Edith Cowan University (ECU)
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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 more than 30,000 students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, approximately 6,000 of whom are international students originating from over 100 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 300 courses across two metropolitan campuses, in Mount Lawley and Joondalup, and a regional campus in the South West, Bunbury, 200 km south of Perth; many courses are also offered for study online. Additionally, the university has partnerships with several education institutions to conduct courses and programs offshore.
Amongst its divisions are the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), an important performing arts training academy; the School of Nursing and Midwifery, which offers a large undergraduate nursing program and the School of Education which offers a wide range of secondary teaching specialisations. The university also provides Psychology and Community Studies, and is home to the WA Screen Academy, one of Australia's leading film schools.
In the 2019 Student Experience Survey, the Edith Cowan University recorded the fifth highest student satisfaction rating out of all Australian universities, and the highest student satisfaction rating out of all public Western Australian universities, with an overall satisfaction rating of 83.3.
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.
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 had 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, and re-opened in 1997. Edith Cowan House, Building 20 on the university's Joondalup Campus, currently plays host to the Peter Cowan Writer's Centre.
The university has eight teaching schools
School of Business and Law Broad disciplines: Business and Law
School of Arts and Humanities Broad disciplines: Communication, Arts, Humanities, Psychology, Social Sciences, Social Work, Criminology and Justice
School of Education Broad disciplines: Teacher education for Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary schools
School of Engineering Broad disciplines: Full range of Engineering specialisations
School of Medical and Health Sciences Broad disciplines: Exercise and Health Sciences, Medical Science, Biomedical Science, Speech Pathology and Paramedicine
School of Nursing and Midwifery Broad disciplines: Nursing and Midwifery
School of Science Broad disciplines: Biology and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Biochemistry, Computing and Security Sciences
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts Broad disciplines: Full range of performing arts and related specialities
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.
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).
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.
The Joondalup Campus is the University's headquarters. 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 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 to the North and the Western Australian Police Academy to the North-east. It is serviced by the Joondalup CAT and is close to the Mitchell Freeway.
The Mount Lawley Campus is close to Perth's central business district. Facilities on the campus include extensive media training and performing arts facilities, a sport and fitness centre and on-campus accommodation. 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.
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 Institute of Technology 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, two vending machines, a cafe and a common room. In addition, a comprehensive range of courses and on-campus accommodation is available. Many classes have recently been to shifted to online to cater for overseas students.
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.
In 2014 the university opened the ECU Health Centre on Dundebar Road in Wanneroo. The Centre includes the Wanneroo GP Super Clinic, ECU Psychological Services Centre, pharmacy and allied health practitioners.
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 which prepare students for undergraduate study.
A significant number of ECU courses are unique to Western Australia and Australia[clarification needed] - including Ocean Engineering, 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.
The university has partnerships with several education institutions to conduct courses and programs offshore in countries such as China, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
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%.
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%.
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The 2018 ERA scale ranks ECU 32nd out of Australian universities. The 2016 Good Universities Guide rates ECU five stars, the highest star rating, for teaching quality and graduate starting salary. The 2020 QS World University Rankings listed ECU in the 651-700 band. The 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking listed ECU in the 401-500 band. ECU is also named in The Times Higher Education 150 Under 50, a list of the best universities in the world under the age of 50.
ECU has more than 27,000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. More than 4,300 international students originating from more than 100 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.
All students are represented by the ECU Student Guild. 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 Cars & Cruises, ECU Badminton Club, Tennis Club, ECU Liberal Club, Jack of Arts, Enactus, Buddhist 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:
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