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Macquarie University

Macquarie University is an Australian public university located in Sydney. Its main campus is in Macquarie Park and also has overseas campuses in Hong Kong and Singapore. Founded in 1964 by the New South Wales Government, it was the third university to be established in the metropolitan area of Sydney. Macquarie’s 126 hectare park-like campus belies its setting within the high-technology corridor of Sydney’s north-west.

Macquarie has an especially strong reputation in the business and commerce area, such as the actuarial studies and linguistic programme. According to the 'Good University Guide' of Australian University, starting salaries for Macquarie graduates have been ranked as the highest in Australia for ten conscutive years (1998-2007) and university made 5 star ratings in seven different performances categories (2007). Macquarie also continues to be one of Australia's most postgraduate universities, more than 30% of students at Macquarie are taking their graduate/postgraduate degrees and almost 1/3 of them are supported by government and/or university scholarship. Macquarie is currently reviewing its academic structure, with its 32,000 students to be located within four faculties – Business and Commerce; Humanities; Human Sciences, and Science.

Macquarie University's linguistics department developed the Macquarie Dictionary, the copyright on which it still owns. The university also contained a NASA research lab.


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 enrolments 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’.

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 Government. 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.

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 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. 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’.

There have only been four Vice-Chancellors in the University’s forty-four year history. 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. Di Yerbury was appointed to the position in 1986 and was the first female Vice-Chancellor in Australia.

Departure of Vice Chancellor Yerbury

Professor Yerbury held the position of Vice Chancellor for just under 20 years and was replaced by Professor Steven Schwartz at the beginning of 2006. Yerbury's departure was reported with much controversy including a "bitter dispute" with Schwartz, disputed ownership of university artworks worth $13 million and a $600,000 salary package Yerbury earned. In August 2006, Professor Schwartz expressed concern about the actions of Yerbury in a letter to university auditors. Yerbury strongly denied any wrongdoing and claimed the artworks were hers.

Restructure of student organisations

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian newspaper reported on May 4, 2007, that Macquarie University has "called in police after an audit raised serious questions about management of hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds by student organisations" At the centre of this investigation is Victor Ma, member of the Liberal Party and president of the Macquarie University Students' Council (MUSC), who had previously been involved in a high-profile case of student election 'fixing' at the University of Sydney. He is being investigated for "about $2400 spent on a Liberal Party fundraising dinner and whether there were fictitious employees on the MUSC payroll." Kyle Kutasi, secretary of the Students at Macquarie (SAM) student union, and former President of the Sydney University Liberal Club said he was unaware of movement of money. This was raised previously in New South Wales Parliament by Labor MP Kristina Keneally in 2006. In the lead up to May 2007, Vice Chancellor Schwartz had commissioned an audit into the affairs of the student organisations.

Following a meeting of the University Council on May 4, 2007, the Council resolved to immediately remove the President of the student association Students At Macquarie (SAM), Victor Ma, from his position, as well as certain other SAM Directors not appointed by the University or elected by SAM staff. The action was necessary to ensure that student fees collected by SAM were not misused. The Vice Chancellor Schwartz said “The issues that led to the removal of the outgoing SAM President convince me of the urgent need to reform Macquarie’s main student bodies to ensure that they are transparent, accountable and properly represent the needs of students rather than the self-interests of elected officials.” Ma denied any wrongdoing and responded by saying "I think there's a bit of character assassination going on," and "I can only wonder who's doing it.

The Federal Court ordered on May 23, 2007 that Macquarie University Union Ltd (MUUL), which traded as Students At Macquarie (SAM) and Venues At Macquarie, would be wound up.


Located about 16 km north-west of the Sydney CBD, the Macquarie University campus is set on 126 hectares of rolling lawns and natural bush and strategically located within the high-technology corridor of Sydney's north-west.

Macquarie University’s first architect-planner was Walter Abraham, one of the first six administrators appointed to Macquarie University.

When he took up his appointment in April 1965 there had been very little study of the challenges involved in the design and planning of universities in this country. So Abraham travelled to study the contemporary work of campus planners in the United States and Britain.

