Today, arts and science graduates are more prepared than ever for a wide array of careers, courtesy of a broad range of knowledge and skills that they gain in their degrees. In a rapidly changing world where career changes are becoming more common, arts and science graduates can shift courses to find lucrative jobs due to their transferable skills. Amid the number of arts and science institutes emerging of late, it is important for students to choose the right institute to pursue the education that meets their professional as well as personal needs.
Founded in 1965, the University of Newcastle has been equipping students with the quintessential skills to thrive in their careers. The arts and science graduates of the University are in high demand due to the skills fostered in their curriculum. These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, effective communication, people skills, etc. and are valued as future-focused ‘human’ skills that translate across the employment sector.
A Robust Foundation
The history of the University of Newcastle has been characterized by leaders who have been willing to change the status quo and transform the fields of education and research. Beginning as a College of the University of New South Wales in 1951, the University of Newcastle was granted autonomy after a longstanding community campaign and became an independent university in 1965.
The founders of the University had a clear vision—a bushland campus that blended a traditional university with innovative approaches to problems they faced, and one that stayed connected to the community that had campaigned for its creation. The construction of the University’s Great Hall demonstrated this community connection. It was largely funded by the community, with community members ‘buying a brick’ to build the Great Hall, and the Foundation Stone was laid in 1971.
Today, the University has evolved into one of the world’s leading tertiary education institutions, comprising over 36,000 students spanning five campuses including Callaghan, Newcastle City, Central Coast, Sydney, and Singapore. The College of Human and Social Futures at the University was formed in 2021 as an offshoot of two of the University’s major faculties—the Faculty of Business and Law and the Faculty of Education and Arts. Currently, the college comprises four schools—the Newcastle Business School, the Newcastle Law School, the School of Education, and the School of Humanities, Creative Industries, and Social Sciences.
“The Destination of Choice”
The School of Humanities, Creative Industries, and Social Sciences is a diverse school. The school teaches and researches in a range of disciplines and its strategy is to capture the multidisciplinary potential strength of this breadth in its research and education portfolio. Some of the key programs within Humanities and Social Sciences include the Bachelor of Arts, Social Science, Social Change and Development, Language, and Translation. Its Creative Industries programs include Communication, Music and Performing Arts, and Visual Communication Design. The school also collaborates with its partners across the spectrum of professions to drive innovations that contribute to the cultural and economic transformation of its regions.
The vision of the University of Newcastle is to continue enhancing its global reputation for excellence in its respective fields and be the destination of choice for the humanities, social sciences, and creative disciplines. Professor John Fischetti (Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the College of Human and Social Futures) says, “The future of work will rely on the skills we teach and that students are seeking to round out their portfolios for employment, using state-of-the-art facilities across our campuses for learning, collaboration, and creativity.”
Leveraging Potentials of Technology
One of the major strengths of the School of Humanities, Creative Industries, and Social Sciences is the integration of emerging technologies in its academic programs and research. This integration is fundamental to the student experience in the school. Digital Humanities is a notable example of this.
Moreover, the University’s Colonial Frontier Massacres Map, which documents over 400 Aboriginal Massacres that occurred between 1788 and 1930, is an online tool and the first of its kind to detail the sources of evidence of the massacres. The Massacres Map is a rich, detailed digital tool that provides a great use for students and scholars alike and has earned widespread acclaim for its insight.
Another example of the School’s emphasis on technology has been its work in computational linguistic analysis around the authenticity of Shakespeare’s works which has led to several significant breakthroughs that have brought world attention to the university.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Equity, diversity, and inclusion are the highlights of the College of Human and Social Futures’ vision. The college emphasizes supporting its international students in both face-to-face and hybrid learning environments. The University of Newcastle takes pride in its commitment to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The Wollotuka Institute is one of the nation’s pre-eminent centers for Indigenous education, student support, and research.
The University of Newcastle has one of the highest percentages of Indigenous students in Australia and has prepared the most Aboriginal doctors and teachers of any Australian University. Moreover, the University is a sector leader in Indigenous employment and has the highest number of indigenous staff of any university in Australia.
Preparing Life-Ready Graduates
The University’s strategic plan ‘Looking Ahead’ has embedded in it a challenge that all its academic programs will prepare ‘life-ready’ graduates. The challenge is centered on three priorities—being work-ready, being healthy and well, and being community-minded. The Work Integrated Learning programs offered by the university are forged on strong partnerships with leading local and global organizations. One of the School’s Living Laboratory, FASTLab, and Festival X are examples of how students gain practical, real-world experience during their studies.
Activities beyond Academics
“Life at the University of Newcastle is better spent with friends, and one of the best ways to foster new and existing friendships is by joining a club,” asserts John. With over 100 registered clubs and societies across areas such as cultural, sporting, academic, social, faith-based, and more, there are always like-minded people for students to meet and bond with.
Each group holds a range of events across the academic year and new members are always welcomed. For those looking to start new clubs, a range of support is provided by the Student Central team. As members of the local and global community, the students at the University are also encouraged to give back where they can, through volunteering, mentoring, and philanthropy programs.
Connecting Education and Research
The School of Humanities, Creative Industries, and Social Sciences has brought together world-class academic staff to find creative connections between education and research. This is exhibited in the diversity of its programs. The school has an emerging identity as a provider of innovative undergraduate education via its BA online, while students in its Bachelor of Visual Communication Design create visual material across a range of visual formats and channels that continue to evolve in step with technology.
As part of its Newcastle CBD footprint, the Bachelor of Music and Performance is headquartered in the University’s new Q Building and renowned Conservatorium of Music. Its Bachelor of Social Work (Honors) provides graduates with immediate opportunities to make a difference on day one upon graduation. These graduates are among the best prepared anywhere in Australia.
Why School of Humanities, Creative Industries, and Social Sciences?
Here are the three prominent reasons why a student should choose the School of Humanities, Creative Industries, and Social Sciences.
- A broad range of highly sought-after skills that prepare graduates to be career-ready and life-ready.
- Exceptionally talented international academic staff ranging across disciplines like humanities, social sciences, and creative industries.
- A vibrant cultural identity that feeds into the creativity of a city reinventing itself as it emerges from its industrial heyday.
Read the full magazine: The 10 Most Prominent Art Colleges to look for in 2023