|Working Men's College (1887–1933)|
Melbourne Technical College (1934–1959), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (1960–1992)
|Motto||Perita manus mens exculta (Latin)|
Motto in English
|"A skilled hand and cultivated mind"|
|Endowment||A$1.43 billion (2018)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Martin G. Bean|
|16,050 (vocational and foundation)|
|Colours||Dark green, gold, white, red, black|
|Affiliations||ASAIHL, ATN, OUA|
Founded by Francis Ormond in 1887, RMIT began as a night school offering classes in art, science, and technology, in response to the industrial revolution in Australia. It was a private college for more than a hundred years before merging with the Phillip Institute of Technology to become a public university in 1992. It has an enrolment of around 87,000 higher and vocational education students, making it the largest dual-sector education provider in Australia. With an annual revenue of around A$1.3 billion, it is also one of the wealthiest universities in Australia. It is rated a five star university by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and is ranked 17th in the World for art and design subjects in the QS World University Rankings, making it the top art and design university in Australia.
Its main campus is situated on the northern edge of the historic Hoddle Grid in the city centre of Melbourne. It also has two satellite campuses in the northern suburbs of Brunswick and Bundoora and a training site, situated on the Williams base of the Royal Australian Air Force, in the western suburb of Point Cook. Beyond Melbourne, it has a research site near the Grampians National Park in the rural city of Hamilton. Outside Australia, it has a presence in Asia and Europe. In Asia, it has two branch campuses in the Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as teaching partnerships in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. In Europe, it has a coordinating centre in the Spanish city of Barcelona.
The antecedent of RMIT, the Working Men's College of Melbourne, was founded by the Scottish-born grazier and politician The Hon. Francis Ormond in the 1880s. Planning began in 1881, with Ormond basing his model for the college on the Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution (now a constituent college of the University of London), Brighton College of Art (now the University of Brighton), Royal College of Art, and the Working Men's College of London.
Ormond donated the sum of £5000 toward the foundation of the college. He was supported in the Victorian Parliament by Charles Pearson and in the Melbourne Trades Hall by William Emmett Murphy. The workers' unions of Melbourne rallied their members to match Ormond's donation. The site for the college, on the corners of Bowen Street and La Trobe Street, opposite the Melbourne Public Library, was donated by the Victorian Government.
The Working Men's College of Melbourne opened on 4 June 1887 with a gala ceremony at the Melbourne Town Hall, becoming the fifth tertiary education provider in Victoria (the Melbourne Athenaeum was founded in 1839, the University of Melbourne in 1853, the Ballarat School of Mines in 1870 and the Bendigo School of Mines in 1873). It took 320 enrollments on its opening night.
It opened as a night school for instruction in "art, science and technology"—in the words of its founder—"especially to working men". Ormond was a firm believer in the transformative power of education and believed the college would be of "great importance and value" to the industrialisation of Melbourne during the late-19th century. In 1904, it was incorporated under the Companies Act as a private college.
Between the turn of the 20th century and the 1930s, it expanded over the neighbouring Old Melbourne Gaol and constructed buildings for new art, engineering and radio schools. It also made its first contribution to Australia's war effort through training of returned military personnel from World War I. Following a petition by students, it officially changed its name to the Melbourne Technical College in 1934.
The expanded college made a greater contribution to Australia's effort during World War II by training a sixth of the country's military personnel—including the majority of its Royal Australian Air Force communication officers. It also trained 2000 civilians in munitions manufacturing and was commissioned by the Australian Government to manufacture military aircraft parts—including the majority of parts for the Beaufort Bomber.
Following World War II, in 1954 it became the first Australian tertiary education provider to be awarded royal patronage (by Elizabeth II) for its service to the Commonwealth in the area of education and for its contribution to the war effort; and was officially renamed the "Royal Melbourne Technical College". It became (and remains to this day) the only higher education institution in Australia with the right of the prefix "Royal" along with the use of the Australian monarchy's regalia.
Its name was officially changed to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1960. During the mid-20th century, it was restructured as a provider of general higher and vocational education, and pioneered dual sector education in Australia. It also began an engagement with Southeast Asia during this time (under the Australian Government's Colombo Plan). In 1979, the neighbouring Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy joined with RMIT.
