Who we are and what we do

UON stands as a global leader distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence and to creating a better future for its regions through a focus on innovation and impact.

For 50 years, UON has demonstrated that equity of access to higher education and excellence of education and research programs are the foundations of a world class university. UON has been clear that a first rate education should be available to any individual with the talent and commitment to succeed, independent of their social, cultural or financial background. This commitment to equity and social justice is a core UON value and part of our ‘institutional DNA’.

Across our five faculties - Business and Law, Education and Arts, Engineering and Built Environment, Health and Medicine and Science and Information Technology - UON offers 198 undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs and 173 research masters and PhD programs. We prepare graduates to be global citizens, leaders and entrepreneurs who are eager for life’s challenges.

We attract students from more than 120 countries and collaborate with global partners to deliver leading education and research. We have been a leader in Indigenous education in Australia for more than 30 years, through the work  of our Indigenous leaders and the support of our Indigenous communities and elders.

The Wollotuka Institute stands proudly at the centre of UON’s commitment to Indigenous education and research, ensuring that cultural integrity is at the forefront of our endeavours. In 2014 we had the highest number of Indigenous students of any university in Australia with a participation rate of 2.9 per cent compared with the national participation rate of 1.5 per cent.

UON offers students an engaged approach to learning through programs that integrate study with work experience, internships, paid employment and research experience. More than 90 per cent of undergraduate programs provide work placements and our career-ready graduates have some of the highest starting salaries in Australia. Around 90 per cent of UON graduates are in fulltime or part-time employment within four months of completing their degree.

UON is a research intensive university focused on tackling the major challenges confronting Australia and our world. UON was ranked in the top eight universities in Australia for research that is ‘well above world standard’ by the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment. We work closely with our partners to translate our research excellence into world class innovation, through the work of our flagship research institutes - Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources and Hunter Medical Research Institute and our Priority Research Centres and leading groups across UON.

Throughout our 50 year history, UON has built strong relationships with our alumni and donors, our business partners and sponsors, and with leaders and friends in the communities in each of our regions including Newcastle, Central  Coast, northern New South Wales, Sydney and Singapore. We work together with our partners to support the economic, social and cultural transformation of strong regional communities.

Our values


Our staff, students and alumni are a resource for our whole community. We are partners and collaborators in world class research, teaching and learning, and our skilled graduates contribute to our regions, Australia and the world.

Equity and social justice

We provide opportunities for people with ability, regardless of their background and experiences. We lead in providing education for Indigenous Australians.


We deliver the highest quality in everything we do and benchmark ourselves against the world's best.


We challenge standard practice and received wisdom. We are world leaders in generating new knowledge and translating innovative ideas into real benefits to society.


We are open, ethical, rigorous and committed to the highest standards in academic enquiry. We are champions of academic freedom and professional responsibility.


We are leaders in environmental sustainability. We make a significant contribution to the economic, social and environmental capacity of our communities.