Macquarie University

Coordinates: 33°46′31″S 151°06′46″E / 33.775259°S 151.112915°E / -33.775259; 151.112915{{#coordinates:33.775259|S|151.112915|E|type:edu|||| |primary |name= }}

Macquarie University
Seal of Macquarie University
Motto And gladly teche
Established 1964
Type Public
Endowment A$850m
(31 December 2010)[1]
Chancellor Michael Egan
Vice-Chancellor Dr Bruce Dowton
Administrative staff
1,380 (2013)[2]
Students 38,753 (2013)
Undergraduates 27,471 (2013)
Postgraduates 11,282 (2013)

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
33°46′31″S 151°6′50″E / 33.77528°S 151.11389°E / -33.77528; 151.11389{{#coordinates:33|46|31|S|151|6|50|E|type:edu | |name=

Campus Urban, Parkland
Named After Lachlan Macquarie
Colours Green, Gold & White
Nickname Template:If empty

Macquarie University is a public research university based in Sydney, Australia, in the suburb of Macquarie Park. Founded in 1964 by the New South Wales Government, it was the third university to be established in the metropolitan area of Sydney.[3]

The university's five faculties, the Macquarie University Hospital and the Macquarie Graduate School of Management are located on the university's main campus in suburban Sydney. The Macquarie City Campus is located in the Sydney central business district.

The university is the first in Australia to fully align its degree system with the Bologna Accord.[4][5][6]


20th century

The idea of founding a third university in Sydney was flagged in the early 1960s when the New South Wales Government formed a committee of enquiry into higher education to deal with a perceived emergency in university enrollments in New South Wales. During this enquiry, the Senate of the University of Sydney put in a submission which highlighted ‘the immediate need to establish a third university in the metropolitan area’.[7] After much debate a future campus location was selected in what was then a semi-rural part of North Ryde, and it was decided that the future university be named after Lachlan Macquarie, an important early governor of the colony of New South Wales.

Macquarie University was formally established in 1964 with the passage of the Macquarie University Act 1964 by the New South Wales parliament. The university was designed in the Brutalist style and developed by the renowned town planner Walter Abraham who also oversaw the next 20 years of planning and development for the university. A committee appointed to advise the state government on the establishment of the new university at North Ryde nominated Abraham as the architect-planner. The fledgling Macquarie University Council decided that planning for the campus would be done within the university, rather than by consultants, and this led to the establishment of the architect-planners office.[8]

The first Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, Alexander George Mitchell, was selected by the University Council which met for the first time on 17 June 1964. Members of the first university council included: Colonel Sir Edward Ford OBE, David Paver Mellor, Rae Else-Mitchell QC and Sir Walter Scott.[9][10][11][12]

File:First students Macquarie.JPG
First students at Macquarie University

The university first opened to students on 6 March 1967 with more students than anticipated. The Australian Universities Commission had allowed for 510 effective full-time students (EFTS) but Macquarie had 956 enrolments and 622 EFTS.[13] Between 1968 and 1969, enrolment at Macquarie increased dramatically with an extra 1200 EFTS, with 100 new academic staff employed. 1969 also saw the establishment of the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM).

Macquarie grew during the seventies and eighties with rapid expansion in courses offered, student numbers and development of the site. In 1972, the university established the Macquarie Law School, the third law school in Sydney. In their book Liberality of Opportunity, Bruce Mansfield and Mark Hutchinson describe the founding of Macquarie University as ‘an act of faith and a great experiment’.[14] An additional topic considered in this book is the science reform movement of the late 1970s that resulted in the introduction of a named science degree, thus facilitating the subsequent inclusion of other named degrees in addition to the traditional BA.[15] Alternative views on this topic are given by famous British-Australian physicist John Ward[16] and laser physicist Frank Duarte.[17]

The first Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University was Alexander George Mitchell, who held the position until December 1975, when he was replaced by Edwin Webb, who served until 1986.

