Harman Patil (Editor)

James Cook University

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Motto in English  Light ever increasing
Established  1961
Postgraduates  4,645 (2014)
Total enrollment  15,197 (2010)
Vice-chancellor  Sandra Harding
Type  Public
Undergraduates  15,776 (2014)
Phone  +61 7 4781 4111
Founded  20 April 1970
James Cook University
Former names  University College of Townsville (1961-70)
Address  1 James Cook Dr, Townsville City QLD 4811, Australia
Motto  Crescente Luce (Light ever increasing)
Undergraduate tuition and fees  Domestic tuition: 16,872 AUD (2012), International tuition: 20,000 AUD (2012)
Notable alumni  Christina Ochoa, Jan McLucas, Curtis Pitt, Silma Ihram, Eddie Mabo
Similar  Griffith University, Central Queensland University, University of Southern Queensland, Bond University, University of Queensland

Australia james cook university about jcu

James Cook University (JCU) is a public university and is the second oldest university in Queensland, Australia. JCU is a teaching and research institution. The University's main campuses are located in the tropical cities of Cairns, Singapore and Townsville. JCU also has study centres in Mount Isa, Mackay and Thursday Island. A Brisbane campus, operated by Russo Higher Education, delivers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students. The University’s main fields of research include marine sciences, biodiversity, sustainable management of tropical ecosystems, genetics and genomics, tropical health care, tourism and engineering.



In 1957, Professor J.D Story, Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland proposed a regional university college be established to cater to the people of North Queensland. At that time, the only higher education providers were located in the state capital Brisbane. On 27 February 1961, the University College of Townsville was opened.

After being proclaimed on 20 April 1970 as an Act of Queensland Parliament, the University College of Townsville became James Cook University of North Queensland on 29 April 1970. The official opening of the university was conducted by Queen Elizabeth II. The namesake is British sea captain James Cook, who is best known for discovering Australia. A year after JCU's proclamation, Cyclone Althea struck the Townsville region. This, together with the destruction caused by Cyclone Tracy in Darwin 1974, prompted the establishment of a cyclone research facility. The Cyclone Testing Station started out as a small project of Professor Hugh Trollope and began its operations on 1 November 1977 as James Cook Cyclone Structural Testing Station. The Cyclone Testing Station operates as a self funded unit of the College of Science, Technology and Engineering, and serves as an advising member to the Australian Standards committee in areas of structural design, specifically wind actions.

On 1 January 1982, JCU amalgamated with The Townsville College of Advanced Education located adjacent to the main campus in Douglas. The university established a presence in Cairns in 1987 and moved to its current location in the suburb of Smithfield in 1995. On 1 January 1991, the School of Art and Design of the Townsville College of TAFE was transferred to JCU. The current name of James Cook University became official on 1 January 1998. In 2003 the University opened an international campus in Singapore. The university further expanded its presence by establishing another campus in Brisbane, Queensland in 2006.

JCU Singapore moved campuses in February 2015. The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia officially opened the new JCU Singapore campus at 149 Sims Drive on 28 June 2015.

Coat of Arms explained

As a corporate body, James Cook University bears arms comprising four main elements – shield, crest (Captain James Cook’s ship, HMS Endeavour, in full sail), supporters (a pair of brolgas with open wings), and motto.

The University motto is Cresente Luce, which means light ever increasing. This motto was first proposed by Professor FW Robinson, professor of English at the University of Queensland, in 1962 for the then University College of Townsville. The university college was established as a college of the University of Queensland. Adopted in 1963, the motto remained unchanged after James Cook University of North Queensland was established and incorporated in April 1970, and later became James Cook University.

Campuses and other facilities

James Cook University operates three main campuses, located in the tropical cities of Cairns and Townsville in Australia, and the international city of Singapore. Russo Higher Education delivers JCU courses at its Brisbane centre on behalf of the University. The University also operates study centres in Mackay, Mount Isa and Thursday Island. These study centres provide programs and support for students living in rural and remote areas.

Cairns Campus

The Cairns Campus of James Cook University is located 15 kilometres north of the Cairns central business district, in the suburb of Smithfield. JCU moved to this location from its original inner-city site in 1995. Also located on the campus grounds are Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (QTHA) facilities, Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH), the Australian Tropical Forest Institute (ATFI), JCU Dental, and The Cairns Institute. Over 4 000 students study at JCU Cairns, including about 385 international students.

Townsville Campus

JCU's Townsville campus is the University’s largest campus and is located on 386 hectares in the suburb of Douglas, near the army base and the lee of Mt Stuart. Around 12,600 students study at JCU Townsville, including over 1,100 international students. Close to the university is the new Townsville Hospital and Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE. Originally located in the suburb of Pimlico, the University moved to its current site in 1967. The Discovery Rise project was announced in September 2007. The $1 billion project is aimed at redeveloping the University's Townsville campus. Construction is currently under way and the project is estimated to be completed in 2015. There is also a second smaller campus in Townsville's CBD. This campus is near city lane.

