Published: May 12, 2015

Adelaide’s push toward becoming a “knowledge city” made it the perfect candidate to host the first Torrens University Australia campus.

This is the belief of Torrens University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Justin Beilby who notes the student, business and academic community are leading the charge.

Professor Beilby said the central Victoria Square campus – the University’s first site in Australia – had both consolidated and drawn on its esteemed surroundings in the heart of Adelaide and was, crucially, close to industry.

“The city location of Torrens University’s original site ensured the continued vibrancy of Adelaide’s economic, social and cultural heart, and offered both student and academic staff the opportunity to connect with the local community,” he said.

The University welcomed its first cohort of students in January 2014 and has grown stronger, and more prolific, with every intake. Now there are two Adelaide city campuses – in addition to campuses in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne - attracting students from both the local and overseas markets.

But it is the Adelaide base that allowed Torrens University Australia to really push the agenda of fully immersive, designed-for-you learning.

Professor Beilby said the newest site, located in the former Menz Biscuit factory on Wakefield Street, was considered a trailblazer among the Laureate International Universities network, of which Torrens University is a part. The consortium of 80 institutions in 29 countries will use Adelaide as a research pilot for its innovative ‘test and prove’ concept space; a hub for project work and collaboration among students, and ‘pods’ that are customisable business spaces wherein ideas are prototyped.

Yet, the freedom of space and thinking is just one factor that attracted Laureate International Universities to Adelaide.

 “The fact that the Government of South Australia had articulated a policy to establish Adelaide as a “knowledge city” tied in with the Laureate philosophy; while Adelaide’s high standard of living, safety record and ability to attract high-calibre staff were all significant factors in the final decision,” Professor Beilby said.

It is a decision that has also created great return for the city – particularly in the area of collaboration with local industry.

“Beyond our connections with the student community, a priority focus for Torrens University is our links with industry to deliver quality work place experiences for students and ensure the skills they are learning are those matched to the needs of employers.”