History of Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University (CSU) was established by the Charles Sturt University Act, 1989 (Act No. 76, 1989), which was proclaimed on 19 July 1989. The University is a federated network institution comprising the former Mitchell College of Advanced Education (MCAE) and Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education (RMIHE).
MCAE had been operating as a College of Advanced Education in Bathurst since 1970. The site of the college was first occupied by a vocational agricultural college in 1895, followed by the Bathurst Teachers' College in 1951.
RMIHE had operated in Wagga Wagga and Albury-Wodonga since 1985. However, its precursor, Riverina College of Advanced Education (RCAE), was established in 1971 and taught from the site of the Wagga Wagga Teachers' College from 1972. The Teachers' College had provided teacher training courses since 1947, and a number of its continuing students were among RCAE's first student intake in 1972. Study centres were established at Griffith and Albury-Wodonga, and an ambitious distance education program was inaugurated. In 1975 RCAE was designated a ‘corporate College' under section 5 of the NSW Colleges of Advanced Education Act No. 11.
From the outset it was anticipated that RCAE would amalgamate with the Wagga Agricultural College (WAC). Indeed, this had been a factor in the college's decision to acquire and begin development of the green fields Boorooma site adjacent to WAC. Agricultural education had been offered on the WAC site since 1896, when the NSW Department of Agriculture established the Wagga Experiment Farm. Following amalgamation in 1975, RCAE progressively transferred its staff and students to the Boorooma and Agriculture sites, while the WAC became the School of Agriculture within RCAE.
In 1982 RCAE acquired the funded student load, and some of the former staff, of the disbanded Goulburn College of Advanced Education (GCAE). In the same year, RCAE Council adopted a series of recommendations pertaining to the provision of higher education in southern NSW. To reflect its multi-campus operations, RCAE changed its name to Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education (RMIHE)—a change that took effect on 1 March 1985.
RMIHE continued to function as a corporate college until it and MCAE amalgamated to form the Charles Sturt University in 1989, fulfilling the ambition of the Riverine University League to create a rural university in central and south-west NSW.
Currently, Charles Sturt University operates on four main campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga and has additional campuses in Canberra, Goulburn and Orange. The University also operates from other locations including Manly, Broken Hill, and Ontario, Canada.