Organization:Torrens University Australia

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Short description: Private university in Australia

Torrens University Australia
MottoLove what you do
ChancellorJim Varghese AM
PresidentLinda Brown
Vice-ChancellorAlwyn Louw
Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Australia, Auckland, New Zealand and Suzhou, China
HeadquartersSydney, Australia
Sporting affiliations

Torrens University is an Australian international private, for-profit university and vocational registered training organisation, with campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Blue Mountains, Australia , Auckland, New Zealand, and Suzhou, China. It began teaching in its first campus in the Torrens Building in Adelaide city centre. As of 2022 the university has about 21,000 enrolled students.

Torrens University Australia, along with Think Education and Media Design School, together form Torrens Global Education, which is part of Strategic Education, Inc.  


An application from Laureate Education Asia to found a private university was approved by the Government of South Australia in October 2011.[1] Upon commission, Torrens University became the 33rd university in Australia and the first new university for 20 years.[2]

The go-ahead for the new university was given by the South Australian Cabinet following Premier Mike Rann's negotiations in Australia and in Cancun, Mexico, with Laureate Chairman Douglas Becker and Chancellor Michael Mann. Honorary Laureate Chancellor and former US President Bill Clinton publicly endorsed the Australian project.[3]

The founding President and Vice-chancellor was Fred McDougall, former deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president of the University of Adelaide.[4]

Torrens University Australia was accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency in 2012. It was originally expected to open in 2013 but commenced teaching in 2014. In September 2019, Torrens University was reaccredited by TEQSA for 5 years until September 2024.  

In 2020 Strategic Education, Inc. became the new owner of Torrens University Australia. This new alliance created a global network of over 100,000 learners around the world. [5]


(As of 2021), Torrens University has campuses in and around five cities in Australia, one in New Zealand and one in China.[6] There are about 20,000 enrolled students.[7]


Adelaide was the first location in the country, opening its first campus in the heritage-listed Torrens Building on Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga, in the CBD, in 2013.[8][9]

On 3 August 2015 the university opened a new campus just along the road in the old Menz Biscuits factory on Wakefield Street,[10] and (As of 2019) no longer lists Torrens Building as another campus.[6] There is another campus in Adelaide on Pulteney Street. This campus is the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School hub in the centre of Adelaide’s CBD, exclusively focused on students studying a Master of International Hotel Management.


There are two campuses in Brisbane, [11] : the Fortitude Valley campus, which is adjacent to the Storey Bridge and home to a range of courses and degrees in Design and Creative Technology, Health & Education, and Business & Hospitality, along with the Torrens University Language Centre; and the Gotha Street campus which delivers a range of Health courses and degrees.[6]

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast campus is a large centrally located campus in Southport near other educational facilities and international recruitment agencies. Classes run in the afternoon and in the evening.


Melbourne plays host to a campus located on Melbourne's Flinders Street and The Practice Wellbeing Centre located in Fitzroy.[12]

Sydney and Blue Mountains

There are three campuses in the Sydney region. These campuses include the Ultimo campus and Surry Hills, and the Blue Mountains campus on the outskirts of metropolitan Sydney.[6][13] The Blue Mountains campus is located in the suburb of Leura,[14] adjacent to Katoomba. The campus is home to Torrens University's Practical Learning Centre,[13] simulated hotel environment where students learn hotel management as part of their practical development. The Ultimo campus is a home for the Design & Creative Technology students, while its newest campus, Surry Hills Campus, is home to students from all other faculties, as well as the Torrens University Language Centre, and just minutes away from Sydney’s Central Train Station.  [15]

Auckland, New Zealand

Media Design School offers a range of courses in design and creative technology.[16]

Suzhou, China

This campus is home to BMIHMS at Torrens University Australia,[17] operated as a joint venture with Suzhou Tourism and Finance Institute.[18] This campus is in close proximity to Shanghai, and offers training in restaurant service, front office management, guest relations and housekeeping.

