The University of Tasmania's main campus sits nestled in the heart of Sandy Bay, a suburb close to the center of Hobart, Tasmania. The university also has campuses in Launceston and Burnie, both in Tasmania, as well as buildings dotted throught Hobart to serve mainly arts and medicine students. The university was founded in 1890, making it Australia's fourth university, and now has the modest attendance of roughly 12,000 students.
It is now known as (since early 2004) 'Utas', and has facilites for every broad avenue of study out there, and regular exchange programs with 60+ countries.
maybe coming one day.
For now, I'll give you an idea of being a student here in my fields - Chemistry
- as history
is much less important than the present.
here has a decent reputation thanks mainly to the fact that this is Tasmania
is a beutifully rugged island, with remnants of ancient forest
s, unusal species now endemic
thanks to eradication
and a massive variety of ecosystem
s all within a day's driving of each other. This means study of rare species, the interaction of many temperate ecosystem
s and man's effect on said ecosystem
s can all be examined easily and (relatively) cheaply.
Thanks to this the Zoology department is quite good and equipped with a number of excellent lectures, though it suffers from the fact that Tasmania
doesn't really have a lot of marketable
terrestial animals. It does have alot of marketable
freshwater and marine life though, and as such aquaculture
is a prominant force in the university.
department is where biology really shines here though, in my somewhat biased opinion. Tasmania
is heavily into agriculture
, and also is home to Tas Alkaloid
s, which is a major supplier for drugs like morphine in the world market. These factors mean that botany and agricultural science have a good budget, which translates to excellent facilities from a student's point of view. It also helps that if you want to know about Cool Temperate Rainforest
your options are pretty much limited to here or New Zealand
(and who likes kiwi
That leaves me with Chemistry to rant about. I mentioned man's effect earlier, and anyone who's heard of Tassie probably instantly thought 'Tasmanian tiger'. Sad as it is that this species is now extinct (the romantic stories of sightings still come, but who knows? If they're that rare it doesn't bode well for them genetically), man has had a much greater effect on the rest of the environment. The river Derwent was once considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world for heavy metals, especially Cadmium. The effects of agriculture on soil are massively broad, and add in the effects of pesticides, cities and general human existance on the enivronment that was already here and you have many, many life times worth of study. For this reason the environmental side of chemistry is strong in Tasmania, though sadly the university doesn't have many environmental chemsits. We also have a variety of industrial operations in Tassie, mainly in the mining/ore refining area, that leads to plenty of oppurtunites to study industrial chemistry. Add to this the previsouly mentioned Tas Alkaloid's love of chemicals and you can see that the chemical industry has a strong presence in Tasmania. All this means that the chemistry department of UTas is strong in both funding and expertise, and it is also thankfully blessed with a number of great characters expounding wisdom from a pulpit.
So, as a student here the academic side is fufilling enough, if your into Chem or Botany. The social side is as good, if not better, than any Australian university though. Night life in Hobart exists, though we're talking mostly bars (btw, when your here next, head to Knoppy's in salamanca) - the night clubs are a bit average. Launceston is just crap, and don't even mention Burnie. But any uni student can drink. What makes life here so good is, as was mentioned, Tasmania. When pristine rainforest is an hours drive away, that weekend away is so much easier. Want to go for a dive after a hard day? Less than an hour to some great dive sites. Rock climbing? The organ pipes, the cliffs mentioned on Mt. Wellington in Orpheum's great write up of Hobart, are about 15 minutes away and contain some great routes, and there are many, many other beutiful cliffs situated around Hobart. Hang gliding? A site 30 minutes away. White water rafting? Great rivers dotted all over the state. Fishing? Sailing? Driving? You name it, and Tassie has it somewhere within a day's drive. That is, in my humble opinion, the great strength of the Uni here. A degree is a degree, and unless it has honours tacked on chance's are nobody will really care, so why not enjoy your stay that little bit extra?