In 1990 the university absorbed the Institute of Early Childhood Studies of the Sydney College of Advanced Education, under the terms of the Higher Education (Amalgamation) Act 1989.

Di Yerbury was appointed Vice-Chancellor in 1986, and was the first female Vice-Chancellor in Australia. Professor Yerbury held the position of Vice-Chancellor for just under 20 years.

21st century

Professor Steven Schwartz replaced Di Yerbury at the beginning of 2006. Yerbury's departure was attended with much controversy, including a "bitter dispute" with Schwartz, disputed ownership of university artworks worth $13 million and Yerbury's salary package.[18][19] In August 2006, Professor Schwartz expressed concern about the actions of Yerbury in a letter to university auditors.[20] Yerbury strongly denied any wrongdoing and claimed the artworks were hers.[18][21][22]

During 2007, Macquarie University restructured its student organisation after an audit raised questions about management of hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds by student organisations[23] At the centre of the investigation was Victor Ma, president of the Macquarie University Students' Council, who was previously involved in a high-profile case of student election fixing at the University of Sydney.[24] The university Council resolved to immediately remove Ma from his position. Vice-Chancellor Schwartz cited an urgent need to reform Macquarie's main student bodies.[25] However, Ma strongly denied any wrongdoing and labelled the controversy a case of ‘character assassination’.[26] The Federal Court ordered on 23 May 2007 that Macquarie University Union Ltd be wound up.[27]

Following the dissolution of Macquarie University Union Ltd, the outgoing student organisation was replaced with a new wholly owned subsidiary company of the university, known as U@MQ Ltd. The new student organisation originally lacked a true student representative union; however, following a complete review and authorisation from the university Council, a new student union known as Macquarie University Students Association (MUSRA) was established in 2009.[28]

Within the first few hundred days of Schwartz's instatement as Vice-Chancellor, the 'Macquarie@50' strategic plan was launched, which positioned the university to enhance research, teaching, infrastructure and academic rankings by the university's 50th anniversary in 2014. Included in the university's plans for the future was the establishment of a sustainability office in order to more effectively manage environmental and social development at Macquarie. As part of this campaign, in 2009 Macquarie became the first Fair Trade accredited university in Australia.[29] The beginning of 2009 also saw the introduction of a new logo for the university which retained the Sirius Star, present on both the old logo and the university crest, but now 'embedded in a stylised lotus flower'.[30] In accordance with the university by-law, the crest continues to be used for formal purposes and is displayed on university testamurs. The by-law also prescribes the university's motto, taken from Chaucer: 'And gladly teche'.

In 2013, the university became the first in Australia to fully align its degree system with the Bologna Accord.[4][5][6]


Arms of Macquarie University
The arms of Macquarie University, assumed through a 1967 amendment to the Macquarie University Act 1964 (Confirmed by Letters Patent of the College of Arms, 16 August 1969), consist of:[31]
Vert, the Macquarie Lighthouse tower, masoned proper, in Chief the star Sirius, Or.
And Gladly Teche
Motto in Old English taken from the general Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer c.1400


The university is governed by a 17-member Council.[32]

The University Council is the governing authority of the university under the Macquarie University Act 1989.[33] The Council takes primary responsibility for the control and management of the affairs of the University, and is empowered to make by-laws and rules relating to how the University is managed. Members of the Council include the University Vice-Chancellor, Academic and non-academic staff, the Vice President of the Academic Senate and a student representative. The Council is chaired by The Chancellor of the University.

The Academic Senate is the primary academic body of the university. It has certain powers delegated to it by Council, such as the approving of examination results and the completion of requirements for the award of degrees. At the same time, it makes recommendations to the Council concerning all changes to degree rules, and all proposals for new awards. While the Academic Senate is an independent body, it is required to make recommendations to the university Council in relation to matters outside its delegated authority.[34]

Macquarie's current Vice-Chancellor, Dr Bruce Dowton, took over from Professor Schwartz in September 2012. Prior to his appointment Professor Dowton served as a senior medical executive having held a range of positions in university, healthcare and consulting organisations. He also served as a pediatrician at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, and as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. There have been five Vice-Chancellors in the university’s history.


