University description (as per official university website)
The University’s genesis came about with the introduction of the Territory’s first adult education classes in Darwin in 1951. Supervised study classes were provided for apprentices, as well as typing, shorthand, French and subjects for public service examinations.
As classes and enrolment grew, so did the administrative work. In June 1958, the South Australian Department of Education recommended the appointment of a full-time principal to the Adult Education Centre in Darwin and in 1959 the first institution offering post-secondary studies in the Northern Territory was born, with a total of 19 teachers and over 500 enrolments.
By late 1973, the number of students enrolled had increased to almost 6000. In 1974, Darwin Community College, built on the site of Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina Campus, opened as a multi-purpose, multi-level, post-secondary institution. Its brief was to maintain teaching as a first priority, while catering for a wide range of community needs - social, commercial and industrial.
In 1985, while the NT Government canvassed establishing a local university, the community college was renamed the Darwin Institute of Technology. This was joined by the University College of the Northern Territory, which opened in 1987 with 250 enrolled students.
The Commonwealth Government's decision in 1987 to replace the binary system of higher education with the Unified National System dramatically changed the future for the University College and the Darwin Institute of Technology. Now permitted to merge, the institutions joined to form the Northern Territory University in 1989.
In 2003, Alice Springs’ Centralian College joined with the Northern Territory University to become Charles Darwin University - the only Australian university to offer the full spectrum of education options from senior secondary through to Vocational Education Training (previously known as TAFE), undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.
Charles Darwin University (CDU) is founded on 50 years of delivering tertiary education in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia.
The University is the largest tertiary institution in the NT, with campuses in the Darwin suburb of Casuarina, Palmerston, Alice Springs, Katherine and Nhulunbuy, and training centres in Jabiru, Tennant Creek and Yulara.
CDU was formed in 2003 through a merger between the Northern Territory University, Alice Springs-based Centralian College, NT Rural College in Katherine, and the Menzies School of Health Research.
Today, CDU offers a fresh approach to education, training, research and knowledge application.
The University aspires to be internationally recognised as a centre for excellence in Indigenous and cross-cultural knowledge, tropical knowledge and desert knowledge.
As a multi-sector education provider, CDU provides unique pathways for students, from school-based vocational training through to advanced research degrees.
Aerial view of Darwin - Tourism NT
Our students are drawn from the local area, across Australia and overseas, consisting of Indigenous and international students, school leavers, and mature age people returning to study.
This section of our website provides information about the University, its campuses and education centres, and about living and studying in the Northern Territory.