UNSW: 70 years

UNSW Sydney celebrated its 70th year in 2019 and this exhibition, a collaboration between UNSW Library and UNSW Archives, featured archival material that captures the University's humble beginnings in 1949 to the expansive multidisciplinary institution we know it as today.


13 November 2019 - 27 May 2021


Law Library


UNSW Archives

The University of New South Wales celebrated its 70th year in 2019 having come into being on 1 July 1949. Initially, it was called the New South Wales University of Technology with forty-six students enrolling in courses in civil, electrical, mechanical and mining engineering.

This new University sought to lead a new way of experiencing, understanding and improving the world. Against the backdrop of the industrial revolution and the World Wars, its core concerns were teaching and research in science and technology with the first three faculties of Architecture, Engineering and Science founded in 1950. In 1958, the University changed its name to what we know it as today, the University of New South Wales and expanded its scope in the establishment of the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Medicine in 1960, and later in 1971, the Faculty of Law. This broadening of scholarly disciplines reflected a shift to provide more holistic education in understanding the changing world in which we live.

In reflecting on the past seven decades, UNSW: 70 years features archival material displaying some of the key moments in UNSW history; celebrating the diversity of the student population and unwavering student voice, and highlighting the academic and research achievements in problem-solving the grand societal, environmental, cultural and political challenges facing Australia, and the world.

This exhibition is a collaboration between UNSW Library and UNSW Archives.

Top image: PM Bob Hawke and Students Farewell Old NIDA Premises, 1984. UNSW Archives. CN1127/5/6/02.

Image gallery