Main campus

Macquarie University's main campus is located about Script error: No such module "convert". north-west of the Sydney CBD and is set on 126 hectares of rolling lawns and natural bushland. Located within the high-technology corridor of Sydney's north-west and in close proximity to Macquarie Park and its surrounding industries, Macquarie's location has been crucial in its development as a relatively research intensive university. The university is straddled between the suburbs of North Ryde and the later developed technology and industry focused Macquarie Park; however, the campus has its own postcode, 2109. The M2 Motorway runs parallel to the northern boundary of the campus and is accessible to traffic from the university.

Prior to the development of the campus, most of the site was cultivated with peach orchards, market gardens and poultry farms.[35] The university’s first architect-planner was Walter Abraham, one of the first six administrators appointed to Macquarie University. [8] As the site adapted from its former rural use to a busy collegiate environment, he implemented carefully designed planting programs across the campus. Abraham established a grid design comprising lots of Script error: No such module "convert". running north-south, with the aim of creating a compact academic core. The measure of Script error: No such module "convert". was seen as one minute's walk, and grid design reflected the aim of having a maximum walk of 10 minutes between any two parts of the university. The main east-west walkway that runs from the Macquarie University Research Park through to the arts faculty buildings, was named Wally's Walk in recognition of Walter Abraham's contribution to the development of the university.[8]

Apart from its centres of learning, the campus features the Macquarie University Research Park, museums, art galleries, a sculpture park, an observatory, a sport and aquatic centre and also the private Macquarie University Hospital.

File:Hospital Construction.JPG
Macquarie University Hospital

Macquarie became the first university in Australia to own and operate a private medical facility in 2010 when it opened a $300 million hospital on its North Ryde campus.[36] The hospital is first and only private not-for-profit teaching hospital on an Australian university campus.[37] The Macquarie University Hospital is located to the north of the main campus area are the university sports grounds. It comprises 183 beds, 12 operating theatres, 2 cardiac and vascular angiography suites. The hospital is co-located with the university's Australian School of Advanced Medicine.[38]

The Macquarie University Research Park is a privately funded Research and Development Park located on campus and is home to companies including Dow Corning, Goodman Fielder, Nortel Networks, OPSM and Siemens.[39]

Cochlear Headquarters, located on the southern edge of the campus, is the global headquarters for Cochlear Limited, manufacturers of cochlear implants.[40]

Located on the western side of the campus is the Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Centre. Previously a sports hall facility, the complex was renovated and reopened in 2007 with the addition of the new gym and aquatic centre. It houses a 50 metre FINA-compliant outdoor pool and a 25 metre indoor pool. The complex also contains a gymnasium and squash, badminton, basketball, volleyball and netball courts.[41]

The Macquarie University Observatory was originally constructed in 1978 as a research facility but, since 1997, has been accessible to the public through its Public Observing Program.[42]


The library houses over 1.8 million items and uses the Library of Congress Classification System.[43] The library features several collections including a Rare Book Collection, a Palaeontology Collection and the Brunner Collection of Egyptological materials.[44] Macquarie University operated two libraries during the transition. The old library in building C7A closed at the end of July 2011, and the new library in building C3C became fully operational on 1 August 2011. The new library was the first university library in Australia to possess an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). The ASRS consists of an environmentally controlled vault with metal bins storing the items; robotic cranes retrieve an item on request and deliver it to the service desk for collection.[45][46]

Residential colleges

Macquarie University has two residential colleges on its campus, Dunmore Lang College and Robert Menzies College, both founded in 1972. In addition to these residential colleges is the Macquarie University Village which contains over 890 rooms inside multiple two storey townhouses and apartment block.