Abraham treasured Macquarie’s natural environment as one of the University’s invaluable assets. As the site adapted from its former rural use to a busy collegiate environment, he implemented carefully designed planting programs across the campus.

Apart from its centres of learning, the campus features the Macquarie University Research Park, Museums, Art Galleries and a Sculpture Park. In late 2008, a new train station will be opened on campus as well as a major medical precinct combining the Australian School of Advanced Medicine and the Macquarie University Private Hospital.



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. The observatory is open to the public every Friday night from March to November inclusive unless raining.

Macquarie University Research Park

The Macquarie University Research Park offers opportunities for collaboration with leading companies. It 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.

In 2007, Vice-Chancellor Schwartz presented a plan for the University to position itself as a research intensive university. His goal is to ensure that by age 50, Macquarie is among the top eight research universities in Australia and one of the top 200 in the world.

In late 2007, Macquarie University research teams were given funding to commence 40 new research projects after receiving $13.5 million in new Federal Government research funding. $2.5 million was provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council to fund four health-related research projects over the next five years, and $11 million from the Australian Research Council for 36 new Discovery Projects, and which also includes funding for around a dozen new Fellowships.

Macquarie City Campus

In mid 2007, the University opened Macquarie City Campus in Sydney CBD, offering some of Macquarie University’s programs. Macquarie City Campus has been designed to meet demand from students for a CBD campus.

Macquarie Manly Campus

In association of Macquarie University, The International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS), offers graduate certificate and master programmes in International Business and Commerce. Students can choose to study all subjects and one campus, or enrol in a combination. ICMS also offers bachelor of business administration degrees in several specific areas.

Macquarie University Private Hospital

Macquarie University Private Hospital is an $80 million joint venture development between Macquarie University and Dalcross Private Hospital. The new hospital will be expected to comprise 150 beds, 10 operating theaters, 2 cardiac and vascular angiography suites and so on.

Academics and demographics

Faculties and departments

Macquarie University is currently embarked upon a reorganisation of its academic structure to enable the University to strengthen its learning, teaching and research focus. There are currently nine divisions:

  • Division of Economic and Financial Studies
  • Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM)
  • Division of Humanities
  • Australian Centre for Educational Studies (ACES)
  • Division of Humanities
  • Division of Law
  • Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy
  • Division of Environmental and Life Sciences
  • Division of Linguistics and Psychology
  • Division of Information and Communication Sciences
  • Australian School of Advanced Medicine (ASAM)
  • Vice Chancellor's Office

From 2009, these nine divisions will be replaced by four faculties to simplify the University’s organisation:

  • Faculty of Business and Economics
    • Applied Finance Centre
    • Department of Accounting and Finance
    • Department of Actuarial Studies
    • Department of Business
    • Department of Business Law
    • Department of Economics
    • Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM)
  • Faculty of Arts
    • Department of Ancient History
    • Department of Anthropology
    • Department of English
    • Department of Indigenous Studies – Warawara
    • Department of International Studies
    • Department of Law
    • Department of Media, Music and Cultural Studies
    • Department of Modern History and Politics
    • Department of Philosophy
    • Department of Sociology
  • Faculty of Science
    • Department of Biological Sciences
    • Department of Brain Behaviour and Evolution
    • Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
    • Department of Chiropractic
    • Department of Computing
    • Department of Environment and Geography
    • Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
    • Department of Mathematics
    • Department of Physics and Engineering
    • Department of Statistics
  • Faculty of Human Sciences
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Linguistics
    • Department of Psychology
    • Institute of Early Childhood
    • Institute of Human Cognition and Brain Science
    • Australian School of Advanced Medicine (ASAM)

Rankings and awards

Macquarie University showed significant drop in THES - QS World University Rankings in 2007. After the university made 67th in 2005, they ranked equal 168th in the 2007 of the top 200 universities.

The Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2008 placed Macquarie University ranked 7th in Australian Universities along with Monash University and Adelaide University.

According to the 'Good University Guide' of Australian University, starting salaries for Macquarie graduates have been ranked as the highest in Australia for ten conscutive years (1998-2007) and university made 5 star ratings in seven different performances categories. Macquarie University teachers also have received numerous awards and citations from the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education since it was established in 2004.

