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Federation University Australia

Federation University Australia (Fed Uni), formerly Ballarat University, is the fourth oldest university in Australia, steeped in history. However, that has not held it back in recent successes, as Fed Uni was voted #1 in teaching quality in Australia (Good Universities Guide, 2021) and in the top 2% globally for education (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021). Today, it offers over 400 degrees across its 7 schools:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • Health
  • Science, Psychology and Sport
  • Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences
  • TAFE

The small class sizes allow for personalised learning as academic staff can be more attentive towards the individual’s needs. 


There are 6 locations to study at with Fed Uni, one of those being an online campus for students who favour remote learning. The other 5 campuses are:

  • Mt Helen Campus - the original campus and the main base of operations at Fed Uni. Based in Ballarat, this campus has a state-of-the-art science and engineering building, nursing labs, and even 24 hour access to computer labs. 
  • Camp Street Campus - in the heart of Ballarat, this campus is regarded for its Arts Academy, complete with theatres and galleries. 
  • Berwick Campus - the newest campus under the Fed Uni umbrella, it is located 40 km south east of Melbourne city centre and is easily accessible by metro. Kitted with science labs, a library, and accommodation, it is a very modern campus. 
  • Brisbane - with a focus towards international students, this campus in the heart of Brisbane with great industry links. 
  • Gippsland - adjacent to the town of Churchill, this 60 hectares of campus is 2 hours from Melbourne and offers the benefits of a regional campus. The Carbon Technology Research Centre also provides excellent research opportunities from this campus. 
Startup Business Support

Fed Uni, in partnership with Runway, runs a programme looking to turn students’ ideas into inventions, products, services, and solutions to life’s questions. The “150 year innovation” programme aims to get students participating in teamwork exercises that build towards these common goals via the three steps in the programme: 

  • Design thinking, a masterclass helping students identify problems and solutions. 
  • Bootcamp, where students condense these ideas into a workable brief that can be the basis of a business launch. 
  • Pitch, in which students can present these plans at the Federation University Pitch Gala Event to win a place in the Runway Incubator Programme. 

This is one of many entrepreneurial programmes that Fed Uni has to offer its students, and they serve to increase the range of skills its students can carry forward into their lives post-university. 

Research And Development

As of 2018, Fed Uni ranked “well above the world standard” from Excellence in Research Australia in the following subjects:

  • Applied Mathematics 
  • Environmental Science and Management
  • Civil Engineering
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Human Movement and Sports Science
  • Nursing

A current area of specialised research at Fed Uni is health and wellbeing, where research from the Health Innovation and Transformation Centre at the Mt Helen and Gippsland campuses. Another area of research is Virtual, digital and computational environments which takes place at the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation. 

Research by higher degree programmes are also very popular at Fed Uni and the Research department is excellent at guiding students through queries they may have about fund acquisition, proposal writing, and more.

Job Placement

Graduate employment is taken seriously at Fed Uni, as they have many industry links and partnerships to help students gain experience in a variety of working environments. These links have given Fed Uni the #1 spot in Victoria for graduate starting salary and graduate employment (Good Universities Guide, 2021). 

Industry projects, both face to face and virtually, can also give students a leg up from the rest of the pack in terms of employment, for example, Brisbane campus students worked with River City Labs during the pandemic to solve problems for startup businesses, giving the students a valuable practical experience.  

These industry links are famed across the university, none more than the 25 year partnership with IBM at Fed Uni’s Ballarat Technology Park. IBM, and other businesses globally and locally, have recruited from Fed Uni’s pool of talent for years, showing the quality of the graduates who emerge from this university.

Student Life

Sport plays a key role at Fed Uni, whether you play casually just to stay fit or wish to represent the university in a variety of sports, the options are available to students. Also, across all of its campuses Fed Uni is dedicated to providing students with access to health facilities, with doctors, nurses, and counsellors available for support. 

Fed Uni also offers students the chance to reside in some of Australia’s great cities like Melbourne, Brisbane and Ballarat. Depending on what students are looking for, these locations can provide satisfaction. Melbourne is one of the top 5 student cities on the planet (QS, 2019), Brisbane is key for outdoor activities thanks to its subtropical climate, and Ballarat is steeped in the history of the Victorian gold rush. 

Why should you choose this university?

This historical university has adapted with the times by expanding across the country, rebranding itself, and offering the complete modern university experience. Fed Uni compete with the best of Australia’s universities, and are arguably the best in Victoria. 

Academically, students receive a good education in small class sizes for a personalised touch, and the research output from Fed is strong and relevant to current issues. Most impressively is the industry links that the university has to offer, and as the university expands into new territories these opportunities will inevitably increase. The campuses are well-facilitated and provide ease of access through train, metro, and cycling connections. This is a strong university that is worthy of consideration. 


Ranking BodyYearRanking Number
Times Higher Education2022601–800th