World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Edith Cowan University

Edith Cowan University
Edith Cowan University(ECU)
Established 1991[1]
Type Public
Endowment $772.8 million AUD(inc. devises)[2]
Chancellor Hendy Cowan
Vice-Chancellor Steve Chapman[3]
Academic staff
Undergraduates 16,711[2]
Postgraduates 4,904[2]
Location Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Campus Urban
Affiliations ASAIHL

Edith Cowan University (ECU)is an Australian public university located in Perth, Western Australia. It was named after the first woman to be elected to an Australian Parliament, Edith Cowan, and is the only Australian university named after a woman.

ECU is situated in Western Australia, with approximately 23,000 students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, approximately 3,300 of whom are international students originating from over 100 countries outside Australia.[4]

ECU was granted university status in 1991 and was formed from an amalgamation of teachers' colleges with a history dating back to 1902 when the Claremont Teachers College was established;[5] making ECU the modern descendant of the first institution of higher education in Western Australia.[6]

The university offers more than 400 courses across two metropolitan campuses, in Mount Lawley and Joondalup, and a regional campus in the South West, Bunbury, 200 km south of Perth;[7] with some courses also offered for study off-campus (Distance Education).[8] Additionally, the university has partnerships with several education institutions to conduct courses and programs offshore.[9]

Divisions of note include the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), recognised as one of Australia's prestigious performing arts training academies;[10] the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine which offers the largest undergraduate nursing program in WA;[11] and the School of Education which offers the widest range of secondary teaching specialisations within WA.[12] The university is the largest provider of Psychology and Community Studies courses in Western Australia.[13] ECU is also home to the WA Screen Academy.


  • History 1
  • Organisation 2
    • Faculties 2.1
      • Faculty of Business and Law 2.1.1
      • Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science 2.1.2
      • Faculty of Education and Arts 2.1.3
      • The Faculty of Regional Professional Studies 2.1.4
    • Research Centres 2.2
      • Business and Society 2.2.1
      • Communications and Creative Arts 2.2.2
      • Education 2.2.3
      • Engineering and ICT 2.2.4
      • Environment and Sustainability 2.2.5
      • Health and Wellness 2.2.6
      • Security, Law and Justice 2.2.7
      • Social and Community 2.2.8
    • Vice-Chancellors 2.3
    • Governing council 2.4
  • Campuses 3
  • Academic programs 4
    • Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) 4.1
    • Graduate Destination Survey 4.2
    • Other rankings 4.3
  • Student life 5
    • Enrolment 5.1
    • Guilds and Student Associations 5.2
  • People 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The origins of Edith Cowan University date back to 1902 with the establishment of Claremont Teachers College, the first tertiary education institution in Western Australia.[6]

Other teacher training colleges were formed over the years, including Graylands Teachers College (GTC), the Western Australian Secondary Teachers College (WASTC), Nedlands College of Advanced Education (NCAE), Mount Lawley Teachers College (MLTC) and Churchlands Teachers College.[5]

In 1982 these colleges were all merged to form the Western Australian College of Advanced Education (WACAE) - with campuses in Churchlands, Nedlands, Claremont, Bunbury and Joondalup.[5]

Western Australian College of Advanced Education (WACAE) was granted university status on 1 January 1991[14] and changed its name to Edith Cowan University.[15]

Edith Cowan University was named after the first woman to be elected to an Australian Parliament, Edith Dircksey Cowan, and is the only Australian university named after a woman. Cowan worked tirelessly to raise funds for students to attend universities in other states, prior to a university being built in Western Australia, obtaining government support for her scheme.[16] Her work in this area was acknowledged by naming Western Australia's oldest education institution and newest university after her, as well as her image being added to the Australian $50 note.[16]

Cowan believed that education was the key to growth, change and improvement and her contribution to the development of Western Australian education was significant. She strove to achieve social justice and campaigned for the rights of women, children and families, for the poor, the poorly educated and the elderly.[16] She promoted sex education in schools, migrant welfare, and the formation of infant health centres, and was instrumental in obtaining votes for women in Western Australia.[16]

In 1991, the university purchased the house that Cowan, her husband and family resided in for approximately 20 years.[17] The house was reconstructed on the university's Joondalup Campus[18] with the assistance of the West Coast College of TAFE, the reconstructed house was opened in 1997.[17] Edith Cowan House, Building 20 on the university's Joondalup Campus,[19] currently plays host to the Peter Cowan Writer's Centre.[20]



Main Library on the Joondalup Campus

The university has four faculties:[21]

Faculty of Business and Law


  • School of Business[23]
  • School of Law and Justice[24]
  • Perth Graduate School of Business[25]

Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


  • School of Computer and Security Science[27]
  • School of Engineering[28]
  • School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences[29]
  • School of Natural Sciences[30]
  • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine[31]
  • School of Psychology and Social Science[32]

Faculty of Education and Arts


  • Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research (Kurongkurl Katitjin)[34]
  • School of Communications and Arts[35]
  • School of Education[36]
  • Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)[37]
  • WA Screen Academy[38]