Singapore International Campus

James Cook University's Singapore campus (JCUS) was opened in 2003. In February 2015, James Cook University Singapore relocated to a new campus at 149 Sims Drive, ceasing operations at its previous campus on Upper Thomson Road, where it had been operating since July 2008. In 2014 there were 3,594 students studying with JCU Singapore. Courses offered include business, education, information technology, psychology, environmental science, and tourism and hospitality, to international and domestic students. All degrees awarded are accredited by JCU Australia. James Cook University Singapore is also certified locally by both EduTrust and the Council for Private Education and was given a "Gold Star" rating by EduTrust in 2015, the first private school to do so.

Other facilities

JCU Brisbane, operated by Russo Higher Education, delivers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business and information technology to international students, on behalf of James Cook University.

JCU’s study centre in Mackay is called the Mackay Education and Research Centre (MERC) and is located at the Mackay Base Hospital. It accommodates the teaching of the Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Nursing Science (pre registration) as well as providing facilities for medical and dental placements.

The Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health (MICRRH) provides training, development and support of the rural and remote health workforce and the management of key health issues in the rural and remote setting. The Centre offers the Bachelor of Nursing Science with a special emphasis on rural, remote and Indigenous health care.

There is also a study centre is located in the heritage courthouse building on Thursday Island, providing teaching and learning facilities for nursing and education students in the Torres Strait region, including the northern tip of Australia. The Thursday Island study centre opened in 2003.

In 2015, the JCU Townsville City campus was opened in the heart of Townsville City, Flinders Street. The campus provides a unique and progressive blend of teaching and study space, as well as meeting, networking and consultation facilities, where advanced design, technology and ongoing support services on-site all add to the quality of the environment and study experience. Plans are in place for JCU to also have a Cairns City campus providing similar facilities and opportunities as those available at the Townsville City campus.


The university serves as a catchment area for students from this region and beyond. In 2014, JCU's student population was at 22,370, which includes 7,429 international students.

In 2001 the university took in its first medical students in its newly formed School of Medicine. An undergraduate veterinary degree was added to the university for the first time in 2006 and in 2009 the Bachelor of Dental Surgery commenced. Today the university offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in arts, humanities and social work; business, law and governance; creative media; education; engineering and planning; healthcare, rehabilitation and psychology; medicine, dentistry and pharmacy; public health; science, including marine biology and environmental science; and veterinary science. Some courses are available externally.

In 2007 James Cook University became a member of Innovative Research Universities Australia (now called Innovative Research Universities). Innovative Research Universities (IRU) is a network of seven comprehensive universities committed to conducting research of national and international standing.

School of Law

The School of Law is the only regional law school in Queensland. The JCU Law School offers a comprehensive course that provides entry to the legal profession. The first-year experience has four compulsory non-substantive courses and two substantive courses designed for a staggered introduction to the LLB.

Organisational structure

The university is organised into divisions, colleges, directorates, research centres and institutes.

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

  • College of Arts, Society and Education
  • Arts
  • Creative Media
  • Education
  • Social Science
  • Social Work
  • College of Business, Law and Governance
  • Accounting
  • Economics and Marketing
  • Governance and Management
  • Information Technology
  • Law
  • Tourism
  • College of Marine and Environmental Sciences
  • Aquaculture and Fisheries
  • Environmental Geography and Sustainability
  • Marine Biology
  • Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • College of Science, Technology and Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
  • Division of Tropical Health and Medicine

  • College of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • College of Healthcare Sciences
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology and Sport and Exercise Science
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Speech Pathology
  • College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Sciences
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Veterinary Science
  • Indigenous Health Unit
  • Centres of Excellence

  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • ARC Research Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding
  • Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote Populations
  • NHMRC National Centre of Research Excellence to Improve Management of Peripheral Arterial Disease
  • Institutes

  • Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM)
  • The Cairns Institute
  • Research Centres

  • Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening
  • Centre for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics
  • Centre for Biodiscovery and Tropical Infectious Diseases
  • Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention (CCDP)
  • Centre for Disaster Studies
  • Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research
  • Centre for Research and Innovation in Sustainability Education
  • Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Sciences
  • Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER)
  • Comparative Genomics Centre
  • Cyclone Testing Station
  • Economic Geology Research Centre
  • Language and Culture Research Centre
  • MACRO - the Centre for Macroalgal Resources and Biotechnology
  • Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease (QRC-PVD)
  • Research Enablers

  • Advanced Analytical Centre
  • eResearch Centre
  • Rankings

    JCU is ranked 129th (third in Australia) in the CWTS Leiden ranking.

    As of 2015, JCU has been awarded five stars for job success by the Good Universities Guide. In 2015, JCU Singapore earned the distinction of being the first private education institution to attain the EduTrust Star quality mark from the Singapore Government.

    JCU has consistently ranked in the top 400 academic universities worldwide since 2010, as measured by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and within the top 300 in 2016. JCU achieved position 340 in the QS World Rankings in 2016. For 2016, JCU ranked in the top two percent of universities in the world by ARWU. In 2014, JCU was also ranked in the top two Australian universities and top 30 in the world in Environmental Sciences and Ecology by the U.S. News & World Report and NTU Global Rankings. JCU is also the World's leading coral reef research institution by publications and citations in the Scopus Bibliometric data (Elsevier) 2010-2014.

