The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a public research university in the Australian state of Western Australia. The university’s main campus is in Perth, the state capital, with a secondary campus in Albany and various other facilities elsewhere.
UWA was established in 1911 by an act of the Parliament of Western Australia, and began teaching students two years later. It is the sixth-oldest university in Australia, and was Western Australia’s only university until the establishment of Murdoch University in 1973. Because of its age and reputation, UWA is classed one of the « sandstone universities », an informal designation given to the oldest university in each state. The university also belongs to several more formal groupings, including the Group of Eight and the Matariki Network of Universities. In recent years, UWA has generally been ranked either in the bottom half or just outside the world’s top 100 universities, depending on the system used.
Alumni of UWA include one Prime Minister of Australia (Bob Hawke), five Justices of the High Court of Australia (including one Chief Justice, Robert French, now Chancellor), one Governor of the Reserve Bank (H. C. Coombs), various federal cabinet ministers, and seven of Western Australia’s eight most recent premiers. In 2018 alumnus mathematician Akshay Venkatesh was a recipient of the Fields Medal. In 2014, the university produced its 100th Rhodes Scholar. Two members of the UWA faculty, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, won Nobel Prizes as a result of research at the university.
UWA is one of the largest landowners in Perth as a result of government and private bequests, and is constantly expanding its infrastructure. Recent developments include the $22 million University Club, opened in June 2005, and the UWA Watersports Complex, opened in August 2005. In addition, in September 2005 UWA opened its $64 million Molecular and Chemical Sciences building as part of a commitment to nurturing and developing high quality research and development. In May 2008, a $31 million Business School building opened. In August 2014 a $9 million new CO2 research facility was completed, providing modern facilities for carbon research. The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, a $62 million research facility on campus, was completed in October 2016.