The Faculty of Regional Professional Studies


  • School of Regional Professional Studies

Research Centres

The university has a number of research centres within its areas of research strength: Health and Wellness; Education; Environment and Sustainability; Electronic Engineering and ICT; Social and Community; Business and Society; Communications and Creative Arts; and Security, Law and Justice.[40] Several of these research centres are categorised as Major National Research Facilities and WA Centres of Excellence in Science and Innovation.[41]

Business and Society

  • Centre for Innovative Practice[42]
  • Marketing and Services Research Centre[43]

Communications and Creative Arts

  • Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications[44]
  • Dance Research Centre - Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts[45]
  • The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation[46]


  • Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies[47]
  • Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research[48]
  • Fogarty Learning Centre[49]

Engineering and ICT

  • Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE)[50]
  • Centre for Communications Engineering Research[51]
  • Centre for Research in Information and Technology Systems[52]
  • Electron Science Research Institute[53]
  • National Networked Tele-Test Facility for Integrated Systems[54]
  • The Western Australian Centres for Microscopy/Nanoscale Characterisation[55]
  • Western Australian Centre of Excellence for MicroPhotonic Systems[56]

Environment and Sustainability

  • Centre for Ecosystem Management[57]
  • Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research[58]
  • Consortium for Health and Ecology[59]
  • Natural Resources Modelling and Simulation Research Group[60]
  • The Western Australian Marine Science Institution[61]

Health and Wellness

  • Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet[62]
  • Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care[63]
  • Child Health Promotion Research Centre[64]
  • Exercise and Sports Science Research Group[65]
  • Melanoma Research[66]
  • Parkinson's Centre[67]
  • Population Health Research Group[68]
  • The Systems and Intervention Research Centre for Health[69]
  • VARIO Health Institute[70]
  • WA Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care[71]
  • Western Australian Centre of Excellence for Comparative Genomics[72]

Security, Law and Justice

  • SECAU Security Research Centre[73]
  • The Sellenger Centre for Research in Law, Justice and Policing[74]

Social and Community

  • Centre for Indigenous Australian Knowledges[75]
  • Centre for Social Research[76]
  • Centre for Sustainable Regional Futures[77]


Professor Steve Chapman commenced as Vice-Chancellor in April 2015. Previous Vice-Chancellors include Kerry Cox (from 2006 to 2014) Professor Millicent Poole (from 1997 to 2005) and Professor Roy Lourens (from 1991 to 1997).

Governing council

The University Council is the governing body of the organisation which controls and manages the operation, affairs, concerns and property of the university, in accordance with its Corporate Governance Statement.[78]

The membership of the council is composed of people across various disciplines and groups as mandated under Part III, Sect. 9 of the Edith Cowan University Act 1984.[79]

Its membership includes persons appointed by the Governor of Western Australia, co-opted members, members of the academic and general staff of the university as elected by the members of these groups, and alumni and student guild representatives. With the exception of the Chancellor and students, members of council are elected for three-year terms, or in the case of a by-election for the balance of the current term. An elected member of the council may serve for up to three consecutive terms, after which they are subject to a twelve-month break before they may be reconsidered for council. Students elected to University Council hold office for a term of one year from the date their election takes effect, and are not eligible for re-election more than once.


ECU has three campuses, consisting of two metropolitan campuses at Joondalup and Mount Lawley, and one at Bunbury, in Western Australia's South West Region. Programs are also offered at regional centres throughout Western Australia.

Joondalup Campus Entrance

The Joondalup Campus[80] is the University's headquarters.[7] Facilities on the campus include a new Health and Wellness Building, a multimillion-dollar sport and fitness centre, a new award winning library and student hub, an outdoor cinema screening Perth International Arts Festival Lotterywest Festival Films[81] during the summer months and on-campus accommodation.[7] The campus also forms part of the Joondalup Learning Precinct, which includes the West Coast College of TAFE and the Western Australian Police Academy.[82] It is serviced by the Joondalup CAT and is close to the Mitchell Freeway.

The Mount Lawley Campus[83] is close to Perth's central business district. Facilities on the campus include Perth Graduate School of Business, a range of performing arts facilities, a sport and fitness centre and on-campus accommodation.[7] The campus also forms part of the Mount Lawley education precinct with the Mount Lawley Senior High School and is home to one of Australia's most successful and well known arts training institutions, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts(WAAPA).[84]

The South West Campus[85] is located in Bunbury, two hours drive south of Perth.[7] The South West Campus (Bunbury) is the largest university campus outside the metropolitan area and is part of an educational precinct comprising South West Institute of Technology and the Bunbury Health Campus[7] which includes St John of God Hospital and South West Area Health Services. The campus has modern facilities, small class sizes, a comprehensive range of courses and on-campus accommodation.[7]

The university offers selected programs at various regional centres, including Broome, Geraldton and Margaret River. The Margaret River Education Campus opened in 2004 and is a collaborative project between ECU, Curtin University and the South West Regional College of TAFE. The campus's centrepiece is the Centre for Wine Excellence.

