Macquarie University – MQ

  1. Macquarie University

Macquarie University


And gladly teche
from the general Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer c.1400






(31 December 2008)[1]


Michael Egan


Judyth Sachs


Steven Schwartz


2,221 (2008)


33,000 (2008)


15,023 (2008)


6,053 (2008)


North Ryde/Macquarie ParkSydneyNSWAustralia
33°46′31″S 151°6′50″E



Named After

Lachlan Macquarie






Macquarie University is an Australian public teaching and research university located in Sydney, with its main campus situated in Macquarie Park. 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.

The University comprises four faculties, enrolling approximately 33,000 students and having 2,221 (full-time equivalent) academic and professional staff, making it the fourth largest University in Sydney.[2] At present, the University offers 87 undergraduate courses and 124 different post-graduate courses to students. [3] [4] The University is governed by a 17-member council. [5]

Macquarie has maintained a strong reputation in various research and teaching areas, including business andfinanceactuarial studiesquantum informaticsbiomolecular sciencephotonicswireless engineeringclimate risk research and post graduate specialty surgery and medicine.[6][7] The University also has the largest student exchange programme in Australia.[8] The Academic Ranking of World Universities listed Macquarie as 7th among Australian Universities in its 2008 rankings[9] . The University is also ranked among the national top five recipients of relative research income. [10]

Also affiliated with the University are several research centres, schools and institutes including the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Australian Proteome Analysis Facility, the Institute of Human Cognition and Brain Science, the Macquarie University Research Park and the soon to be opened Macquarie University Hospital.

Macquarie University’s linguistics department developed the Macquarie Dictionary, the copyright on which it still owns.

  1. History


The idea of founding a third university in Sydney was flagged in the early 1960s when the New South Wales Governmentformed 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’.[11] 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. [12] 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’.[13] An additional topic considered in this book is the science reform movement of the late 1970s that resulted in the introduction of a science degree thus facilitating the subsequent inclusion of other named degrees in addition to the traditional BA.[14] An alternative, albeit complementary, view on this topic is given by the famous British-Australian physicist John Ward.[15]

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. 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 Yerbury’s salary package.[16][17] In August 2006, Professor Schwartz expressed concern about the actions of Yerbury in a letter to university auditors.[18] Yerbury strongly denied any wrongdoing and claimed the artworks were hers.[16][19][20]

During 2007, Macquarie University faced a restructuring of its student organisation after an audit raised questions about management of hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds by student organisations[21] At the centre of the investigation was Victor Ma, president of the Macquarie University Students’ Council who had previously been involved in a high-profile case of student election fixing at the University of Sydney.[22] The University Council resolved to immediately remove Victor Ma from his position. Vice Chancellor Schwartz cited the need for the urgent need to reform Macquarie’s main student bodies.[23] However, Victor Ma strongly denied any wrongdoing and labelled the controversy as a case of ‘character assassination’.[24] The Federal Court ordered on May 23, 2007 that Macquarie University Union Ltd, would be wound up.[25]

Following the dissolution of Macquarie University Union Ltd, the outgoing student organisation was replaced with a new wholly owned subsidiary company of the University known as U@MQ Ltd. The new student organisation arrangement originally lacked a true student representative union however following a complete review and authorisation from the University Council, the new student union known as Macquarie University Students Association (MUSRA) was established in 2009. [26]

Macquarie University Lake

Within the first few hundred days of Schwartz’s instatement as Vice-Chancellor, the Macquarie@50 strategic plan was launched which positioned the University to enhance research, teaching, infrastructure and academic rankings by the University’s 50th anniversary in 2014. Included in the University’s plans for the future was the establishment of a sustainability office in order to more effectively manage environmental and social development at Macquarie. As part of this campaign in 2009, Macquarie became the first Fair Trade accredited University in Australia.[27]

  1. Academic structure and Governance

Graduation Ceremony

The University comprises thirty-five departments within four faculties:[28] These four faculties were formed at the start of 2009 from the consolidation of ten academic divisions, to enable a more organised and centralised approach to teaching and research.

The University Council is the governing authority of the University under the Macquarie University Act 1989[29]

The Academic Senate is the primary academic body of the University. It has certain powers delegated to it by Council such as the approving of examination results and the completion of requirements for the award of degrees. At the same time, it makes recommendations to the Council concerning all changes to degree rules, and all proposals for new awards. While the Academic Senate is an independent body, it is required to make recommendations to the University Council in relation to matters outside its delegated authority. [30]

  1. Campus

The main campus is located about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north-west of the Sydney CBD, the Macquarie University campus is set on 126 hectares of rolling lawns and natural bushland. Located within the high-technology corridor of Sydney’s north-west and within close proximity to Macquarie Park and its surrounding industries, Macquarie’s location has been crucial in its development as a relatively research intensive University. The University is straddled between the suburbs of North Ryde and the later developed technology and industry focused Macquarie Park, however the campus has its own postcode, 2109.

