About Western Sydney University
Western Sydney University, formerly the University of Western Sydney, is an Australian multi-campus university in the Greater Western region of Sydney, Australia. The university in its current form was founded in 1989 under the terms of the State Legislature “Western Sydney University Act 1997 No 116″[, which created a federated network university with an amalgamation between the Nepean College of Advanced Education and the Hawkesbury Agricultural College. The Macarthur Institute of Higher Education was incorporated in the university in 1989, and in 2001 the University of Western Sydney was restructured as a single multi-campus university rather than as a federation. In 2015, the university underwent a rebranding which resulted in a change in name from the University of Western Sydney to Western Sydney University. It is a provider of undergraduate, postgraduate and higher research degrees with campuses in Bankstown, Blacktown, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, and Penrith.
In 2019 the QS World University Rankings ranks the university 25th in Australia, coming 5th in Sydney. It is currently ranked in the top 300 in the world in the 2019 THE World University Rankings and 19th in Australia.
Foundation and early years
The University consists of an amalgamation of campuses, each with their own unique and individual history. In 1891, the Hawkesbury campus was established as an agricultural college by the NSW Agricultural Society. At Parramatta, Western Sydney University owns and has renovated the Female Orphan School building, the foundation stone of which was laid by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1813.
In 1987 the New South Wales Labor government planned to name the university Chifley University, after the former Labor Prime Minister, Ben Chifley. However, in 1989, a new Liberal government reversed this decision and controversially named it the University of Western Sydney.
In 1989, teachers’ colleges and Colleges of Advanced Education in Sydney’s western suburbs were given university status under the University of Western Sydney Act of 1988. The 1990s saw the federation of three education providers: UWS Nepean, UWS Hawkesbury and UWS Macarthur. 1989 was the year the Hawke federal labour government introduced HECS, the Higher Education Contribution Scheme. The University has a legislative basis in NSW state legislation with the passing of the University of Western Sydney Act (NSW) 1997, which also empowers the university to make by-laws affecting the operation of the university. In 2000, in order to reduce administrative expenses and duplication of courses offered by the inner Sydney universities and to eliminate competition between Western Sydney University member institutions, Western Sydney University became one multi-campus university.
The Western Sydney University is made up of six campuses and one precinct, with each campus hosting their own unique array of courses, of which different units can be completed across multiple campuses.