national conversation around enabling education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through a comprehensive audit of current provision – Project Lead: Associate Professor Maree Gruppetta
  • Live Learn Grow – Project Lead: Louise Rak
  • Unlocking Capacity and Empowering Choices”: Indigenous Students’ Aspirations – Project Lead: Professor Max Smith
  • Yarning the Way: The role of Indigenous education paraprofessionals in guiding the post-school educational pathways of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth – Project Lead: Associate Professor Maree Gruppetta and Dr Erica Southgate


Are you interested in learning more about the University of Newcastle? Contact OzTREKK for more information at info@oztrekk.com or 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Supporting refugee students in higher education

An Australian-first symposium is looking to lead the way in investigating methods to improve the higher education experience for university students from a refugee background.

University of Newcastle Australia

Find out more about the University of Newcastle

Led by the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) the symposium, Transforming Through Praxis, was held at the University of Newcastle (UON) on Nov. 20.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young opened the event, which brought together practitioners from institutions across Australia to share their knowledge and identify best-practices for universities to adopt to support these students.

Driven by the results of two research projects from the University of Newcastle, the symposium addressed the lack of specialised support for students from a refugee background undertaking study in higher education in Australia.

Dr Sally Baker, Research Associate for CEEHE, said the symposium is a real opportunity to combine research and practice to identify ways that universities can remove some of the barriers students from these backgrounds face.

“We know from our practice and research that universities can be experienced as inflexible and impenetrable systems for students from refugee backgrounds. Accessing face-to-face academic support often means navigating complex online booking systems. These systems act as barriers for students who prefer, and actively seek out, social connectivity in their learning,” said Dr Baker.

One issue that can lead to a lack of support is the difficultly in identifying students from a refugee background. Traditional methods of data collection have a narrow focus, and can exclude students on different visas.

For example, “The UON admission database identifies only 42 Humanitarian Entrant Background students holding permanent visas, but there may be as many as 400 students from a refugee background studying across all campuses at University of Newcastle,” Dr Baker said.

With the recent announcement by Newcastle City Council that the city has put its hand up to help resettle some of the 12,000 Syrian refugees this conversation is timely and will help steer Australia in a more intelligent direction.

The symposium also featured a panel of students from a refugee background who shared their experiences, along with a photographic exhibition by Associate Professor Jaya Earnest from Curtin University.

Research and practice workshops at the symposium covered a wide range of topics:

Knowing the language and/or knowing the ropes

This school-university collaboration explored the links between language, ‘hot knowledges’ and educational aspirations. Students from the Waratah Technology Campus of Callaghan College in Newcastle are working in partnership with local education and community-based organisations to facilitate access to a range of knowledges which can support refugee students. *Hot knowledge involves navigating structures and networks that relies on student experience and cultural capital.

A best practice teaching and learning model for refugee students

Refugee students from an African background now make up a large proportion of those settled in Australia, and this changing cultural background provides new challenges for Australian communities and schools. These students have a wide variation in cultural and educational experiences, despite many coming from the same country. What support is needed for these students?

Transitioning from TAFE into higher education – managing expectations

This workshop examined ways to support refugee students from TAFE courses to higher education degrees. One of the most significant challenges practioners face is how expectations vary from TAFE to university.

Supporting realistic university aspirations for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) cohorts

How can universities best support students from a CALD background to ensure they’re prepared for university and have pathways to success? Is mandatory English language proficiency testing effective? What are the pros and cons. This workshop examined the ways forward.

CALD Refugee Students and the Economics of their education

For the past 15 years, Toowoomba, a regional city in Queensland, has participated in Australian Government Refugee Settlement schemes. Over this time, many new residents have wanted to improve their language and skills through higher education. However, while successful, the funding for the programs which benefit these students is often under threat. How can we empower these students and help them move forward?

After the symposium there is momentum to move forward and create a national special interest group to take up the challenges and move ideas forward and work collectively and collaboratively to develop better understandings about our students and their needs, and to lobby for sector-wide action to foreground the importance of language and cultural awareness so as to improve teaching and learning practices.

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

UON a leader in workplace gender equality

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency recently announced the 2015 WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOGCE) citation holders and the University of Newcastle is proud to be recognised as an Employer of Choice for Workplace Gender Equality.

University of Newcastle

University of Newcastle recognised as an Employer of Choice for Workplace Gender Equality

UON is one of only 90 organisations Australia-wide to be recognised for taking a whole-of-organisation approach to supporting equality of participation in all levels of the workplace.

The citation recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equity in the workplace.

This year’s applicants were required to consult with employees to demonstrate that gender equality initiatives translated into lived experience.

UON Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Caroline McMillen said that the achievement reflects the range of policies and procedures UON has in place to ensure that staff at UON can thrive in their work.

“This citation also acknowledges the improvements we have recorded since last year in working to achieve gender balance in our leadership group, senior levels of academia and among professional leaders to set the standard for the whole organisation,” Professor McMillen said.

The University of Newcastle’s participation in the Science in Australia Gender Equality program under the Athena Swan charter is one way we are addressing the gender imbalance that still plagues STEM disciplines.

Professor Deb Hodgson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) is leading an information session with Dr Zuleyka Zevallos from the SAGE program to provide staff with an opportunity to learn more about the SAGE pilot and the role we can play.

UON looks forward to continuing to focus on achieving gender equality across the institution. “There is always more we can and should be doing,” Professor McMillen said.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

University of Newcastle students win community engagement award

The outstanding contributions made by NSW international students was recognised at the 2015 NSW International Student Awards recently.

Announced in a ceremony at Sydney Opera House, the University of Newcastle took out the International Student Community Engagement Award officiated by Stuart Ayres, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events.


The University of Newcastle International Students has been awarded for a great local initiative—Cheap Chewsday. (Photo credit: UON)

“The benefits will continue long after tonight’s winners and finalists have returned home; their presence here has strengthened our links with the international community and have no doubt created connections that will thrive over time,” Mr Ayres said.

The University of Newcastle International Students has been awarded for a great local initiative—Cheap Chewsday.

Once a month, on a Tuesday, international students gather at the Jesmond Park Uniting Church for a dinner to welcome international students and expand their friendships in the local community.

PVC International and Advancement Winnie Eley was delighted with the award for the program.

“International students have a real desire to connect and share with not only other students, but with the community they have come to be a part of. Our unique and innovative programs, such as Cheap Chewsday, provide this opportunity, and are among the many reasons why over 6,000 international students choose to study with the University of Newcastle from over 100 countries. We are honoured for this innovation to be recognised with this award,” Mrs Eley said.

The dinners often have an international theme with a two- to three-course meal on offer for a $2 donation.

Students and community come together at these events with one evening reaching a full-house capacity of 150 diners.

In its third year, Cheap Chewsday continues to grow, fostering a real sense of engagement between the community and students at  the University of Newcastle.

Bernado Christino Altamira, an international student from the Phillipines, recently graduated with a Master Educational Studies at UON. Bernado says that Cheap Chewsday offers not only the option to taste cuisines by different nationalities—but also helps build multicultural friendships.

“What makes the food more delightful is that we share it with other international students and the local community,” Bernado said.


Learn more about the University of Newcastle. Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com, or phone toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.