|Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology|
Working Men's College (1887–1933)|
Melbourne Technical College (1934–1959)
|Motto||Perita manus mens exculta (Latin)|
Motto in English
|"A skilled hand, a cultivated mind"|
1992 (University status)
|Endowment||A$1.163 billion (2015)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Martin G. Bean|
|4,947 (FTE, Australia)|
|Undergraduates||44,402 (on campus)|
|Postgraduates||12,079 (on campus)|
|26,544 (VET & OUA)|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
Coordinates: 37°48′30″S 144°57′51″E / 37.8082°S 144.9643°E
|Colours||Dark green, gold and white|
|Affiliations||ASAIHL, ATN, GU8, OUA|
Founded in 1887 as the Working Men's College of Melbourne, by The Hon. Francis Ormond, it opened on June 4 as a private night school offering instruction in arts, science, and technology, in response to the Industrial Revolution in Australia. It was made a public university by act of the Parliament of Victoria in 1992 after merging with the Phillip Institute of Technology. Its enrolment of 320 trades students in 1887 has since grown to around 83,000 vocational and higher education students in 2015; making it the largest tertiary education provider by enrolment in Australia. With an annual revenue of A$1.63 billion in 2015, it is also one of the wealthiest universities in Australia.
The foundation campus of RMIT is located in the northern area of the Melbourne city centre. It began as the Working Men's College building, located on the corner of Bowen Street and La Trobe Street, and has since grown to 70 buildings that are contiguous with its surrounding area. In addition to its Melbourne City campus, it has two radial campuses in the Melbourne metropolitan area located in the northern suburbs of Brunswick and Bundoora. It also has a training site at the Royal Australian Air Force's Williams base in the western suburb of Point Cook and a research site south of the Grampians National Park in the town of Hamilton. Internationally, it maintains a presence in Asia and Europe. In Asia it has two branch campuses in Vietnam located in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, as well as teaching partnerships in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. In Europe it has a coordinating centre in Spain located in Barcelona.
RMIT is rated a five star university by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). In the 2016 QS World University Rankings RMIT is placed 16th in the world for its art and design subjects, making it the top art and design school in Australia. It is also listed as 16th in the top 50 universities under 50 years old by QS, and 98th in the top 150 universities under 50 years old by Times Higher Education (due to its 1992 university status).
Early history (before 1887)
The original Working Men's College of Melbourne was founded by Scottish-born grazier, politician and public benefactor the Hon. Francis Ormond. Initial planning began in 1881, with Ormond basing his model for the college on the Royal College of Art and the Working Men's College in London, and antecedents of the present day University of London and University of Brighton.
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 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.
Working Men's College (1887–1960)
The Working Men's College of Melbourne opened on June 4, 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.
Creation of RMIT (1960–2000)
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 monarchy of England'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. 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.
Recent history (2000-present)
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.
RMIT's foundation campus is its Melbourne City campus, which is located in the northern section of the Melbourne city centre. It was established in 1887—as the Working Men's College of Melbourne, in a single building on the corner of La Trobe Street and Bowen Street. As of 2010, the campus occupies a gross floor area of 307,466 square metres (3,309,540 sq ft) over 68 buildings.
The campus is a contiguous part of the Melbourne city centre's northern section. Most buildings are concentrated around six city blocks, in an area of roughly 720,000 square metres (7,800,000 sq ft), north of the Hoddle Grid. It is bordered by La Trobe Street to the south, Lygon Street and Russell Street to the east, Queensberry Street and Victoria Street to the north, Elizabeth Street and Swanston Street to the west. The densest area of the campus, east of Swanston Street, is often referred to as the "RMIT Quarter" of the city.
It is also notable for its variety of heritage Victorian and striking contemporary architecture. Historic buildings of the campus include the former Melbourne Gaol chapel (1860), original Working Men's College (1887), Storey Hall (1887), Forresters' Hall (1888), former Melbourne Magistrates' Court (1914), Capitol Theatre (1924) and former Emily McPherson College (1927). Prominent contemporary buildings of the campus include Building 8 (1993), the Design Hub (2011) and the 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.
RMIT's flight training programs are conducted from its site at the Royal Australian Air Force's historic Williams base. It is located 20 km 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.
