Victoria University (VU) has been providing tertiary education opportunities to students from the west and beyond for over a hundred years.

We have also been working closely with industry and community partners to support economic growth and build a healthier, smarter and more sustainable west.

We are the west of Melbourne's university.

Our commitment to the west

Today's VU is a direct descendant of Footscray Technical School, which opened in 1916.

Leveraging on our history and longstanding tradition of high quality education, our vision is to build a strong and vibrant university with inseparable ties to the west of Melbourne.

Our commitment to the west extends to the VU Values. VU is ‘always west’: welcoming, ethical, shaping the future, together. This is also symbolic of place.

As the University of Opportunity and Success, we are committed to being inclusive rather than exclusive, providing learning experiences and research collaborations that meet the needs of our local communities.

Our vision incorporates our aspiration to uplift communities across Melbourne's west. We are proud of the impact we've had on the region in our twenty-six year history as a university, and over a hundred years of educational contribution through our predecessor institutions. But there is much more to do.

Our ongoing commitment is to deliver immeasurable impact for both VU and the entire region, driving economic prosperity and meeting the health, education and community service needs of the west's diverse and rapidly growing population.

Positioned for success

VU's iconic presence in the western and central districts of Melbourne closely connects us with industry and community across four major precincts - Footscray, Sunshine/St Albans, Werribee, and Queen Street.

Our presence is anchored by state-of-the-art facilities, and our campuses supplemented with industry- and community-integrated learning sites such as Victoria University Whitten Oval and Sunshine Hospital.

Our ability to effectively meet the needs of our heartland will play a leading role in contributing to the economic and social prosperity of the region, which is economically important to the future of the State of Victoria.

Indigenous opportunity & success

The Victoria University Bathelmun Yalingwa Strategy 2017-2020 outlines our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ opportunity and success, particularly in our heartland, the west of Melbourne.

This commitment not only encompasses the success of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff, but also the role we play as a regional leader in raising awareness and addressing challenges.

Supporting economic growth

The west of Melbourne is a region that is characterised by a rapidly growing population, significant urbanisation and a transitioning industry profile. With this come significant social, health and economic challenges.

VU's key role

VU is playing a major role in addressing these challenges.

Of course, the key role of universities is to educate and train people. One of VU's lasting contributions has been to boost the qualifications and skills of the local workforce. VU education has helped local workers to increase their wages and reduce the risk of unemployment. Analysis has estimated that VU graduates retained in the west contribute a $69 million increase in labour productivity in the region's industries.

Increased job creation is a priority, and growing local jobs is paramount. We are contributing strongly to the west of Melbourne Economic Development Strategy, through key bodies such as:

  • Western Metropolitan Partnership: The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Dawkins, is Deputy Chair of the Victorian State Government’s Western Metropolitan Partnership for community engagement with government on regional jobs, services and infrastructure. 
  • the VU-coordinated West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (WoMEDA), chaired by former State Premier Steve Bracks.

The success and prosperity of the region and of Victoria University are intrinsically linked, with a recent economic impact study estimating that VU contributes $632m to the region's GDP and supports an estimated 4400 jobs.

Approximately half our students come from the West of Melbourne. Our core business is serving the diverse communities of our region, including many students who are the first in family to enter university.

We are truly a world-class dual sector university, one of only a few in Australia. From our innovative VU Block Model and discipline-based higher education Colleges, through to our TAFE division, Victoria University Polytechnic, we are delivering on our commitment to offer educational opportunities to the diverse communities of the region.

Economic reports & strategies

To learn more about the big ideas for Footscray, read these reports on developing and investing in the west:


Building healthier, smarter & more sustainable communities

VU is a research powerhouse.

Through our two key interdisciplinary themes, Health, Sport and Active Living and Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities, we are undertaking high-quality and innovative applied and translational research in areas of critical importance to the contemporary world, in particular the West of Melbourne.

Chronic disease such as diabetes and mental health problems are increasingly prevalent. This is particularly the case for the West of Melbourne, affecting some parts, such as Brimbank, more than others. Through the Health, Sport and Active Living focus we are taking a strategic evidence based approach to addressing key challenges in health, sport and active living.

Sustainability, liveability and industry restructuring are key issues in contemporary Australia, nowhere more so than in the West of Melbourne. Melbourne's west faces a number of challenges in adapting to rapid population growth and a transitioning economy, and Victoria University is uniquely placed to meet those challenges through our Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities theme.

World-class university, world-class opportunity

Our reputation as an education and research powerhouse, ranked firmly in the Top 2% of the world’s best universities, positions Victoria University as the premier university for Melbourne's west.

We are very proud to be world class in the west.

While we are strongly anchored in the west through our campuses in Footscray, Sunshine, St Albans and Werribee, we are a university with a global outlook.

VU has delivered qualifications in Asia for more than 20 years. In 2015, VU provided courses to more than 8,500 students in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore at universities including Liaoning University, Hanoi University and Sunway College.

VU also attracts a large number of international students with over 5,000 international onshore students. Many of these students study and reside in the West, contributing to the cultural diversity of the region and further influencing VU’s economic impact on the West of Melbourne.