After merging with the Phillip Institute of Technology in 1992, it became a public university by act of the Victorian Government under the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Act 1992, and changed its name to RMIT University.
During the 1990s, the university underwent a rapid expansion and amalgamated with a number of nearby colleges and institutes. The Melbourne College of Decoration and Design joined RMIT in 1993, to create a new dedicated vocational design school, followed by the Melbourne College of Printing and Graphic Arts in 1995. That same year, it opened its first radial campus in Bundoora in the northern Melbourne metropolitan area. In 1999, it acquired the Melbourne Institute of Textiles campus in Brunswick in the inner-northern Melbourne metropolitan area for its vocational design schools.
At the turn of the 21st century, it was invited by the Vietnamese Government to become the country's first foreign-owned university. Its first international branch campus opened in Ho Chi Minh City in 2001 with a second in Hanoi in 2004. In 2013, it established a presence in Europe by opening a centre in Barcelona, Spain.
Located in the Melbourne city centre, the historic City campus of RMIT is the foundation campus of the university as well as its largest and most recognisable. It is known for its striking contemporary architecture as well as its well-preserved Victorian era and interwar period buildings.
Founded in 1887, the City campus began as the Working Men's College of Melbourne. Its original building is situated on the corner of Bowen Street and La Trobe Street, and the campus has since grown to 87 buildings in 2016. The campus has no perimeter walls. As such, its buildings are contiguous with the surrounding city. Most of its buildings are spread across six city blocks covering approximately 720,000 square metres (7,800,000 sq ft). It is roughly bound by La Trobe Street to the south, Elizabeth Street to the south-east and Swanston Street to the north-east (connected by Franklin Street), Queensberry Street to the north, Lygon Street to the north-west and Russell Street to the south-west. The campus area is situated between the two oldest sections of the city; the northern edge of the Hoddle Grid to its south and the Queen Victoria Market to its south-west. The area is sometimes referred to as the "RMIT quarter" of the city.
At the intersection of La Trobe Street and Swanston Street, the campus also benefits from its proximity to the State Library of Victoria as well as the adjacent Melbourne Central Shopping Centre and its City Loop underground railway station. It is also well-serviced by the city tram network along La Trobe Street and Swanston Street and has its own tram stop (Stop 7 RMIT University/Swanston Street) in the densest section of the campus.
The city block bound by Bowen Street, Franklin Street, La Trobe Street, and Russell Street, served as the justice precinct of the city for over 100 years. While it is mostly occupied by campus buildings today, which were constructed over the site of the demolished Old Melbourne Gaol, some original buildings from the precinct remain and are used by the university. From the Old Melbourne Gaol, they include its east wing cell block (1854) which is now operated as a museum by the National Trust of Australia, its former chapel and gatehouse (1860) which are now used as a multi-faith place of worship for the campus, and the site of its former hospital which is now used as a landscaped space known as Alumni Courtyard. Other buildings from the precinct that remain are the former Melbourne City Watchhouse (1904) which is also operated as a museum by the National Trust, and the former Melbourne Magistrates' Court (1914) which is now used to house university administration.
Other notable buildings on the City campus include Storey Hall original section (1887), Forresters' Hall (1888), Capitol Theatre (1924), Emily McPherson College (1927), Building 8 (1993), Storey Hall annex (1995), Singer Building "green brain" (2010), Design Hub (2011), and Swanston Academic Building (2012).
The Bundoora campus was established in 1992. It is located 18 km from the City campus in the outer northern suburb of Bundoora. The campus is divided into 'East' and 'West' by Plenty Road. In a contrast to the urban City campus, the Bundoora West campus is set amongst almost 400,000 square metres (4,300,000 sq ft) of parkland.
The Brunswick campus became a part of RMIT in 1999 as a dedicated site for its vocational design schools. It is located 6 km from the City campus in the inner northern suburb of Brunswick. Prior to its annexation by RMIT, it was the campus of the former Melbourne Institute of Textiles for nearly 50 years.
