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Edith Cowan University

Edith Cowan University (ECU) is a large multi-campus institution serving communities in Western Australia and a significant cohort of international students.

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About Edith Cowan University

Awarded university status in 1991, ECU has since developed innovative and practical courses across a wide range of disciplines, established a vibrant research culture and attracted a growing range of quality research partners and researchers, many working at the cutting edge of their fields.


The University has two metropolitan campuses in Mount Lawley and Joondalup, and also serves Western Australia’s South West region from a campus in Bunbury, 200km south of Perth.


ECU has more than 27,000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Approximately 5,500 of these are international students originating from over 70 countries.


Engagement with the community is one of the University’s strategic goals, and much effort is investing in ensuring productive and mutually beneficial partnerships are created with a variety of groups.

An emphasis on conducting research with industry partners in areas such as e-commerce, micro-electronics engineering, police studies, education, ecosystem management, palliative care, social justice and human services has seen ECU develop a lively applied research culture. Its Vario Health Institute, for instance, brings together 60 scientists from different disciplines to create WA’s largest powerhouse of preventative health research.

More than 400 courses are offered through four faculties:

  • Business and Law: One of the largest business schools in Western Australia, our Faculty of Business and Law offers an extensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fundamental business disciplines and provides internationally recognised qualifications for contemporary and future careers in business.
    • Business
    • Law and Justice
    • Perth Graduate School of Business
  • Health, Engineering and Science: The Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science provides high quality courses for a range of professions and service industries and has strong links with industry and the community, locally, nationally, and internationally.
    • Biology and Environmental Sciences
    • Computing and Security
    • Engineering and Technology
    • Exercise and Health Sciences
    • Medical and Paramedical Sciences
    • Nursing and Midwifery
    • Psychology and Social Science
  • Education and Arts, which includes the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA): The Faculty of Education and Arts provides students with an extensive program of practical learning experiences and world-class training. The creative and cultural disciplines cover performing and visual arts and arts management, fashion design, music and digital technologies, public relations and media, humanities and Indigenous services as well as the full range of teacher education courses.
    • Kurongkurl Katitjin
    • School of Communication and Arts
    • School of Education
    • Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
  • Regional Professional Studies: ECU’s South West Campus (Bunbury) is Western Australia’s largest university campus outside the metropolitan area and offers the Faculty of Regional Professional Studies. The campus has small class sizes and on-campus accommodation. Over 1,600 students gather on-campus or in mixed on/off-campus modes in the South West region.
    • Arts
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Science
    • Social Work
    • Teacher Education

ECU works closely with private and public sector organisations, locally and overseas, in designing its study programs.

The Founder: Edith Dircksey Cowan

Edith Dircksey Cowan was born in 1861 at Glengarry near Geraldton. She believed that education was fundamental to tackling the social issues of the day and further, that it was the key to growth, change and improvement. She fought tirelessly to improve conditions for women, children, families, the poor, the under-educated and the elderly. She promoted sex education in schools, migrant welfare and the formation of infant health centres.

In 1894, Edith Cowan was one of the founders of the Karrakatta Club, which became the centre of a movement for reform, making Edith Cowan the best known woman in Australia the first 30 years of this century.

Among her many achievements, Edith Cowan was instrumental in obtaining votes for women in Western Australia. She was Vice-President of the Women Justices’ Association and the Western Australian League of Nations Union. She helped found the Children’s Protection Society which was the precursor of the Children’s Court and helped create the Western Australian National Council for Women, of which she was President from 1913 to 1921.

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