    In 2014, JCU was one of the only two universities to receive the maximum number of citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning by the Australian Awards for University Teaching, Office of Learning and Teaching.

    In the Commonwealth Government's Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National Report, JCU research received the highest ranking of 'well above world standard' (rating 5) in the areas of environmental science and management, ecological applications and medical microbiology. The University also received an 'above world standard' ranking for research in the areas of materials engineering, immunology, tourism, biological sciences, agricultural and veterinary sciences, fisheries sciences, veterinary sciences, inorganic chemistry, earth sciences, geochemistry, and geology.

    Residential colleges and halls of residence

    JCU's Douglas Campus in Townsville has seven on-campus residential halls and colleges, which can accommodate 1,475 students. Services offered by these facilities vary from self-catered to fully catered, and support to students. They are situated in the tropical gardens of the campus.

    Residential colleges

    Saints Catholic College was formed in 2011 with the amalgamation of the Catholic Colleges of St Raphael and St Paul and the addition of a third wing, St Mary MacKillop Wing, in honour of Australia’s first Saint. Saint Mark's College is an Affiliated Residential College of JCU and can accommodate 154 male and female students. The College enrols JCU students, primarily from regional and rural Queensland, but also from across Australia and overseas. The John Flynn College was established in 1968. It is a privately run residential college providing accommodation for more than 200 Australian and International JCU students.

    Halls of Residence

    JCU manages four non-denominational halls for 700 students. George Roberts Hall opened in 2002 with 250 residents in unit style accommodation. Rotary International House was established in 1990, with the assistance of Rotary Clubs. This facility contains 80 beds. University Hall was the first residence to be established at the University in the 1960s, and is at present the largest of the student residences with 291 rooms. University Hall opened for student accommodation in 1967 as a co-educational hall of residence <John Lee - President of University Hall Students Association 1968> and lays claim to being the first coeducational university hall of residence in Australia. Western Courts can accommodate 112 students and was established in early 2008 to offset the closure of Western Hall, a former Residential Hall at JCU. Plans are underway for on-campus accommodation facilities to be built in Cairns.

    Notable alumni and staff

    This is a list of alumni and former faculty and staff of James Cook University, including preceding institutions such as Townsville University College and Townsville College of Advanced Education.

    Notable alumni

  • Paul Amato, Professor at Pennsylvania State University and researcher, among the 1% most cited scientists of 2004 according to Thomson Reuters' Highly Cited Researchers
  • Rachel Carling-Jenkins, Australian politician
  • David Crisafulli, Australian politician
  • Peter Coaldrake, Vice Chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology and Chair of the Board of Universities Australia
  • Rose Evaster-Aderolili, Chief of the Human and Social Development Program for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Brentley Frazer, author
  • Philip Freier, Anglican clergyman and current Archbishop of Melbourne
  • Colin Grant, former head of Biosecurity Australia
  • Phillip Gwynne, author
  • Julie Hall, World Health Organization Representative in the Philippines, and principal coordinator of international medical relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan
  • Silma Ihram, activist
  • Joanna Mather, Australian Financial Review, Canberra bureau, 2013 Higher Education Journalist of the Year by Universities Australia and the National Press Club (Australia)
  • Jan McLucas, Australian politician (Townsville CAE)
  • Sue Meek, Chief Executive of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Tony Mooney, former Mayor of Townsville
  • Christina Ochoa, Spanish actress and marine biologist
  • Curtis Pitt, Queensland Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
  • Henry Reynolds, Australian historian
  • Margaret Reynolds, Australian politician
  • Mark Robinson MP, Australian politician
  • Lindsay Simpson, journalist
  • Andrew Stoner, Deputy Premier of New South Wales, National Party Member for Oxley, New South Wales, in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
  • Jan Strugnell, Associate Professor in the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture at James Cook University and the first JCU alumnus to receive a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University
  • Women in Docs, an Australian folk pop duo, Chanel Lucas and Roz Pappalardo
  • Ian Young, Vice Chancellor, Australian National University
  • Recipients of honorary degrees include:

  • Tommy George, Awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters for his work in ecology
  • David Hudson, Aboriginal musician
  • Silma Ihram, pioneer of Muslim education in Australia
  • George Musgrave, awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters for his work in traditional law
  • Percy Trezise, Awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of outstanding service to the community of Far North Queensland
  • Notable faculty and staff

  • Alexandra Aikhenvald, member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
  • Robert M. W. Dixon, professor of linguistics at the Cairns Institute and member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
  • Terry Hughes, member of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Rhondda Jones, former professor of zoology and member of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)
  • William F. Laurance, biologist, recipient of the Australian Laureate Fellowship and member of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Leonard Francis Lindoy (adjunct), chemist, professor emeritus and member of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Eddie Mabo, indigenous community leader and human rights activist, was employed at JCU as a gardener/groundsman between 1967 and 1971
  • References

    James Cook University Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    Bond University
    Griffith University
    University of Queensland