ECU is situated in Western Australia, with approximately 20,000 students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, approximately 4000 of whom are international students originating from over 90 countries outside Australia.
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; making ECU the modern descendant of the first institution of higher education in Western Australia.
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; with some courses also offered for study off-campus (Distance Education). Additionally, the university has partnerships with several education institutions to conduct courses and programs offshore
Divisions of note include the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), recognised as one of Australia's prestigious performing arts training academies; the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine which offers the largest undergraduate nursing program in WA; and the School of Education which offers the widest range of secondary teaching specialisations within WA. The university is the largest provider of Psychology and Community Studies courses in Western Australia. ECU is also home to the WA Screen Academy.
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
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.
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.
Western Australian College of Advanced Education (WACAE) was granted university status on 1 January 1991 and changed its name to Edith Cowan University.
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. 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.
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. 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.
In 1991, the university purchased the house that Cowan, her husband and family resided in for approximately 20 years. The house was reconstructed on the university's Joondalup Campus with the assistance of the West Coast College of TAFE, the reconstructed house was opened in 1997. Edith Cowan House, Building 20 on the university's Joondalup Campus, currently plays host to the Peter Cowan Writer's Centre.
Main Library on the Joondalup Campus
The university has four faculties:
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business
School of Law and Justice
Perth Graduate School of Business
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Computer and Security Science
School of Engineering
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences
School of Natural Sciences
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine
School of Psychology and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts
Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research (Kurongkurl Katitjin)
School of Communications and Arts
School of Education
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
WA Screen Academy
The Faculty of Regional Professional Studies
School of Regional Professional Studies
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. Several of these research centres are categorised as Major National Research Facilities and WA Centres of Excellence in Science and Innovation.
Business and Society
Centre for Innovative Practice
Marketing and Services Research Centre
Communications and Creative Arts
Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
Dance Research Centre - Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies
Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research
Fogarty Learning Centre
Engineering and ICT
Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE)
Centre for Communications Engineering Research
Centre for Research in Information and Technology Systems
Electron Science Research Institute
National Networked Tele-Test Facility for Integrated Systems
The Western Australian Centres for Microscopy/Nanoscale Characterisation
Western Australian Centre of Excellence for MicroPhotonic Systems
Environment and Sustainability
Centre for Ecosystem Management
Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research
Consortium for Health and Ecology
Natural Resources Modelling and Simulation Research Group
The Western Australian Marine Science Institution
Health and Wellness
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care
Child Health Promotion Research Centre
Exercise and Sports Science Research Group
Population Health Research Group
The Systems and Intervention Research Centre for Health
VARIO Health Institute
WA Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care
Western Australian Centre of Excellence for Comparative Genomics
Security, Law and Justice
SECAU Security Research Centre
The Sellenger Centre for Research in Law, Justice and Policing
Social and Community
Centre for Indigenous Australian Knowledges
Centre for Social Research
Centre for Sustainable Regional Futures
Since 2006, Professor Kerry O. Cox has been the university's Vice-Chancellor. Previous Vice-Chancellors include Professor Millicent Poole (from 1997 to 2005) and Professor Roy Lourens (from 1991 to 1997).
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.
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.
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 is the University's headquarters. Facilities on the campus include a new Health and Wellness Building, a multi-million dollar sport and fitness centre, a new award winning library and student hub, an outdoor cinema screening Perth International Arts Festival Lotterywest Festival Films during the summer months and on-campus accommodation. The campus also forms part of the Joondalup Learning Precinct, which includes the West Coast College of TAFE and the Western Australian Police Academy. It is serviced by the Joondalup CAT and is close to the Mitchell Freeway.
The South West Campus is located in Bunbury, two hours drive south of Perth. The South West Campus (Bunbury) is the largest university campus outside the metropolitan area and is part of an educational precinct comprising South West Regional College of TAFE and the Bunbury Health Campus 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.
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 and the Claremont Campus being acquired by the University of Western Australia.
A significant number of ECU courses are unique to Western Australia and Australia - including Surf Science and Technology; Arts Management; Aviation; the Home Economics specialisation in secondary teaching; Design and Technology secondary teaching; a double degree in Nursing and Midwifery; an accredited online Law degree; Social Science courses in Youth Work and Family Studies.
The university has partnerships with several education institutions to conduct courses and programs offshore in countries such as China, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Kenya
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, with the national average at 88.5% and the Western Australia state average at 90.0%. 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, with the national average at 82.8% and the Western Australia state average at 85.0%.
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 with the national average at 86.01% and the state average at 87.9%.
Webometrics published in January 2010 ranked its Faculty of Business and Law the ninth best business school in Australia, and MBA programme was given a five star rating by Graduate Management Association of Australia in 2010.
ECU has more than 20,000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. More than 4,000 international students originating from more than 90 countries study with ECU each year. 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.
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.
Notable academics include Professor Donna Cross, Professor in Child and Adolescent Health at the Child Health Promotion Research Centre; Professor Craig Valli, 2010 Achiever of the Year Award, Western Australian Information Technology and Telecommunications Awards (WAITTA); Professor Ralph Martins, Chair in Aging and Alzheimers Disease and named WA Australian of the Year for 2010; 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