Curtin University

Curtin is Western Australia’s largest university, welcoming 58,000 students. In addition to our main campus in Perth, we have campuses in Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore. In 2017, we celebrated “50 Years of Innovation”, recognising the strides we have made in evolving from the Western Australian Institute of Technology (1967–1986) to the sophisticated global university we are today.

Curtin leads a number of major international research projects and is involved with more than 70 research centres and collaborations.

Our growing reputation has seen us rapidly rise up the international rankings in recent years. In 2017, we were ranked among the top one percent of the world’s universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.


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In the aftermath of Glee star Cory Monteith’s death, a lot of media attention has focused on his ‘troubled life’ and ‘dark past’. EPA/MIKE NELSON

Cory Monteith, addiction and the search for better endings

Public attitudes towards drugs are shaped by many things, including high-profile celebrity encounters with drugs and addiction. One unfortunate example of this involves popular Canadian actor Cory Monteith…
We wanted to know how children spent their time in the absence of video games and whether ‘active’ video games were the better option. bradimmanuel/Flickr

On the move: video games and children’s activity levels

Passive pastimes such as watching television and playing video games are often the easy option for parents but not necessarily good for their children. But is the solution “active” video games that the…
Essendon champion Jobe Watson said this week he believes he was injected with a banned substance - but who is to blame for the saga surrounding him and his club? AAP/David Crosling

Doping in sport: who is to bless and who is to blame?

Essendon captain and reigning Brownlow medallist Jobe Watson has admitted that he believes he was injected with the banned substance AOD-9604. The anti-obesity drug is at the centre of the ASADA investigation…
Children are exposed to similar levels of alcohol advertising as young adults. Flickr/Prescott

Time to cut the ties between alcohol and sport

Momentum is growing for a ban on alcohol advertising during live sports broadcasts, after Western Australian Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan lambasted the alcohol industry at a national alcohol forum…
Young people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of heavy drinking. Image from

Strong evidence for raising drinking age but little support

A group of Australian doctors and academics has called on the Commonwealth government today to raise the legal drinking age to 21, in order to reduce the harms associated with early heavy drinking. According…
Universities are increasingly using “aptitude” and “character” tests to admit more students. Test image from

Can aptitude tests pick the ‘right’ students for university?

Since 2007, the Australian government has been evaluating a pilot aptitude test for future university students. The test is meant to help universities select students who might have the ability to undertake…
A reconstruction of a ptyctodontid fish, one of the groups of placoderms studied from which well-preserved muscles were found. John A Long

From bone to brawn: ancient fish show off their muscles

Fossilised soft tissues, such as skin and muscle, are exceptionally hard to come by. When you think the chances of an animal being fossilised is less than one in a million - and these usually have only…
The new strain (C4a) of enterovirus EV71 has infected hundreds of thousands mostly pre-school-age children in China, Cambodia and Taiwan. Image from

Explainer: what is the new enterovirus or EV71?

A virus that can cause paralysis in children has been circulating in New South Wales during autumn and has recently spread to Victoria. Around 30 young children, mainly from Sydney’s northern and southeastern…
Backlash over the seemingly omnipresence of bookmakers advertising during sport - such as Tom Waterhouse - prompted a government ban on ads in certain situations. AAP/Paul Miller

Live sports odds ban: does the government’s plan go far enough?

What are the odds? In the face of public pressure, prime minister Julia Gillard has given bookmakers an ultimatum regarding sporting events. If the bookies do not agree to a ban on gambling promotion during…
North Melbourne’s Majak Daw, the AFL’s first Sudanese-born player, has been subjected to racial abuse from fans in his first few senior games. AAP/Joe Castro

AFL: Majak Daw shows we’ve come a long way on racism, but the journey is far from complete

The more things change, the more they stay the same. A young man playing for AFL club North Melbourne wows the majority of watchers with breathtaking football talent. But for a few observers, the colour…
The novel coronavirus is in the same family as the SARS virus, but has some different biological features and is not as infectious. Image from

Explainer: what is the new coronavirus?

Ten years ago the world was gripped by the threat of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which was caused by a coronavirus. The outbreak infected more than 8,000 people and around 800 died. Over…
The institution you come from shouldn’t be the main factor in research funding allocation. Evaluation image from

The best and rest: why we should fund ‘average’ research

Increasingly, it’s not the quality of the research or researcher that is determining who gets funding in Australia’s universities but the reputation of the institutions they work for. This is now reflected…
Rail has been a part of Federal “knitting” since, well, Federation. Annie Mole

It’s not in the knitting? Urban rail’s growing significance

Tony Abbott has created a new phrase that wonderfully describes a political tradition or paradigm: “not in our knitting”. “We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it’s important that we stick…
Live music in Australia has been under renewed threat in recent years over noise and liquor licensing complaints. AAP/Joe Castro

Live music in Australia: offensive noise or good vibrations?

In this week’s news from planet 21st century, the musicians who perform at Playbar, a small venue in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Surry Hills, have been silenced by Sydney’s “offensive noise” laws after…
Universities source around 60% of their funding from the government - down from 90% in the 1980s. AAP

Funding cuts pose challenges for the university business model

As state premiers meet to thrash out an agreement on funding the Gonski school reforms, universities have been gnashing their teeth at being the losers in the funding equation. Earlier this week, Vice-Chancellor…
If the new Marilyn Manson video showed a young woman disembowelling herself with a large sword because she had lost her lover it would be banned instantly. But this same scene is tolerated nightly in opera house performances of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. EPA/TOR ERIK SCHRODER

“!ti od em edam nataS” … does rock ‘n’ roll really make kids kill themselves?

As Jane Austen probably wanted to say, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good Black Sabbath CD must be in want of a shotgun. We are so encultured to believe that…
There’s loads of evidence that the type of music played affects shoppers’ buying habits.

The tills are alive with the sound of Muzak

I spent the Christmas of 1988-89 stacking shelves in a liquor store. It paid $2 per hour (a pittance even way back then), and the boss made me mop the floor before vacuuming it, which continues to annoy…
Plans are afoot to map the brain, but the scientific methods of US scientists involved may be too ambitious.

Wham BAM: Obama’s brain map aims are laudable, but laughable

Recently, I wrote a sceptical article for The Conversation on the subject of new proposals for computer mapping of the brain. The two top contenders are the European Human Brain Project (HBP - which has…

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