Q: Why does UNSW need another campus in Canberra?

  • UNSW Canberra has been working with the Australian Defence Force in the ACT for over fifty years.
  • The current ADFA campus is now at capacity and the new Canberra City campus allows the University to expand its offerings in Canberra.
  • UNSW Canberra City advances UNSW Canberra’s place in the nation’s capital and will complement the region’s reputation for tertiary education excellence.

Q: Now that an agreement has been signed with the ACT Government, what are the next steps?

  • The land transfer is just the first step towards establishing a world class education, research and innovation campus in the heart of Canberra City. The UNSW Canberra City campus Master Plan is being developed that will identify the campus development and provide UNSW Canberra with the opportunity to shape the optimum development path.
  • UNSW Canberra has started a conversation with the community and stakeholders to inform the development of the master plan. To contribute your ideas, head to the Have Your Say page.

Q: Who will be paying for the new campus? Are there any other investors?

  • UNSW Canberra is establishing the new campus with an investment from the ACT Government and UNSW capital.

Q: What impact will construction of the campus have on the local community and nearby residents?

  • The new campus development is a phased transformative project for the Canberra City and will be respectful to the current landscape, community and surroundings.
  • The UNSW Canberra City campus will be designed to improve the local community experience, rejuvenating the current site and surrounding area.
  • The local community will be engaged throughout the Master Plan development and construction stage to help minimise any construction impacts. To contribute your ideas, head to the Have Your Say page.

Q: What are the economic benefits for the ACT?

  • The benefits from the UNSW Canberra City campus are wide-ranging from economic, job creation and social benefits such as city renewal and rejuvenation.
  • This project brings global expertise and opportunity for local employment and business.
  • A second Group of Eight university in Canberra’s CBD will strengthen the ACT’s reputation as the knowledge and education capital of Australia.
  • The Defence and Security Innovation Precinct will support Australia’s defence and security mission. The precinct will attract world-class innovators and industry leaders, accelerating social and economic benefits.

Q: How many jobs will the new campus create?

  • Preliminary analysis indicates that in the long term, the campus will generate over 2,000 jobs.

Q: How many students will the new campus take?

  • The UNSW Canberra City campus anticipates 6,000 plus students over the longer term. UNSW Canberra will be attracting new student markets to the ACT.

Q: Is the new campus aligned with the Australian Defence Force Academy?

  • UNSW Canberra is proud of its relationship with the Australian Defence Force and its partnership at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).
  • UNSW Canberra has been operating with defence in Canberra for over fifty years. With the ADFA now at capacity, the new City campus will allow the University to expand on its offerings in Canberra.

Q: Will the community have a say during the planning process?

  • UNSW Canberra has started a conversation with the community and stakeholders to help inform the development for the UNSW Canberra City campus Master Plan. To contribute your ideas head to the Have Your Say page. Following development of the master plan, feedback opportunities will also become available during various stages of planning. For more, see the indicative planning timeline.

Q: Will the new campus be open to domestic and international students?

  • UNSW Canberra intends to establish tailored educational programs which attract new international markets to Canberra. In addition, UNSW Canberra intends to grow its current postgraduate and professional offerings.

Q: What programs will be available at the new campus?

  • The UNSW Canberra City campus will expand on the programs currently offered by the University’s ADFA campus. More information will become available in the near future about new program offerings, and will be available on this website.

Q: When will students begin studying?

  • UNSW is anticipating the campus will open in the next few years, subject to planning and construction approvals.

Q: Will there be accommodation options for students?

  • UNSW Canberra understands that student accommodation is essential for the success of the campus. The University is working with suitable providers to ensure that a good mix of accommodation options are available for University students and stakeholders.

Q: What is happening to CIT at Reid?

  • UNSW Canberra understands that the ACT Government and CIT are in discussions about CIT at Reid. UNSW Canberra has been working with CIT and has deepened its collaboration closely over the last few years. It is noted that CIT are planning a new state-of-the-art campus for the Woden Town Centre. Specific enquiries regarding the CIT’s long-term vision can be directed to infoline@cit.edu.au.

Q: What will happen to the Reid Early Childhood Centre?

  • The Reid Early Childhood Centre leases space from CIT. UNSW Canberra will be seeking to understand the future plans of the Centre and its families, so they can be considered as a part of the Master Plan process.

Q: Will parking be available on-site?

  • The UNSW Canberra City campus will work closely with Government to ensure there is appropriate parking along with active travel improvements on-site and integration with public transport options.

Q: What considerations are being given to heritage and the environment on the campus?

  • UNSW Canberra will engage subject matter experts throughout the planning process and will evaluate all plans alongside the environmental impact.
  • The campus and buildings will be designed to grow with Canberra including a range of options to further enhance the location experience and long-term growth.
  • The city of Canberra is changing – this will bring a new opportunity to create and rejuvenate places, creating convenience and a better lifestyle.

Q. What is happening with the trees on the site and the former rail reserve?

  • The heritage railway easement along Amaroo St will not be developed as part of the UNSW Canberra City campus. It will be maintained by UNSW Canberra.
  • Our urban design focuses on revitalising Constitution Avenue a landscape design that is beautiful, sustainable and enhances the local character of the precinct.

Q: What will be the effects on local traffic throughout the construction period?

  • A Construction Transport Management Plan will be prepared in accordance with ACT Government guidelines and specifications.
  • All efforts will be made to minimise impact to stakeholders and the wider community for the duration of construction.
  • The community will be notified in advance of any temporary changes in traffic conditions.

Q: What is the Defence and Security Innovation Precinct?

  • UNSW Canberra are realising a unique opportunity to establish its very own innovation district. Re-imagined urban areas with a composition of economic, physical and social networking assets coming together to create an innovation ecosystem, in this case, specific to defence and security.
  • Connected to the community, the precinct will be a vibrant co-working and innovation community for defence and security organisations, housed in secure, yet social and collaborative work spaces on the new UNSW Canberra City campus.

Q: What is the UNSW Defence Research Institute?

  • A strategic initiative of UNSW, the UNSW Defence Research Institute (UNSW DRI) will stimulate, unify and support defence-related research within the UNSW community. The UNSW DRI works to deliver world-class defence research to enhance Australia’s security.
  • The UNSW DRI will be key to the Precinct, facilitating partnerships and connections within the innovation ecosystem.

Q: Where will the Defence and Security Innovation Precinct be located?

  • The Precinct will be located on the UNSW Canberra City campus and forms an important part of the University and the ACT’s innovation ecosystem.
  • In 2019, UNSW Canberra announced the opening of Launch on Northbourne in Braddon, which is piloting the concept.

Q: What research will be carried out?

  • Excelling in defence research in the areas of cyber security, space, systems engineering, artificial intelligence, logistics, hypersonics, public sector management and conflict studies, the Defence and Security Innovation Precinct will host the expansion of these research areas.


For more information about the UNSW Canberra City Campus development or associated events, join our mailing list or get in touch with our team here.