NCUK Visits UNSW Sydney in Australia!

Posted: 26.02.2024
Author: Richard Compton

Written by Richard Compton, University Partnerships Manager, NCUK

At the end of 2023, I had the privilege of visiting the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney as part of their ‘Premier Partner Week’. This visit presented a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with colleagues at the university and gain deeper insights into what makes UNSW a top destination for NCUK students.

Group of partners at UNSW's campus

The impact of UNSW’s research prowess becomes immediately apparent upon setting foot on its campus, epitomised by the carbon-neutral Tyree Energy Technologies Building. This structure is the epicentre for UNSW’s pioneering research in photovoltaics, carbon capture and storage, and various other clean energy initiatives. During the visit, I, alongside other UNSW partners, received a guided tour and an enlightening talk by Professor Sproul, the head of the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW.

One particularly captivating aspect of the research conducted at UNSW is its tangible and far-reaching global implications. From enhancing the efficiency of solar panels in collaboration with industry partners and UNSW alumni in China to the development of the Sunraysia Solar farm, which aligns with the university’s objective of achieving net-zero emissions from energy use, the practical applications of this research are manifold.

Richard with students by a solar car


Moreover, current UNSW students actively engage with this cutting-edge research through projects like the ‘Sunswift Solar Car Challenge,’ where interdisciplinary teams collaborate to design and race the world’s fastest solar car.

In a remarkable feat, the UNSW team clinched victory at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in 2023, adding to their previous Guinness World Record achieved in 2022.

Beyond the numerous accolades, including the prestigious distinction of having the top-ranked Solar and Renewable Energy Engineering Degree in Australia, the prevailing sentiment among the academics at UNSW was their unwavering passion for their respective fields. It became evident that UNSW students are afforded exceptional opportunities to learn from and engage with world-renowned researchers throughout their academic journey, transcending the confines of specific disciplines.

Partners in a large hall

The collaborative sessions during my visit shed light on how UNSW students benefit from a holistic educational approach that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. Whether it’s Science & Engineering students presenting conservation projects in the Landerer Moot Court or delving into the influence of architectural design on urban well-being, the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum equips UNSW students with a multifaceted academic grounding and essential practical skills vital for their professional journeys.

This integrative approach not only fosters academic versatility but also empowers students to think holistically, preparing them for the diverse challenges of the modern workplace.

My visit also facilitated interactions with international UNSW alumni and members of the UNSW Employability team, providing valuable insights into UNSW’s top-ranking employment outcomes in Australia. The university’s strong emphasis on employability is reflected in its 1st place ranking in Australia for employment outcomes, as well as the distinguished standing of UNSW graduates as top earners among Group of 8 universities.

The UNSW Employability team plays a pivotal role in guiding students towards informed career choices through the UNSW Roadmap to Employability, a comprehensive program embedded within each degree. This roadmap empowers students to explore employment options, acquire relevant skills, gain practical work experience, and seamlessly transition into graduate employment.

Additionally, the university extends professional development opportunities and mentoring to its alumni while actively supporting innovative student-led initiatives, exemplified by ventures such as sörzero, the world’s first tea-based non-alcoholic beer developed by the UNSW-backed startup Synbiote.

Staff sat together

In conclusion, my visit to UNSW offered a captivating glimpse into the vibrant academic landscape of UNSW, underlining its commitment to excellence, innovation, and holistic student development.

The ongoing collaboration between NCUK and UNSW stands as a testament to the shared dedication towards empowering students for a successful future. I am excited to see more students utilise the great opportunities presented by UNSW and choose to study in Australia.

Richard Compton with colleagues in Sydney.

Richard Compton with colleagues in Sydney.

Find out more

NCUK students can currently progress to UNSW Sydney following the successful completion of our International Foundation Year qualification.