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Australian Catholic University

Australian Catholic University

Australian Catholic University (ACU) is a publicly funded university with seven campuses around Australia. It is one of the few Australian universities with a presence in Europe, having opened the Rome Centre in Italy in 2015.

ACU has grown rapidly with the number of undergraduate students increasing more than 60% between 2010 and 2015. The university now has more than 32,000 students from 160 countries and more than 2,200 staff. It has matched this growth with the expansion and upgrade of it campuses. Several new buildings and developments have won interior design or architecture awards and received a 6-Star Green Star energy rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

Australian Catholic University is made up of four faculties, which offer bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. It is open to students and staff of all beliefs and backgrounds and outlines in its mission statement a commitment to “the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good”.

ACU was founded from Catholic tertiary institutions that had been training teachers and nurses since the mid-19th century. It is now globally connected, with a relationship to more than 190 universities and educational institutions around the world as well as being part of a global network of Catholic universities.

Australian Catholic University has an increasing involvement in research and has seven new research institutes aligned with the university’s four priority research areas: theology and philosophy, health, education and the common good and social justice.

Australian Catholic University

Australian Catholic University

Australian Catholic University (ACU) was opened on 1 January 1991 following the amalgamation of four Catholic tertiary institutions in eastern Australia:

  1. Catholic College of Education Sydney, New South Wales
  2. Institute of Catholic Education, Victoria
  3. McAuley College, Queensland
  4. Signadou College of Education, Australian Capital Territory

These institutions had their origins in the mid-1800s when religious orders and institutes became involved in preparing teachers for Catholic schools and later, nurses for Catholic hospitals. Through a series of amalgamations, relocations, transfers of responsibilities and diocesan initiatives, more than 20 historical entities have contributed to the creation of the university.

Australian Catholic University Campuses

ACU has seven campuses across Australia, Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney (North Sydney and Strathfield). In 2015, the university opened the Rome Centre, a collaboration with the Catholic University of America, located in Rome, Italy.

Courses Offered at Australian Catholic University

ACU has a wide range of institutes and centres, as well as four faculties.

  • Education and Arts – areas include education, arts and humanities, global studies and international development studies, media communications, social science, youth work and creative arts, visual arts and design.
  • Health Sciences – areas include counselling, environmental science, exercise physiology, exercise science, mental health, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, paramedicine, physiotherapy, public health, psychology, social work and speech pathology.
  • Law and Business – areas include accounting and finance, business administration, commerce, human resource management, information technology, law, management, marketing and occupational health, safety and environmental management.
  • Theology and Philosophy.

In 2014, ACU launched a research intensification program. In the initial stage of the five-year strategy, the university established seven new research institutes, aligned with four priority research areas: theology and philosophy, health, education and the common good and social justice.

In 2015, ACU was named the most improved institution in the country by the Australian Research Council in its national assessment of research quality, the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). In the results, ACU increased its “excellence index” ranking from 35th to 21st. The university also achieved several scores of five, the highest score possible, in the ERA.


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