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The University of Tasmania (UTAS) is a public Australian university based in Tasmaniamarker, Australia. Officially founded on 1 January 1890, it was the fourth university to be established in nineteenth-century Australia. The University is a sandstone university and is a member of the international Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The University of Tasmania offers various undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of disciplines. The University has also been consistently ranked in the top 10 universities in Australia for research and boasts links with 20 specialist research institutes, cooperative research centres and faculty based research centres; all of which are regarded as nationally and internationally competitive leaders. The University has a student population of 22,000, including approximately 3,000 international students and 1000 PhD students.


Centenary Building, Sandy Bay campus

The University of Tasmania was officially opened on 1 January 1890, being founded by an Act of the Colony of Tasmania's parliament. Richard Deodatus Poulett Harris had long advocated the establishment of the University and became its first warden of the senate. The first degrees to graduates admitted ad eundem gradum and diplomas were awarded in June 1890. Referred to as one of the original sandstone universities, it was the fourth university to be established in Australia, and today maintains a strong reputation as a small to medium-sized university. The first campus location was the Queen's Domain in Hobartmarker, but as enrolment numbers grew and study interests expanded, the new campus at Sandy Baymarker was developed in the early 1940s.

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.

Reforms to Higher Education by the Australian Government in 2004 lead most Australian universities to increase their HECS fees. UTAS remained the only Australian university not to do this, until July 2008 when Vice Chancellor Professor Daryl Le Grew announced that the university would increase HECS fees by as much as 25% from 2009. This increase affected all units except education, nursing and mathematics.

The university and TAFE Tasmania are the only remaining institutions of higher education in Tasmania. The Australian Maritime Collegemarker (AMC) integrated with the university in 2008.


The University of Tasmania has three campuses.

  • Hobart - the Hobart campus is set on 100 hectares of land in the suburb of Sandy Baymarker – a short distance from the centre of Hobartmarker. Much of the upper campus is in natural bushland. Closer to the city centre are the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, the Clinical School and the Tasmanian School of Art. About 10,000 students are enrolled at the Hobart campus.

  • Launceston - the Launceston campus is set on 50 hectares at Newnham overlooking the Tamar River, ten minutes from the centre of Launceston. About 5000 students are enrolled at the campus.

  • Cradle Coast - the Cradle Coast campus is located in the city of Burniemarker. This campus was established in 1995 as the North-West Study Centre.

Organisation and Administration

The University of Tasmania is organised into six faculties.

Faculty of Arts

  • Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music
  • Riawunna (a centre for Aboriginal studies)
  • School of Asian Languages & Studies
  • School of English, Journalism & European Languages
  • School of Government
  • School of History & Classics
  • School of Philosophy
  • School of Sociology & Social Work
  • School of Visual & Performing Arts
  • Tasmanian School of Art

Faculty of Business

  • School of Accounting and Corporate Governance
  • School of Economics and Finance
  • School of Management

Faculty of Education

  • School of Education

Faculty of Health Science

  • School of Human Life Sciences
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Nursing & Midwifery
  • Tasmanian School of Pharmacy
  • Rural Clinical School
  • Department of Rural Health

Faculty of Law

  • Centre for Legal Studies
  • Law School
  • Tasmanian Law Reform Institute

Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology

  • School of Agricultural Science
  • School of Aquaculture
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Chemistry
  • School of Computing & Information Systems
  • School of Earth Sciences
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Geography and Environmental Studies
  • School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies (IASOS)
  • School of Plant Science
  • School of Psychology
  • School of Zoology
  • Marine Research Laboratories
  • Institute for Regional Development

In addition to 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 university also has a 334 hectare property located 20 km from the Hobart campus. The University Farm is set in the cropping and grape growing area of Cambridge located in the Coal River valley, serving the teaching and research needs of the School of Agricultural Science.

Teaching and Research

Law Research

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.

Antarctic Research

The University currently holds the secretariat role of the International Antarctic Institute established in 2006 in partnership with 19 institutions in 12 countries.

Regional Development

A partnership between UTAS and the Cradle Coast Authority established the Institute for Regional Development at the Cradle Coast campus in 2005.


The University of Tasmania has remained in the top 300 universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, though it has slipped from 161st in 2004 to 291st in 2008. Domestically, the Good Universities Guide awarded the university four-stars for teaching quality and research, and ranked UTAS in the top 20% of Australian universities overall.

Based on the 2008 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), issues by Jiao Tong University, the University of Tasmania is within the top 14 Australian universities and within the 42nd-68th bracket in Asia-Pacific.


The Dalai Lama was to be offered an honorary doctorate by the University of Tasmania when he would be visiting that Australian state in December 2009 but that offer has since been withdrawn. The University of Tasmania collects $30 million a year from Chinese students and Australian Senator Brown is questioning whether the Dalai Lama's fight for Tibetan independence affected the decision.

The University of Tasmania says the issue was raised in a meeting with Chinese officials but it had already decided to withdraw its offer to the Dalai Lama.

University Library

The University Library has seven branches across the three university campuses.

Student life

Until 2008, there were two separate student unions the Tasmania University Union (TUU) in Hobartmarker and the Student Association (SA) in Launcestonmarker. Due to the abolition of compulsory student unionism in 2007, the SA and the TUU amalgamated into one Statewide Organisation representing all UTAS students. .

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 "The UTAS Blog" ( was created and received support from the TUU.

The TUU is responsible for the overseeing of all the university's many sports clubs and societies. Some of these include faculty-based societies, such as the Law Students, Medical Students and 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.

Student residences

Hobart Campus

Launceston Campus

Notable alumni

See also


External Links

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