Programs in fashion design, graphic design, printing, publishing and textiles are offered at the Brunswick campus.
RMIT's flight training programs are conducted from its site at the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) historic Williams base. It is located 20 km (12 mi) from the City campus in the outer south-western suburb of Point Cook. RAAF Williams is the world's oldest operating air force base and the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force.
The university also has a regional research site in the rural town of Hamilton. It is located 300 km north-west of the City campus in regional Victoria—just south of the Grampians National Park. The Potter Rural Community Research Centre at the site focuses on rural and regional issues in a global context.
In 1998, RMIT was invited by the Vietnamese Government to establish the country's first foreign-owned university. In 2001, it purchased and restored a 19th-century French Colonial building and grounds in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. The building, located on Pham Ngoc Thach Street, is informally referred to as "the Castle" by students. Today, the Pham Ngoc Thach site remains a radial site of the present Ho Chi Minh City campus.
The present Ho Chi Minh City campus is located in the Phu My Hung area of the Saigon South development in District 7. The first academic buildings on the large purpose-built campus opened in 2005. In 2011, its recreation complex and residential centres opened.
The Hanoi campus was established in 2004. It was initially located in the Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound in the government precinct of the Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. In 2007, it also acquired a building in the Dong Da District to accommodate rising student numbers. It consolidated its two buildings in a newly built tower overlooking Ngoc Khanh Lake in the Ba Dinh District in 2010.
In 2013, RMIT established a coordinating centre in Barcelona, Spain. The centre offers a variety of programs in conjunction with RMIT's partners in Europe, including a double master's degree in architecture which facilitates the RMIT School of Architecture and Design's participation in the reconstruction of Antoni Gaudí's basilica, Sagrada Família.
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is a public university created under the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Act 1992 by the Government of Victoria, and continues in accordance with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Act 2010.
The university trades under the name "RMIT University" which is a registered business name and trademark. It is composed of the academic colleges and schools, research centres and institutes of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and is governed by the RMIT Council and is managed by the RMIT Chancellery.
"RMIT Group" is the business unit of the university and consists of the entities controlled by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, including wholly owned subsidiaries such as: the RMIT Foundation and RMIT Training (and its sub-entities RMIT English Worldwide and RMIT Publishing); its international holdings companies: RMIT Spain (trading as RMIT Europe) and RMIT Vietnam; as well other commercial interests and sub-entities.
RMIT University is separated into two divisions: the Higher Education Division and the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Division. The divisions are responsible for the 17 academic schools of RMIT—which are grouped into three academic portfolios referred to as colleges. The higher education schools offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, while the VET schools offer vocational certificates and diplomas.
RMIT is governed by a council consisting of 21 members, which is responsible for the "general direction and superintendence of the University". The RMIT Council is led by the RMIT Chancellor who is an ex officio member and serves as its Governor-in-Council. The RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, as well as the Chair of the RMIT Academic Board, are also ex officio members of the council.
Five members of the RMIT Council are elected by direct ballot of the staff and students of the university. They consist of three staff members elected to represent the higher education, vocational education and general staff of the university, and two students elected to represent higher education and vocational education students. The remaining members are appointed directly by the RMIT Chancellor and Governor, or by a vote of the sitting council members. Members appointed directly to the council are required to possess a substantial expertise in academic or financial management, vocational education or training experience, and be drawn from beyond the university community.
The RMIT Council grants power over all academic and administrative affairs of the university to the RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President—who is the chief executive officer of the university. The Vice-Chancellor and President is "responsible for the conduct of the University's affairs in all matters". Management of RMIT's colleges and portfolios is then delegated by the Vice-Chancellor and President to a team of Deputy and Pro Vice-Chancellors as well as senior executives.
The requirements for the conferring of an academic degree of the university is determined and approved by the RMIT Academic Board. The board consists of the RMIT Chancellery as ex officio members, and up to a further 46 members—34 of which must be elected by staff and students. Those conferred an academic degree of the university may use the post-nominal letters "RMIT" with the abbreviation of their degree title.
The three academic colleges housing the schools of RMIT are the College of Business and Law (BUSL), College of Design and Social Context (DSC) and College of Science, Engineering and Health (SEH).
