About the University
History and Future

Charles Sturt University (CSU) was established in 1989 as a multi-campus institution and has grown into a dynamic and progressive university that is well-known for its innovative approach to education and applied research. Our nine Australian campuses at Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Canberra, Dubbo, Goulburn, Orange, Parramatta, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga provide local access to higher education across New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.

Our capacity for flexible delivery and international reputation for online learning provide access to educational opportunity throughout Australia and the world. As a national university, CSU attracts almost 11,500 students from metropolitan NSW, more than 12,800 from regional NSW and an additional 9,500 students from other Australian states and territories. We deliver educational opportunities to almost 7,500 international students on our onshore campuses, originating from almost 120 countries. There are almost 6,500 international students enrolled at CSU Study Centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Through our network of campuses, and in close association with industry, professions and government, we continue our commitment to maintaining a course and research profile that meets the needs and supports the aspirations of our communities, and contributes to the enrichment of inland Australia. Our capacity and reputation for online learning provide additional education options for students seeking to balance study, work, family and lifestyle commitments, and extend CSU’s sphere of influence to metropolitan areas, interstate and overseas. We are challenging traditional approaches to learning and teaching with flexible delivery systems that are continually being refined to improve course delivery.

We consider our inland, national and international roles to be integrally linked and mutually reinforcing. CSU’s ability to attract students from Australia and around the world and our inland location enable us to make a distinctive national and international contribution in such fields as health sciences, food and water security, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. Our three faculties (Arts and Education, Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences and Science) comprise several schools and centres. Faculties operate across campuses and are responsible for developing and delivering courses, while Schools are generally based on a single campus and carry responsibility for teaching subjects. Administrative and academic support services are provided by the divisions, centres and offices that operate across our campuses.

A consistently high graduate employment rate is indicative of our success in learning and teaching. Our responsiveness to the changing trends and needs of society, industry and commerce sees us playing an increasingly important role in regional research and development. Over many years, we have combined our learning resources, delivery systems and experience with our reputation in multi-site delivery to enrol students around the world. CSU has 162 agreements with institutional linkages in 39 countries. These agreements facilitate research, course delivery, cultural change, student and staff exchange and a diverse range of other education activities. CSU degrees are also offered at partner institutions in China, Hong Kong, and Cambodia.

Research is focused through institutes and centres located across our campuses. CSU is a partner in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Policing and Security.
CSU has three Research Centres:

  • Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation;
  • Institute for Land, Water and Society [ILWS];
  • National Wine and Grape Industry Centre [NWGIC]; and

The University Strategy 2017 - 2022 is led by a mission statement that begins with the words from the writings of Charles Sturt:

For the Public Good (Charles Sturt 1848)

We are a university of the land and people of our regions. True to the character of regional Australia we have gumption, we have soul and we collaborate with others.

We develop holistic, far-sighted people who help their communities grow and flourish. Acknowledging the culture and insight of Indigenous Australians, CSU's ethos is described by this phrase from the Wiradjuri, the traditional custodians of the land of our original campuses:

'yindyamarra winhanganha'
('the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in'.)

Derived from our ethos, our values are to be insightful, inclusive, impactful and inspiring. By living these values, we want to make this a world worth living in.

Our mission is to build skills and knowledge in our regions. We offer choice and flexibility to students and work hand-in-hand with our industries and communities in teaching, research and engagement. Growing from our historical roots, we share our knowledge and expertise as a significant regional export industry and we bring strength and learning from this back to our regions.

We are a market-oriented University and express our intent through our goal to be the dominant provider of higher education for on-campus students in our regions and in Australian online higher education.


CSU is committed to delivering the highest standards of governance and to establishing the culture required to assure our stakeholders of our strategic focus, operational performance and institutional accountability.