Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

The University of Wollongong is committed to working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its governance, teaching and learning, community engagement, partnerships and research. The following initiatives are by UOW staff and students working towards SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Making impact locally

The Leading Locally, Competing Globally: Economic Impact Report 2020, found the University’s direct, indirect and induced economic impact is now worth $1.4 billion annually on 2018 figures, compared to $1.3 billion in 2015. In employment terms, the direct, indirect and induced economic impact of the University sustains 7,666 jobs in the Illawarra, 8,331 across NSW and 10,938 nationally. Research activity, funded by grants or partnerships with industry or government, accounted for $640 million in income over the last decade.

Career equity

The UOW Equity & Diversity Counsellor provides individual career development support to students from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds; with a disability; from low socio-economic backgrounds or students who have participated in the In2Uni Program. With a key focus on recognising the value of individual differences, assistance is offered in clarifying career direction; accessing workplace learning opportunities and information and resources.

Pay equality

UOW’s International Women’s Day event in 2019, saw the announcement of important gender equality priorities in line with the theme of #BalanceforBetter. Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings publicly announced changes to the way UOW pays superannuation to women. The University now pledges to make employer superannuation contributions of 9.5% for employees taking unpaid parental leave in the first year of a child’s life. By 2022, all fixed-term staff, regardless of tenure, will be entitled to the 17% superannuation rate.

Equity diversity and inclusion

UOW is a powerhouse of learning and teaching excellence. Our staff reflect the diversity of our community – in gender, sexuality, disability and cultural diversity. We are proud of our culture where people can be their authentic selves and have policies and practices in place to ensure that we provide a fair and equitable campus. We welcome anyone regardless of age, race, disability, colour, gender identity, sexual orientation, gender expression, marital or relationship status, or economic background. UOW has policies and practices in place to ensure that we provide a fair workplace and campus free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Our inclusive values empower all staff to achieve their full potential and remove barriers to participation.


iAccelerate is a unique business accelerator and incubator program at UOW, where start-ups, scaleups, social enterprises and entrepreneurs thrive. The companies are supported by a robust model of education, mentoring, seed funding and unparalleled access to one of the world’s most innovative young research universities. The centre has the most innovative minds, creative ideas and entrepreneurial vibe. 192 companies have been supported, bringing 639 new jobs to region since 2012. In 2019m iAccelerate Companies generated over $57.6m in revenue.

Centre for Contemporary Australasian Business and Economics Studies

The Centre for Contemporary Australasian Business and Economics Studies (CCABES) fosters the development and promotion of collaborative research in contemporary Australasian business and economics among countries at different stages of economic development. Researchers have strong international profiles and research is innovative, of high quality research and has broad academic, business and policy impact.

Graduate employability

According to the Australian Government’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) Employer Satisfaction Survey, employers are more satisfied with UOW graduates than with graduates of all other NSW public universities. The survey found employers’ overall satisfaction level with UOW graduates was at 89.6%, ranking above all other NSW public universities and second among public universities nationally. UOW was the only NSW public university in the top five Australian universities for graduate employer satisfaction. The annual QILT survey asks supervisors to rate their satisfaction with the performance of graduate employees in their workplace across five key skills areas: Foundation skills, Adaptive skills, Collaborative skills, Technical and Employability skills. 

Work Integrated Learning

Our vision is to provide opportunity for every UOW student to engage in a variety of scaffolded, purposefully-designed and learner-centred work integrated learning (WIL) experiences within their degree. Work Integrated Learning describes activities that integrate work practices with learning in an academic institution. Through WIL, students undertake authentic, experiential learning relevant to their program of study. WIL may occur in person or remotely, in a physical or simulated workplace, or in the classroom. It includes practicums, placements, internships, service learning, industry projects and experience, workplace simulations and professional activities. 

If you know of a UOW project or initiative that's working toward this SDG please let us know. For more information email sdgs-uow@uow.edu.au.

Latest news

Women’s Research Engineers Network (WREN) members (left to right) Dr Emily Yan (Research Engineer – Industry 4.0 Hub/ MMMB), Dr Marcella Papini (Associate Research Fellow – SMART), Ms Grace Kennedy (Associate Research Fellow -SMART), Dr Apsara Jayasekara (Associate Research Fellow/MMMB) and Dr Mainã Portella Garcia (Research Fellow – MMMB).