The University of Newcastle, of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, is one of the largest regional universities in Australia. The Uni is ranked fourth among the 12 universities in New South Wales in its ability to attract first preferences for those enrolling in undergraduate programs. Its success in winning major government research funding is also significant, ranking 9th out of the 36 public universities in Australia.

History

Newcastle University was originally a college of the University of Sydney from 1951 and started a separate life in 1965. In the past decade it has grown very quickly, adding another campus on the Central Coast at Ourimbah (halfway between Sydney and Newcastle), and purchasing sites in the city for students in the faculties of Music, Law and Business.

Geography

Callaghan is the main campus, and is 12 kms from the Newcastle CBD. It's on University Drive (original name, no?), between the middle/working class suburbs of Mayfield and Jesmond. The university is based on 125 hectares of natural bush, and is quite beautiful in parts, with a natural river system leading to the nearby wetlands. Possums, wallabies and rabbits are commonly seen at dusk and night on the sports grounds and paths among the bush land. Of course, the proximity to wetlands creates a major mosquito problem in summer/ spring, which is dealt with through free handouts of Aeroguard.

Newcastle is a popular destination for travellers because of the city's proximity to famous wineries and excellent surfing.

Student population

The following statistics are based on information from theuniversity website, at www.newcastle.edu.au.studying/australn/whystudy/profile.htm:

Famous Graduates

  • John Doyle, (aka Roy of [Roy and H.G. fame), BA 1978
  • Mikey Robbins, ex-Triple J breakfast announcer and regular on Good News Week, comedian, BA 1983
  • Stephen Abbott, (aka Sandman), comedian, ex-Triple J presenter, BA 1979, Dip Ed 1982.
  • Cheryl Kernot, politician, BA Dip Ed, 1974

Annual social gatherings

There are a few major social events students and friends can participate in. These include, but aren't limited to:
  • O-Ball: Traditionally takes place in the first two weeks of the university semester. O-Ball features at least two nationally famous bands and many other locally known groups. Held in the student union complex, O-Ball covers a number of rooms, with a techno area, mainstream music room and 80s/retro scene.
  • Autonomy Day: Takes place on the third Friday of semester 2. This is a day of serious drinking as students celebrate the day the University of Newcastle separated from Sydney Uni. Hundreds of students turn up to the student bar at 6am and drink, play organised games and dance to local bands all day, until free buses take them into town at night. A huge day for all involved.
  • Beach Party: Is undergoing some change, but used to involve the staff car park being covered with tonnes of sand for students to frolick upon. International bands used to play to a bikini and boardshort clad audience.
  • Thursday nights at the Bar on the Hill: The BOTH is one of two alcohol serving establishments on campus, and every Thursday night is host to international and national groups which tour Australia. Recent bands have included You Am I, The Strokes, Frenzal Rhomb, Powderfinger, Beck and Henry Rollins.

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