The University of Wollongong is a popular university serving the coastal city of Wollongong (about 80 km south of Sydney).
Students: 31,361 (13,177 international, 51% male)
ATAR entry: 72 (indicative required score)
The University of Wollongong (UOW) is a modern and successful university. It has steadily grown its teaching and research capabilities over recent decades.
Like many of Australia's universities, UOW offers students the balance of coastal, open living but with good city access. It is a mid-sized university in a bushland setting. Wollongong is a city of around 300,000 people.
The university has a culture of innovation and enterprise that has allowed it to push up the university research rankings while maintaining teaching quality. UOW is one of Australia's strongest and most consistent performers in the Australian Graduate Survey.
UOW is a reliable university for producing good outcomes for students, which is why it has a high Australian ranking. Graduates are consistently satisfied with their course experience. They also normally finish their degrees either with a job or on the way to further study.
Geography is one of the university's success factors. Being based in Wollongong allows each student to find a lifestyle that suits him or her.
- The university is nestled between the mountains and the sea in a temperate part of the world (with mild winters and warm summers).
- There are wide open spaces just beyond the city outskirts and numerous coastal towns nearby.
- While giving space, the university does not suffer from remoteness. It is roughly an hour's drive from Sydney.
UOW also has a youth advantage over many universities. It only became an independent university in 1975 and has grown steadily into a mid-sized university with several campuses. A short history and sustained growth has allowed it to more easily take on modern developments and practices in areas such as technology, research collaboration, industry partnerships, student instruction and campus design.
Another positive factor is culture. Former Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerard Sutton describes the uni as having a spirit of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and collaboration that comes together in a “can do” attitude.
UOW offers a broad range of courses across 5 faculties: (i) Business; (ii) Engineering and Information Sciences; (iii) Law, Humanities and The Arts; (iv) Science, Medicine and Health; and (v) Social Sciences.
Growing numbers of students from Australia and overseas enrol with UOW each year. Current enrollments are much higher than at the start of the century. In 2001, the university had just over 16,000 students, with less than 5,000 from abroad.
Part of the university's expansion has been achieved by developing new campuses.
- UOW established the first of its satellite campuses in the Shoalhaven, 80km south of Wollongong, in 1993.
- The NSW network was extended to include Batemans Bay and Bega (on the South Coast) and Moss Vale (in the Southern Highlands). Each centre offers a range of degree and diploma courses, with teaching on-site and via links with the main Wollongong campus.
- The Innovation Campus – a high-tech research and development precinct – was launched in Wollongong in 2008. The site allows innovative corporations from around the world to co-locate with some of UOW's leading research institutes.
- UOW has also maintained the University of Wollongong in Dubai since 1993. The campus offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Business, Finance, Computer Science, Engineering, International Studies, and Media and Communications.
Living in Wollongong
Most new students look for accommodation some weeks ahead of the start of the academic year. Securing a place to live is competitive but the process can be interesting and enjoyable. It gives students an introduction to Wollongong living during the summer months when the weather is warm and the days long.
If you want a private arrangement, the main option is to find a share house or apartment with other students. You can apply for properties with a group of friends or respond to ads by students (or non-students if you wish) who have a room available.
UOW offers a good range of accommodation services for all students and guarantees a placement for new students in university accommodation. Living options include catered, self-catered, single rooms, twin share, units and studios. All are either on campus or a short distance away.
The campus is about 5 km from the Wollongong CBD and beaches, and is easily accessed by public transport. There is a free city loop bus operating between the university and the city centre.
While cars are largely banished to outside the campus perimeter, they are very handy for exploring and getting about the region. Wollongong itself stretches over 40 km from north to south, having grown to include a chain of coastal towns.
Apart from road links, Wollongong is connected to Sydney via hourly train services. These are can be crowded during peak commuter times due to large numbers of locals working in Sydney. Travelling to Sydney is also the main way Wollongong residents access air transport via Sydney Airport.
Relaxed is a term students often use to describe student life at UOW. It may have something to do with the bushland setting of the main campus, which is intersected by gentle streams and has duck ponds. The nearby beaches, temperate climate and open spaces perhaps further add to a sense of calmness.
Students seeking city-style entertainment can find plenty in the Wollongong city centre. There is a wide range of food options, a legacy of waves of migrants who have opened culinary businesses. There is Indian and other Asian cuisine as well as strong Mediterranean influences (Macedonian, Serbian, Bosnian, Crotian, Italian, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish, Portuguese and Spanish).
The CBD is a major commercial hub containing many department stores and speciality shops, offices and entertainment venues. It is built around the Crown Street Mall. Surrounding the city centre is a mixture of parks, reserves, light commercial property, houses and multi-story residential units.
Wollongong holds a wide variety of bars. Wednesday nights are 'uni nights'. Places such as Castros and the Grand feature drink specials and cheap or free entry.
The university also provides on-campus facilities, services and events. There is the UniBar, student clubs and interest groups, food outlets, entertainment and activities, a bookshop, newsagency and other student services.