History

Celebrating 50 years

Antique booksUNSW Arts & Social Sciences celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2010.

Over those decades, we has embodied the enduring values and traditions of the humanities, the social sciences and the creative and performing arts. At the same time, increasingly, we have also reflected the unique ethos of UNSW, a comparatively young Australian university with significant strengths in diverse areas of scholarship and creative practice that reflect the University’s motto: Scientia Manu et Mente – ‘Knowledge by Hand and Mind’.

The University’s aspiration, as articulated in B2B Blueprint to Beyond, is to be ‘a leading research intensive university in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on contemporary and social issues through defined strengths in professional, scientific and technological fields.’

In support of that vision, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences combines outstanding scholarship in foundational disciplines and emerging interdisciplinary fields with a commitment to public engagement and social impact, to an international perspective, to professional development and training (notably in education and social work), and to creativity and performance.

The recent past

Over the past five years UNSW Arts & Social Sciences has undergone significant structural innovation and cultural change.

New undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programs have been introduced, and established programs have been reviewed and revised. Student preferences have significantly increased, domestic enrolments have been strong, and international enrolments have grown substantially. Student satisfaction has remained high.

UNSW ranked highly in both the 2010 and 2012 national research ranking exercises, the Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) report, placing us as a national leader in a number of disciplinary areas. New research centres have been established and the Faculty has made many exciting appointments, both of established senior scholars and of outstanding early career researchers.

Looking to the future

Our history and our future include a commitment to reassert, in the broader community, the importance of education and research in the humanities, the social sciences and the creative and performing arts. This involves emphasising the contribution made by our practical insights, critical understanding and theoretical analysis, not only to the global dialogue among our scholarly peers, but especially to the maturity of public discourse, the effectiveness of public policy and the vivacity of the national culture.