In the postwar era of development and innovation, the then New South Wales University of Technology established a division in Wollongong to train the engineers and metallurgists of the local steel industry. That institution grew and evolved, and in 1975 legislation was passed in the parliament of New South Wales, establishing the University of Wollongong as an independent institution.

Our history

The University of Wollongong traces its origins to 1951 when a Division of the then New South Wales University of Technology was established in Wollongong.

Ten years later the Division became the Wollongong College of the University of New South Wales and, in 1975, the University of Wollongong was incorporated by the Parliament of New South Wales as an independent institution. In 1982, the University amalgamated with the Wollongong Institute of Higher Education, which had begun life in 1962 as the Wollongong Teachers' College. The merger sparked a period of rapid growth for the University, and the emergence of a distinctive identity based on a personalised style and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

Originally established as a provider of technical education for engineers and metallurgists required for the region's steel industry, the University now offers a wide range of courses across four faculties: 

The University increased the reach of its offerings, establishing the University of Wollongong in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 1993, and UOW Shoalhaven in Nowra on the New South Wales South Coast in 2000. In addition, there are UOW campuses in Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Liverpool, the Southern Highlands, Sutherland as well as Sydney CBD campus located in the heart of Sydney. The University now offers courses in conjunction with partner institutions in a number of offshore locations including Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

The first building established on the Wollongong Innovation Campus, iC Central, was opened by then NSW Premier Morris Iemma in 2008. Innovation Campus (iC) is a 33 hectare research and commercial precinct in North Wollongong. Designed to drive partnerships and collaboration between the research and business communities, iC offers space where commercial and research organisations can work together in contemporary facilities. The iAccelerate building opened in 2016, offering space for up to 200 budding entrepreneurs to develop their ideas.

Celebrating independence

It was in 1975 that legislation establishing the University of Wollongong as an independent institution was passed. From our start as a division of the then New South Wales University of Technology, our formation as a university in our own right is an important milestone in our history, and that of the Illawarra region.

So in 2015, we celebrated 40 years of independence.

We looked back to the first time we stood on our own as a university, driven by a culture of resolve and determination, and supported by a community that could imagine a better future for the region.