Macquarie University railway station

Macquarie University is served by the Macquarie University railway station, which opened in 2009. The underground station is on the Sydney Trains network. The station is served by eight trains per hour for most of the day.[47] There is also a bus interchange within the campus that provides close to 800 bus services daily.[48]

Sydney central business district campus

Main article: Macquarie City Campus

The Macquarie City Campus is located on York Street in the Sydney CBD, above Wynyard train station. The city campus offered foundation studies, three undergraduate and six postgraduate degrees until 2015.[49] Macquarie is seeking new premises near the current location of the city campus after the university decided to manage the city campus itself from 2016.[50]


The university currently comprises 35 departments within five faculties:[51]

Research centres, schools and institutes that are affiliated with the university:

Macquarie University’s Australian Hearing Hub is partnered with Cochlear. Cochlear Headquarters are on campus.[52] The Australian Hearing Hub includes the head office of Australian Hearing.[53]

The Australian Research Institute for Environment and Sustainability is a research centre that promotes change for environmental sustainability, is affiliated with the University and is located on its campus.[54]

Access Macquarie Limited was established in 1989 as the commercial arm of the university. It facilitates and supports the commercial needs of industry, business and government organisations seeking to utilise the academic expertise of the broader University community.[55]


The Sydney Institute of Business and Technology operates on the Macquarie University campus, offering Foundation Studies (Pre-University) and University-level Diplomas. Upon successful completion of a SIBT Diploma, students enter the appropriate Bachelor Degree as a second year student.[56]

The Centre for Macquarie English is the English-language centre that offers a range of specialised, direct entry English programmes that are approved by Macquarie University.[57]


Further information: Macquarie Dictionary

The university positions itself as being research intensive. In 2012, 85% of Macquarie's broad fields of research was rated 'at or above world standard' in the Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National report. The university is within the top 3 universities in Australia for the number of peer reviewed publications produced per academic staff member.[36][58]

Researchers at Macquarie University, David Skellern and Neil Weste, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation helped develop Wi-Fi.[59][60][61] David Skellern has been a major donor to the University through the Skellern Family Trust.[62] Macquarie University's linguistics department developed the Macquarie Dictionary. The dictionary is regarded as the standard reference on Australian English.[63]

Macquarie University has a research partnership with the University of Hamburg in Germany and Fudan University in China. They offer dual and joint degree programs and engage in joint research.[64]

University rankings

University rankings
Macquarie University
QS World[65] 254
QS Arts & Humanities[66] 101
QS Life Sciences & Medicine[67] 350
QS Natural Sciences[68] 325
QS Social Sciences & Mgmt.[69] 148
THE-WUR World[70] 301-350
THE-WUR Arts & Humanities[71] 67
ARWU World[72] 239
USNWR World[73] 321
CWTS Leiden World[74] 296
Australian rankings
QS National[75] 9
THE-WUR National[76] 14
ARWU National[77] 9
USNWR National[78] 9
CWTS Leiden National[74] 12
ERA National[79] 8

Macquarie is ranked in the top 40 universities in the Asia-Pacific region and within Australia's top nine universities according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the U.S. News & World Report Rankings and the QS World University Rankings.[80] Macquarie is ranked just outside the top eight in Australia (Group of Eight universities) in most international rankings, or has ranked within the top eight in Australia in international rankings. In 2011-2012 CWTS Leiden Ranking Macquarie was ranked 4th in Australia.[81][82][83] Macquarie University was ranked in 2014: 239th in the world (9th in Australia) in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 254th in the world (9th in Australia) in the QS World University Rankings, and 301-350 in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[84][85]

Macquarie was the highest ranked university in Australia under the age of 50 and was ranked 18th in the world (prior to its golden jubilee in 2014), according to the QS World University Rankings.[86][87]

Macquarie University was ranked among the top 50 universities in the world for linguistics (43rd), psychology (48th) and earth and marine sciences (48th), and was ranked in the top 5 nationally for philosophy and earth and marine sciences, according to the 2014 QS World University Rankings.[88][89]

