The University of Newcastle was established in 1951 as a satellite college of the University of New South Wales, and gained its autonomy in 1965. The current Callaghan Campus was formed by the amalgamation of the University of Newcastle and the adjoining Hunter Institute of Higher Education in 1989.
The first Masterplan for the Callaghan Campus was conducted by Laurie and Heath Pty Ltd Architects in 1976, and reviewed in 1990 by the EJE Group. The Central Coast Campus was designed as a multi-institution campus incorporating the Ourimbah College of TAFE and Central Coast Community College, as well as the University. It was largely built in one phase to a masterplan prepared by Tony Corkill Pty Ltd in 1990.
Key Issues in 1990:
- Confusing entry and circulation, and carparking
- Amalgamation of Hunter Institute and University of Newcastle
- Inadequate sporting facilities
- Pressure on the bushland campus i.e weed infestation
- Student accommodation
Key Issues in 2008:
- Confusing entry and circulation
- Introverted buildings and disconnected clusters
- Ageing building stock
- Disparity in spatial structure
- Development opportunities
In 2007, DEGW Asia Pacific was commissioned to develop a new strategic Masterplan for both the Central Coast and Callaghan Campuses. It was time to define a new masterplan that takes into account both changes in the tertiary sector, and for The University of Newcastle as an institution.