College of Business and Law
College of Design and Social Context
College of Science, Engineering and Health
|CWTS Leiden World||520|
|CWTS Leiden National||19|
According to the QS World University Rankings, RMIT is ranked as a five star university in the areas of: research, employability, teaching, facilities, internationalisation, innovation, engagement, specialisation.
According to the 2016 QS World University Rankings, RMIT was ranked 16th in the world for art and design subjects, making it the top art and design school in Australia and in the Southern Hemisphere. RMIT is ranked 16th in the world and 3rd in Australia among universities less than 50 years old in the 2016–17 QS Top 50 Under 50 index. Times Higher Education rankings placed RMIT in the 93rd position of 100 universities under 50 years old.
RMIT is ranked 28th in the world for Architecture and the Built Environment (4th highest in Australia) in the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject.
RMIT focuses on applied research as well as outcome-related research and consultancy services, and has extensive partnerships with government and industry. It mainly focuses its research in the areas of design, technology, health, globalisation and sustainability.
Its Portfolio of Research and Innovation operates on a similar scale to its colleges, and also contains a specialist research school in order to foster excellence in research methodology and pedagogy. In addition to the Portfolio of Research and Innovation, over 50 research centres operate independently within RMIT's colleges and schools as well as a large number of smaller research groups.
RMIT Library is the central libraries network of the university. It has five locations across RMIT's three Australian campuses. Swanston Library is the largest in the network, and is located in Building 8 at the City campus. Swanston Library is also reported to be amongst the top five libraries in all of Melbourne. Other libraries in the network are the Brunswick Library, Bundoora East Library, Bundoora West Library and Carlton Library (the latter of which is also at the City campus).
The City campus also benefits from its proximity to the State Library of Victoria—the central public reference library and the largest library in Melbourne.
In addition to its libraries network, RMIT schools also maintain their own specialised collections. Notable examples of school-maintained collections are the AFI Research Collection, RMIT Design Archives and National Aerospace Resource.
Two libraries are located at RMIT's Vietnam campuses; Beanland Library and Hanoi Library. The Beanland Library is the larger of the two libraries, and is located at the Ho Chi Minh City campus.
Selected research of RMIT academics and postgraduate students can be accessed through the RMIT Research Repository—an open access database of peer-reviewed published articles, conference papers, books and chapters, etc. Documents held by the RMIT Research Repository are also indexed by Google Scholar, National Library of Australia and WorldCat. As of March 2013, there are more than 19,000 records in the Repository.
The major public art gallery of the university is RMIT Gallery, located at the City campus. The gallery runs a highly regarded program of Australian and international exhibitions, and focuses on contemporary art, design and visual culture. It is located in the historic original section of Storey Hall on Swanston Street and is considered to be one of Melbourne's most vibrant art galleries. The gallery also publishes widely on art and design research in partnership with RMIT Publishing.
RMIT First Site Gallery at the City campus is the main gallery of the RMIT Link campus union, and focuses on emerging artists and is located beneath RMIT Gallery. The campus union also manages the Artland program at the Brunswick campus. Artland consists of 16 sites around the campus and Brunswick streets showcasing work of design students.
In addition to the Story Hall galleries, many of RMIT's schools also manage their own discipline-relevant galleries. Notable examples are the School of Art's main gallery and Project Space Gallery, the School of Media and Communication's Field36 Gallery, and the School of Architecture and Design's Virtual Reality Centre and Design Hub Gallery. The acclaimed public art program of the School of Art also produces art in public spaces around RMIT's campuses as well as the greater Melbourne city centre and metropolitan area.
RMIT Gallery is also charged as the caretaker of RMIT's permanent art collection. It includes the substantial Linsday Edward Collection of fine art and invaluable W. E. Macmillan Collection of gold and silver as well as a number of other sub-collections. The Linsday Edwards Collection has a strong focus on Australian art, and holds work by leading Australian artists (including RMIT alumni or former faculty) such as Howard Arkley, John Brack, Leonard French, Roger Kemp, Inge King, Max Meldrum, John Olsen, Lenton Parr, and Fred Williams.