Macquarie University’s first architect-planner was Walter Abraham, one of the first six administrators appointed to Macquarie University. [31] 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. The main east-west walkway that runs from the research park through to the arts faculty buildings, was named Wally’s Walk in recognition of Walter Abraham’s contribution to the development of the University.

Today, Macquarie University is served by the Macquarie University railway station, which opened in 2009, as well as a bus interchange within the campus. The M2 Motorway runs parallel to the northern boundary of the campus and is accessible to traffic from the University. Apart from its centres of learning, the campus features the Macquarie University Research Park, museums, art Galleries, a sculpture park, an observatory, aquatic and sports centre, fauna park and also the Macquarie University Hospital. Located to the north of the main campus area is the University sports grounds.

The University is currently undertaking a large infrastructure and capital works program that will see an investment of over $1 billion into new buildings and projects across the campus[32] and has setup an Office of Major Projects to oversee the new developments. The major projects include the development of the new library, the hearing hub and global headquarters of Cochlear Limited, redevelopment of the student services building and new student accommodation facilities. Macquarie is also seeking to develop the eastern perimeter of its campus along Herring Road and establish a new Station Precinct that will contain a number of multi-story towers, basement car parking and a ground plane that will provide retail and landscaped connections to the University proper. It is anticipated that the Station Precinct will act as a new commercial front door to the Campus.[33]

  1. 6 Satellite campuses
  • Macquarie City Campus: In mid 2007, the University opened the Macquarie City Campus in the Sydney CBD, offering some of Macquarie University’s programs. Macquarie City Campus has been designed to meet demand from students for a CBD campus.[34]
  • Macquarie Manly Campus: In association with Macquarie University, the International College of Management, Sydney, offers a two-year Diploma programme (only in Hospitality, Event and International tourism), an Associate Degree Programme and a three-year Bachelor of Business Administration Degrees specialised in Hospitality, Event, International tourism, Retail, Property, and Sports Management as well as graduate certificates and master programmes. Bachelor and master degrees are awarded by Macquarie University and students have access to the University library for study and research.
  1. Rankings and awards

Macquarie University showed a 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.[35]

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 consecutive years (1998-2007) and university made 5 star ratings in seven different performances categories.[citation needed] 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.[36]

World Universities








THES – QS World University Rankings








Academic Ranking of World Universities







  1. Facilities and services
  2. 9 Macquarie University Library

The Macquarie University Library was opened in 1967 and contains over 1.8 million items. The library was built in various stages and expanded to accommodate the growth of the University.

  1. 10 Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Centre

Situated on the western side of the campus, the Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Centre, which opened in 2007, boasts a 50 metre FINA-compliant outdoor pool and 25 metre indoor pool. The complex also contains a state-of-the-art gymnasium and squash, badminton, basketball, volleyball and netball courts.[48]

  1. 11 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 CorningGoodman FielderNortel NetworksOPSM and Siemens.[49]

  1. 12 Observatory

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.[50]

  1. 13 Residential colleges

Macquarie University has two residential colleges on its campus, Dunmore Lang College and Robert Menzies College, both were founded in 1972. In addition to these residential colleges is the Macquarie University Village which contains over 890 rooms inside multiple two storey townhouses and apartment block.

  1. 14 Facilities under construction

View of Macquarie University grounds showing various construction works underway

As of 2009, several major construction projects are underway at Macquarie University, or are in the planning stages.[51]

  • The Cochlear Building will be the new global headquarters for Cochlear Limited, manufacturers of cochlear implants, combining their research, development, manufacturing, and distribution facilities into a single building.[52] As support for the Cochlear Building, the university is planning the construction of a Hearing Hub, a collection of facilities which will incorporate the Cochlear Building, university research facilities for language and cognitive sciences, audiology, and speech pathology, and other organisations related to hearing disorders.[53]
  • The Library 2010 project is the construction of a new library building for the university. This library will contain 16,000 square metres (170,000 sq ft) of floor space over five levels, and will be the first library in Australia to feature an Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). The library is due to be opened in 2010.[54]
  • The new Macquarie University Hospital will be expected to comprise 150 beds, 10 operating theaters, 2 cardiac and vascular angiography suites.[55]
  1. 15 Student Organisations

See also: U@MQ

U@MQ Building

  • 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 ‘Students at Macquarie’ or S@M), 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 of the union and students’ council (which were mostly made up of the same people) were found to have embezzled money.[56]
  • 2SER 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.
  1. Affiliations
  2. 17 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.[57]

  1. 18 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.[58]

  1. 19 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.[59]

  1. 20 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.[60]

  1. Notable alumni

Main article: List of Macquarie University staff and alumni

  1. See also
  1. References
  2. 24 Bibliography
  • Mansfield, Bruce and Mark Hutchinson, Liberality of opportunity: a history of Macquarie University, 1964-1989 Macquarie University (Sydney, 1992) ISBN 0868064742

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