Organisation and academics


  • APM College of Business and Communication - APM was established over 25 years ago[19] and offers business degrees and vocational diplomas, and the opportunity to pathway into a master's degree.
  • Billy Blue College of Design - Billy Blue College[20] was created by designers for designers, offering appropriate courses for aspiring design professionals. The college started off as a magazine and later moved into a design agency. It then went on to develop into a school and now finally, a university.
  • Chifley Business School - For over two decades, Chifley[21] has provided business education across Australia and internationally through a range of postgraduate courses for those looking to pursue careers in resources, engineering, and information technology.
  • Media Design School - Media Design School was founded to provide trained graduates for digital and technological companies.
  • Real Madrid Graduate School (Universidad Europea) - The Real Madrid Graduate School was launched in 2006 to train in all disciplines related to sport.
  • Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (or BMIHMS) - was opened in 1991 and focuses on hotel management education. It is number 1 in Oceania by subject 2019 according to QS World University rankings Hospitality and Leisure Management,[22] and number 1 Hotel Management School in Australia and Asia-Pacific's in 2020 according to Kantar.[23]
  • Torrens University Language Centre (TULC) - The Torrens University Language Centre[24] has been delivering English language programs in Australia for more than 20 years. Founded in 1995, the centre offers academic and general English courses to students from around the world.
  • William Blue College of Hospitality Management - private hospitality college offering bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and diploma courses that specialise in tourism and hospitality management including work placement with industry partners.

Research institutes and centres

  • The Centre of Artificial Intelligence Research and Optimisation (AIRO) focuses on research in two areas of science: Artificial Intelligence and Optimisation.[25]
  • The Centre for Organisational Change and Agility (COCA) spans research topics from accounting, finance, global project management, global supply and value, leadership, business systems, commercial services, tourism, strategy, management and organisational behaviour.[26]
  • The Centre for Healthy Futures (CHEF) aims for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and the improvement of individual wellbeing. Through research on environmental, lifestyle and economic factors that impact health and quality of life, and with a particular focus on health and wellbeing throughout the lifespan, this research also contributes to better understanding healthcare systems and developing technology for both individual and whole of population health.[27]
  • The Centre for Public Health, Equity and Human Flourishing (PHEHF)[28] conducts transdisciplinary research to tackle complex and critical public health issues of our time.
  • The Centre for Healthy Sustainable Development (CHSD)[29] conducts cross-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research to tackle complex and important policy issues of our time, which are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Public Health Information Development Unit (PHIDU) – Since its establishment with funding from the Australian Government in 1999, the PHIDU has been committed to providing information on a broad range of health and other determinants across the lifespan. Located at Torrens University Australia since November 2015, the emphasis continues to be on the publication of small area statistics. Since 2008, PHIDU has offered free online access to a range of data for researchers to reference.[30]


On 2 April 2018, Torrens University Australia launched a free online course called "the Voices of Autism"[31] to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day.

In July 2021, Torrens University Australia launched another free online course, the Thin Ice VR short course. Co-designed by environmental scientist Tim Jarvis AM and lecturer James Calvert, it goes behind the scenes of the "Thin Ice" virtual reality production to teach about the creative technologies used to recreate Antarctic locations in realistic 3D.[32] In 2022, Thin Ice VR won several awards, including Best Virtual Reality Short at the Cannes World Film Festival.

On 25 January 2022, Torrens University Australia launched a 9-part podcast series featuring researchers from Torrens University, who are working towards solving complex global problems and propelling innovation. The podcast was recorded across Australia and New Zealand.[33]


  • Top 10 for teaching quality[34]
  • Top 10 for education experience[35]
  • Global Online MBA Rankings (CEO Magazine25) Tier One status three years in a row  
  • Recognised as one of Australia's Most Innovative Companies three years in a row (2020 and 2021) (AFR) 
  • BMIHMS in Suzhou named the Most Respected Hotel School of China 2021[36]
  • Recognised by CEOWORLD Magazine as one of the top universities in Australia to study Software Engineering in 2021. 
  • Ranked 2nd in overall employment for undergraduate international graduates in Australia[37]
  • Ranked 4th in full time employment for undergraduate international graduates
  • Postgraduates earn a salary within the top 20% in Australia.[38]
  • Media Design School ranked #1 in New Zealand and #2 in Australasia, with Billy Blue at #7 in Animation Career Review's 2020 Global College Ranking. 
  • Media Design School ranked #1 Creative Tech School in the Southern Hemisphere – The Rookies 2021[39]
  • Ranked in of the Top 12 Animation School in the world – Animation Career Review 2021[40]

Awards and accolades

  • 2022 ASCILITE Award for Innovation[41] - virtual design studio
  • Professor Seyedali Mirjalili named The Australian Research 2023 Magazine’s number 1 artificial intelligence researcher in the world[42]
  • 2022 Catalyst Award in the Teaching and Learning category - virtual design studio[43]
  • Linda Brown, Torrens University CEO and President | EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Australia 2021[44]
  • MBA ranked by CEO Magazine as a Tier 1 MBA for 3 years in a row (2022)[45]