A history of the art collection is documented in the publication A Skilled Hand and Cultivated Mind: A Guide to the Architecture and Art of RMIT.
RMIT Link is the university's campus union. It exists to sponsor and promote social, cultural, educational, sporting and recreational programs and activities among the RMIT community, and to provide such facilities and services at RMIT's Australian campuses. Link is separated into two divisions: Arts & Culture and Sports & Recreation. It is a controlled entity under the authority of RMIT's Council.
Arts & Culture manages a number of extra-curricular arts collectives. It also offers workshop and seminars as well as funding for arts initiatives, and runs a free cinema program at the City and Bundoora campuses.
Sports & Recreation manages the university's semi-professional sports teams, which are collectively known as the Redbacks, and has an elite athlete funding program. It offers funding for community and social sports clubs on RMIT's Australian campuses, and also runs community and charity sporting events and tournaments. It also operates the City campus gym, and co-owns a ski lodge on Mount Buller.
RMIT's University Student Union (RUSU) is the independent body representing students enrolled at RMIT. It was founded in 1944 by John Storey Jr., after whom Storey Hall at the City campus is named. The objective of RUSU is to safeguard the interests and rights of students, and to advance education, welfare, social life and cultural activities of students. RUSU has a number of departments advocating various elements of student life, and it also supports academic, cultural, political, spiritual and special interest clubs and societies run by students.
RMIT operates several student accommodation facilities including: RMIT Village, Cambridge Court and College Square on the City campus and Walert House on the Bundoora campus—all of which operate as self-catered apartment complexes. Twelve other student hostels are also operated by other providers.
Some of the traditional residential colleges of the nearby University of Melbourne also reserve places for RMIT students. The college fees include all catering, utilities, academic and pastoral support. The colleges affiliated with RMIT include: International House, Janet Clarke Hall, Newman College, Queen's College, St Mary's College, University College and Whitley College.
In 2014, RMIT's program enrollments by gender were 54% male and 46% female. RMIT's Higher Education student body was 52% male and 48% female while its Vocational Educational student body was 53% male and 47% female. According to a study of over 100 RMIT STEM graduates, male RMIT University STEM graduates outnumber females by 7 to 1.
RMIT's Spiritual Centre is a multi-faith place of worship located on the City campus. It is housed in the historic Old Melbourne Gaol chapel, built in 1860. The centre provides a contemplative space to all staff and students of RMIT, regardless of their faith and without showing favour to any one faith, and houses the RMIT Chaplaincy services. RMIT has chaplains that represent Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths of various branches as well as for Integral spirituality.
RMIT graduates are considered to be some of the most employable in the world. In a 2011 survey of 5000 employers by Quacquarelli Symonds, RMIT was ranked 51st in the world for graduate employability. In 2011, the university had an alumni community of around 280,000 graduates in 130 countries.
Notable attendees and graduates include: Australian skier, Winter Olympic gold medalist, Lydia Lassila; Irish Australian rules footballer and charity worker, Jim Stynes; Australian film director and writer, James Wan; Australian actor, Travis Fimmel (attended); Australian sportsman, three-time Olympic gold medalist, James Tomkins; Australian comedian and television host, Rove McManus; Australian singer and guitarist of the band Wolfmother, Andrew Stockdale; Vietnamese actress, model and beauty pageant titleholder, 2006 Miss Vietnam, Mai Phương Thúy; Australian documentary maker, John Safran; Australian artist, Charles Billich; Australian animator, Felix Colgrave and Director of Photography Greig Fraser.
A notable graduation tradition of RMIT is its graduation parade. The parade is town and gown-style academic procession which proceeds from the City campus down the major city thoroughfare of Swanston Street to Federation Square (until 2002 the parade culminated outside the Melbourne Town Hall). Graduands and faculty march in full academic regalia and receive a military escort from the central marching band of the Royal Australian Air Force. The parade is welcomed at Federation Square by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne—on behalf of the city and its citizens. The mayor grants RMIT's vice-chancellor a "writ of passage" to proceed with the graduation ceremony, which takes place at the Docklands Stadium.
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