Macquarie ranked 67th in the world for Arts and Humanities (equal 5th in Australia), according to the 2015 Times Higher Education rankings by subject. Arts and Humanities is Macquarie's best discipline area in rankings. Macquarie was one of four non-Group of Eight universities ranked in the top 100 universities in the world in particular discipline areas.[90]

The Macquarie Graduate School of Management is one of the oldest business schools in Australia. In 2011, The Economist ranked MGSM 73th in the world, 7th in Asia Pacific and 1st in Sydney/New South Wales.[91] It was ranked 13th in the Asia-Pacific, according to QS Global 200 Business Schools Report for 2013-14.[92] In 2014, The Economist ranked MGSM 5th in the Asia-Pacific, 3rd in Australia, 1st in Sydney/New South Wales and 49th in the world.[93][94] It was the highest ranked business school in Australia and was ranked 68th in the world in the 2015 Financial Times MBA ranking.[95][96]

Macquarie University is ranked first in environmental sciences and ecology research within Australia and New Zealand, and is ranked 14th in the world, according to Times Higher Education.[97]


Macquarie is the fourth largest university in Sydney (38,753 students in 2013).[98][99] The university has the largest student exchange programme in Australia.[100]

In 2012, 9,802 students from Asia were enrolled at Macquarie University (Sydney campuses and offshore programs in China, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore).[101]

Campus Life manages the university’s non-academic services: food and retail, sport and recreation, student groups, child care, and entertainment.[102]

The Global Leadership Program (GLP) is a student organisation and program that is undertaken by a large proportion of Macquarie Students. All students at the university are encouraged to undertake the program to enhance leadership skills, cross cultural understanding and international awareness. Upon completion of the GLP, students receive a formal notation on their academic transcript.[103]

Macquarie University has its own community radio station on campus, 2SER FM. The station is jointly owned by Macquarie University and University of Technology, Sydney.[104]

Macquarie University students celebrate Conception Day each year since 1969 to – according to legend – commemorate the date of conception of Lachlan Macquarie, as his birthday fell at the wrong time of year for a celebration. Conception Day is traditionally held on the last day of classes before the September mid-semester break.[105]

Notable alumni and staff

File:Klarfeld Macquarie University Graduates.jpg
Life-size bronze statue of Graduates outside Macquarie University by sculptor Linda Klarfeld

Alumni include Rhodes and John Monash Scholars and several Fulbright Scholars.[106][107][108][109]

Notable alumni include: Australian politician and former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Jim Soorley;[110] Australian basketball player, Lauren Jackson; Australian swimmer, Ian Thorpe; Australian water polo player, Holly Lincoln-Smith; three founding members of the Australian children's musical group The Wiggles (Murray Cook, Anthony Field, Greg Page); New Zealand conservationist, Pete Bethune.[111][112]

Notable alumni in science include: Australian scientist Barry Brook,[113] American physicist Frank Duarte,[114] and Australian scientist Cathy Foley.[115] Alumni notable in the business world include: Australian edge fund manager Greg Coffey,[116] Australian businesswoman Catherine Livingstone[117] and Australian venture capitalist Larry R. Marshall.[118]

Notable faculty members include: Australian writer and four time Miles Franklin Award winner, Thea Astley; Hungarian Australian mathematician, Esther Szekeres; Australian mathematician, Neil Trudinger; Australian environmentalist and activist, Tim Flannery; British physicist, Paul Davies; British-Australian physicist, John Clive Ward; Israeli-Australian physicist, José Enrique Moyal; Australian linguist, Geoffrey Hull.

Four Macquarie University academics were included in The World’s Most Influential Minds 2014 report by Thomson Reuters, which identified the most highly cited researchers of the last 11 years.[119]

See also


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  • Mansfield, Bruce and Mark Hutchinson, Liberality of opportunity: a history of Macquarie University, 1964–1989 Macquarie University (Sydney, 1992) ISBN 0-86806-474-2

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