Ho Chi Minh City:
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.
RMIT teaches and/or accredits programs for the Hong Kong Art School and Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade in China, Singapore Institute of Management in Singapore and Taylor's University in Malaysia.
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.
Organisation and governance
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.
Colleges and schools
The three academic colleges housing the schools of RMIT are the College of Business (BUS), College of Design and Social Context (DSC) and College of Science, Engineering and Health (SEH). Additionally, the university's Portfolio of Research and Innovation (R&I) also contains a specialist research school in order to foster excellence in research methodology and pedagogy.
College of Business
- RMIT School of Accounting
- RMIT School of Business IT and Logistics
- RMIT School of Economics, Finance and Marketing
- RMIT School of Graduate Business and Law
- RMIT School of Management
- RMIT School of Vocational Business Education
College of Design and Social Context
- RMIT School of Architecture and Design
- RMIT School of Art
- RMIT School of Education
- RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles
- RMIT School of Global, Urban and Social Studies
- RMIT School of Media and Communication
- RMIT School of Property, Construction and Project Management
College of Science, Engineering and Health
- RMIT School of Engineering
- RMIT School of Health and Biomedical Sciences
- RMIT School of Science
- RMIT School of Vocational Engineering, Health and Sciences
Portfolio of Research and Innovation
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.
|CWTS Leiden World||563|
|CWTS Leiden National||21|
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 QS also ranked RMIT as 16th the top 50 universities under 50 years old by QS (because of its 1992 university status). Times Higher Education rankings placed RMIT in the 93rd position of 100 universities under 50 years old. In the latest academic ranking of world university by Shanghai University, RMIT features in 500 world university and ranked at 401.
In 2009, RMIT was ranked as the top entrepreneurial university in Australia (12th in the World)—according to the GSEA's Top Entrepreneurial Universities List, and, in 2010, as the top advertising university of the decade in Australia (5th in the World)—according to the YoungGuns International Awards.
RMIT University 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 largest 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 galery 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.
University Art Collection
RMIT Gallery is also charged as the caretaker of RMIT's permanent art collection. It includes the substantial Linsday Edwards 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, Fred Williams and others.
Link (campus union)
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.
RUSU (student union)
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.
- Activities - manages events, festivals, markets and parties on all RMIT's campuses
- Campuses - representation of students on general matters relating to RMIT's campuses
- Clubs and Societies - see: List of clubs and societies of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
- Education - campaigns on education matters and is run in collaboration with other departments
- Environment - advocates environmental responsibility and sustainability on RMIT's campuses
- International Students - supports and advocates the rights of international students
- Postgraduate Students - the representative body of postgraduate students
- Queer - supports and advocates the rights of RMIT's LGBT community
- Womyn's - supports and advocates the rights of women
- Realfoods - RUSU's organic fair trade vegetarian cafe, located in the main cafeteria at the City campus
- Catalyst - student magazine, distributed free every month of the academic year since 1944
- RMITV - student television production company, broadcasting since 1987, and co-founder of the C31 community television station
- Student Youth Network (SYN) - student radio station, broadcasting across the Melbourne metropolitan area on 90.7 FM and on DAB+. Though many RMIT students participate in SYN programs, it is wholly independent of both RMIT and RUSU organisationally.
- 3RRR - RMIT's former radio station, founded as 3RMT in 1976, now independently funded but still used by the university
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 which 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.
- Rob Hulls, former Attorney-General of Victoria (Law)
- James Wan, film director and writer (Arts)
- John Safran, documentary maker (Arts)
- Charles Billich, artist (Arts)
- Jim Stynes, Australian rules footballer and charity worker (Social Science)
- Lydia Lassila, skier, Winter Olympic gold medalist (Applied Science)
- James Tomkins, three-time Olympic gold medalist (Business)
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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- The official ceremonial colours of RMIT are dark green (vert), gold (or) and white (argent)—characterised in the tincture of its coat of arms and as described in Murray-Smith & Dare 1987. The colours red and black were added to its brand identity for marketing purposes in the 1990s. The brand identity policy of RMIT (login required) also specifies its official red as Pantone® 485C (hex triplet #DC241F).
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