Notable people


  • Alwyn Louw (2020–present)[46]
  • Justin Beilby (2015–2019[47])[48]
  • Fred McDougall (2012–2015)[4]


  • Jim Varghese AM (2022–present)[49]
  • Michael Mann AM (2012–2021)[50]


  • Linda Brown (2014–present)[50]

Notable staff

  • Darren Peters
  • Victoria Pendergast

Notable Faculty

Notable Alumni

Torrens University

See also

  • APM College of Business and Communication
  • Billy Blue College of Design
  • Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School
  • Chifley Business School
  • Jansen Newman Institute
  • Media Design School
  • Southern School of Natural Therapies
  • William Blue College of Hospitality Management
  • List of universities in Australia


  1. "Torrens University Australia". Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. 
  2. "Torrens University Australia" (in en-US). 
  3. readJuly 24, Education Reporter Tim Williams2 min; 2014 - 1:06pm (2014-07-24). "Clinton in Adelaide — the world according to Bill" (in en). 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Fred McDougall" (in en). 
  5. "Torrens University Australia, Think Education & Media Design School Boards announce new owner" (in en-US). 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Campuses". 
  7. "Who we are" (in en). 
  8. Martin, Sarah (19 October 2011). "Torrens University to open in Adelaide in 2013". The Advertiser (Adelaide). 
  9. "Torrens University to open in adelaide in 2013". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 
  10. "University launches new Adelaide campus". 3 August 2015. 
  11. "About Torrens University Australia - Brisbane". Chief Entrepreneur. 
  12. "Torrens University Australia". SATAC. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School". VTAC. 
  14. "Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School at Torrens University". AAHS. 
  15. "Surry Hills Sydney" (in en). 
  16. "10 Madden" (in en). 
  17. "Suzhou China" (in en). 
  18. "Suzhou Tourism & Finance Institute". 
  19. "APM College of Business Communications". Edarabia. 
  20. "Billy Blue College of Design". MySkills. 
  21. "Chifley Business School at Torrens University Australia". MySkills. 
  22. "QS World University Rankings for Hospitality & Leisure Management 2019 | Top Universities". 
  23. "Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School Ranking, Programs, Admission Process, Cost of Attendance & Scholarships" (in en). 2021-07-27. 
  24. "The University of Adelaide's English Language Centre". Study Adelaide. 
  25. "Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research & Optimisation (AIRO)" (in en). 
  26. "Centre for Organisational Change and Agility (COCA)" (in en). 
  27. "Centre for Health Futures (CHEF)" (in en). 
  28. "Centre for Public Health, Equity and Human Flourishing (PHEHF)" (in en). 
  29. "Centre for Healthy Sustainable Development (CHSD)" (in en). 
  30. "Public Health Information Development Unit (PHIDU)" (in en). 
  31. "Free online course about autism, co-designed and delivered by people with autism". HealthTimes. 
  32. "Free short course takes you on a journey of discovery through Thin Ice VR" (in en). 
  33. "Research that Matters podcast" (in en). 
  34. "Student Experience Survey" (in en). 
  35. "Student Experience Survey" (in en). 
  36. "BMIHMS Suzhou recognized as top hotel management school in China" (in en). 
  37. "Graduate Outcomes Survey" (in en). 
  38. "Torrens University Australia Postgraduate Rankings" (in en). 
  39. "Design School Auckland | Media Design School" (in en). 
  40. "Top 10 Animation Schools in Australia & New Zealand - 2021 College Rankings" (in en). 2021-04-26. 
  41. "Torrens University's virtual fashion studio wins 3rd award in 2022" (in en). 
  42. "Torrens University researcher recognised as the world's best AI expert" (in en). 
  43. "Torrens University wins International award for virtual fashion studio" (in en). 
  44. "Torrens University CEO Linda Brown is the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Australia 2021" (in en). 
  45. "Global MBA Rankings Archives" (in en). 
  46. "Alwyn Louw" (in en). 
  47. "Torrens University Australia Appoints New Vice Chancellor, Professor Justin Beilby". Glam Adelaide. 
  48. "Justin Beilby" (in en). 
  49. "Torrens University Australia announces Jim Varghese AM as second Chancellor". 30 November 2021. 
  50. 50.0 50.1 "Governing board". 18 June 2020. 
  51. "Torrens University welcomes chief economist Stephanie Kelton | Torrens University" (in en). 
  52. Mirjalili, Seyedali. "uCity" (in en-GB). 
  53. "Media Design School appoints Andy Blood, ex-Facebook Creative Strategist as Industry Fellow to lead its way forward into Web 3.0 | Media Design School" (in en). 

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