Campus life

U@MQ, which was officially launched in January 2008, is the new organisation that manages Macquarie University’s non-academic services of food and retail, sport and recreation, student groups, child care, and entertainment. The vision of the organisation is to support the academic excellence of Macquarie by making university more than an academic experience.

U@MQ was established by merging the previous student organisations, which were the Union (often branded as S@M or students at Macquarie), the Students' Council (generally know as MUSC) and the sport and recreation (known generally as MUSR). The suitability of merging the bodies became evident after the controlling boards (which were mostly made up of the same people) of the union and students' council were found to have embezzled money.

The new Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Centre, opened in 2007, boasts a 50 metre FINA-compliant outdoor pool and 25 metre indoor pool; state-of-the-art gymnasium.


Macquarie University has its own community radio station on campus, 2SER FM. The station is jointly owned by Macquarie University and UTS and broadcasting its programmes on the frequency 107.3 FM.

Conception Day Macquarie University students celebrate Conception Day each year 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. The festival of entertainment includes bands, rides, market stalls, bars, sideshows and food outlets.

Global Leadership Program Macquarie’s Global Leadership Program (GLP) offers students the opportunity to undertake an extracurricular program focussed on professional skills. Apart from on-campus events, GLP students can also participate in overseas exchange, volunteering and attending conferences abroad.


International College of Management, Sydney

In association of Macquarie University, The International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS), offers two-year Diploma programme (only in Hospitality, Event and International tourism), Associate Degree Programme and three-year Bachelor of Business Administration Degrees specialised in Hospitality, Event, International tourism, Retail, Property and Sports management as well as graduate certificate and master programmes. Bachelor and master degrees are awarded by Macquarie University and students have access to the University library for study and research.

Sydney Institute of Business and Technology

The Sydney Institute of Business and Technology (SIBT) 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.

Macquarie Christian Studies Institute

The Macquarie Christian Studies Institute provides students with the opportunity to include Christian studies in almost any degree. Students can either include one or two subjects in their program of study, or take a whole degree in Christian Studies.

The Centre for Macquarie English

The Centre for Macquarie English (CME), formerly known as NCELTR, is the English Language Centre that offers a range of specialised, Direct Entry English programmes that approved by Macquarie University.

Access MQ

Access Macquarie Limited was established in 1989 as the commercial arm of the University, replacing Macquarie Research Limited. Access MQ facilitates and supports the commercial needs of industry, business and government organisations seeking to utilise the academic expertise of the broader University community.

The Scholar Ship

The Scholar Ship is a transformed cruise liner that hosts both undergraduate and postgraduate students on semester-long voyages around the world. The Scholar Ship offers academic programs in a mixture of on-board and port learning experience. This globally distinctive program is a collaboration between Macquarie University and other leading universities from around the world.

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

MGSM (Macquarie Graduate School of Management) is Macquarie's business school that offers postgraduate, MBA, DBA and Master Management programmes. MGSM is considered as one of the best business school in Asia/Oceania region along with AGSM of UNSW and Melbourne Business School of University of Melbourne. MGSM made #1 in Australia (#36 worldwide) for open programmes, #2 in Australia (#43 worldwide) for Combined Executive Education, and #3 in Australia (#63 worldwide) for custom programs, according to the report from Financial Times.

The School is ranked 1st in Australia and Asia and 40th in the world for its full-time MBA program (Economist Intelligence Unit, Which MBA?, 2003 Global Full-Time MBA Rankings), in the top 2 business schools in Australia and New Zealand and among Asia's 15 best schools (Asia Inc, 2003). The MGSM MBA was also ranked equal 1st of Australian MBA programs (Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine, 2003) and in the top 40 business schools worldwide for executive education (London Financial Times, 2003). MGSM ranked #1 in the world in the category of 'student quality' (The Economist, 2004).

Residential colleges

Macquarie University has two residential colleges on its campus, Dunmore Lang College and Robert Menzies College, both were founded in 1972.

Notable alumni


External links

See also

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