The university formerly had two campuses in Perth's western suburbs - Churchlands and Claremont. These campuses were closed down in the mid-2000s with the Churchlands Campus becoming a residential estate[86] and the Claremont Campus being acquired by the University of Western Australia.

Academic programs

Study programs are offered at Associate Degree, Bachelor, Master and Doctoral levels in numerous subject areas. Additionally there are number of Vocational education courses offered by Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and several University Preparation Courses[87] - which prepare students for undergraduate study.

The university offers more than 400 courses across its three Western Australian campuses, with some courses also offered for study off-campus (Distance Education).[8]

A significant number of ECU courses are unique to Western Australia and Australia - including Surf Science and Technology;[88] Arts Management;[89] Aviation;[90] the Home Economics specialisation in secondary teaching;[91] Design and Technology secondary teaching;[91] a double degree in Nursing and Midwifery;[92] an accredited online Law degree;[93] Social Science courses in Youth Work and Family Studies.[13]

The university has partnerships with several education institutions to conduct courses and programs offshore in countries such as China, India,[94] Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Kenya[9]

Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)

The 2008 national Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) reports that 92.1% of ECU's domestic and international Bachelor level graduates were satisfied with the quality of their course,[2] with the national average at 88.5% and the Western Australia state average at 90.0%.[2] The 2008 CEQ also reports that 89.6% of ECU's domestic and international Bachelor level graduates were satisfied with the teaching experience during their course,[2] with the national average at 82.8% and the Western Australia state average at 85.0%.[2]

Graduate Destination Survey

The 2008 national Graduate Destination Survey reports that 84.7% of ECU's domestic Bachelor level graduates are in full-time employment [2] with the national average at 86.01% and the state average at 87.9%.[2]

Other rankings

Webometrics published in January 2010 ranked its Faculty of Business and Law the ninth best business school in Australia,[95] and MBA programme was given a five star rating by Graduate Management Association of Australia in 2010.

The 2015 Good Universities Guide rates ECU five stars, the highest star rating, for teaching quality, graduate satisfaction and generic skills.

Student life


ECU has more than 23,000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. More than 4,000 international students originating from more than 90 countries study with ECU each year.[4] This includes the offshore delivery of a variety of courses in a number of countries, student and staff exchange programs with other universities, joint research activities, international consultancies and individual academic links.

Guilds and Student Associations

All students are represented by the ECU Student Guild.[96] This includes Postgraduate students, under the Postgraduate Studies Department, and International students under the International Students' Council.

There are a range of academic groups and associations for undergraduate students of particular disciplines, including: Boomerang@ECU (Advertising); Dead Pilot's Society Superseded by Edith Cowan Aviators (ECA) as found on the social networking site Facebook; ECU Engineers (EEC); ECU Society of Psychology and Social Science (ECUSPSS); Sports Science @ ECU; Town Planning Student Association; ECU Nurses; Society Of Security Science (SOSS); NorthLaw Society (NLS); ECU Public Relations Chapter; Computer and Security Science Association (CASSA); ML Education (Primary Education); Early Childhood Collective and Arts Management Student Organisation (AMSO); Western Australian Student Paramedics (WASP) and more.

Along with the student associations, there are various social and sporting clubs that are affiliated with ECU Sport or the Guild. Some of these include: ECU Badmington Club, Tennis Club, Jack of Arts, Enactus, Buddist Youth Club, ECU Parties and Events, Humans vs Zombies, Nerd Space, ECU Cheerleading Club, ECU Quidditch Club, The Sound, Touch Football, Mixed Netball, and more.


Notable alumni of ECU include Daniel O'Connell, Musa Aman, the chief minister of the Malaysian state of Sabah; former soccer player Alistair Edwards; actors Frances O'Connor, Hugh Jackman, Lisa McCune, Marcus Graham, William McInnes, Lucy Durack, Rachelle Durkin, Emma Matthews, Eddie Perfect, Tim Minchin and Simon Lyndon; musician Jamie Oehlers; and Indigenous rights activist and former AFL player Craig Turley.

Notable academics include Professor Craig Valli, 2010 Achiever of the Year Award, Western Australian Information Technology and Telecommunications Awards (WAITTA);[97] Professor Ralph Martins, Chair in Aging and Alzheimers Disease and named WA Australian of the Year for 2010;[98] Professor Colleen Hayward, Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research, and 2009 inductee into the Hall of Fame at the Aboriginal Awards of Achievement [99]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ a b c d e f g
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c d
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^
  76. ^
  77. ^
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^
  86. ^
  87. ^
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^
  91. ^ a b
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^
  95. ^
  96. ^
  97. ^
  98. ^
  99. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • ECU's Future Students website
  • ECU's official Facebook web page
  • ECU's official Twitter account
  • ECU's official Youtube channel
  • Alumni website
  • Faculty of Business and Law
  • Perth Graduate School of Business
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.