The University of Tasmania (also abbreviated as UTAS, UTas or Tas Uni) is an Australian university, with three campuses in Tasmania. A 'sandstone university', it is the fourth-oldest university in Australia. It was founded on 1 January 1890, and is a member of the international Association of Commonwealth Universities. The university works with overseas universities to offer students an international experience, with exchange arrangements in place with over 40 institutions throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
Its two main campuses are the Sandy Bay Campus, about 5 minutes from the centre of the city of Hobart, and the Newnham Campus, about 10 minutes from the city of Launceston. The third is the Cradle Coast Campus (formerly called the North-West Study Centre), located in the city of Burnie, offers a small number of full degrees, and also offers first year studies in a number of subjects to attract students from that area of the state, and to facilitate rural/regional studies in particular areas.
In the 1950's, the Orr case involving his alleged sexual relations with a student made headlines around Australia. Prof Orr denied these claims until his death.
The university was reorganised in 1991 when it merged with the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology, which became the Newnham Campus. The centre at Burnie was opened in 1995.
There is a sizeable international student population, and Professor Daryl Le Grew, the current vice-chancellor announced in 2004 that the university would not increase HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) fees for the 2005 and subsequent academic years. . However, the university has recently announced HECS fees will rise by as much as 25% for the 2009 Academic year for most subjects excluding education, nursing and mathematics.
The school of Education is located at the Newnham campus with an additional location in Burnie. In 2008, the full degree will be offered in Burnie for the first time.
As well as the faculties listed above, the University has six theme areas through which multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations in research and research training, learning and teaching, and community engagement are fostered. The theme areas are: Antarctic and Marine Science; Community, Place and Change; Environment; Frontier Technologies; Population and Health; and Sustainable Primary Production.
The Faculty of Law has a number of senior academic staff in that faculty are leading researchers in the areas of medical and bio-technological law and ethics, Freedom of Information, legal ethics and equity. The Faculty, with the Tasmanian state government, also operates the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute.
The university has a particularly notable and long-standing reputation in examining the practical and theoretical challenges involved in addressing social and environmental concerns.
The President of the TUU is elected to represent all UTAS students on all campuses, and both Hobart and Launceston have their own Vice-President and Student Representative Councils. Both the TUU State President and TUU State Postgraduate sit on University Council, which is the governing body of the University of Tasmania. In 2008, a Students Complaints website (www.utas.ws) was created and received support from the TUU.
The TUU is responsible for the overseeing of all the university’s many sports clubs and socieites. Some of these include faculty-based societies, such as the Law Students, Medical Students, Engineering students societies; societies related to various interests, such as TUMS (Tasmanian University Musical Society ), PLoT (Produces Lots of Theatre), The Anime Society; and various sporting clubs, including white water rafting, soccer, hockey, Touch Football , Australian Rules football, Rugby Union.