University timeline

1986

Inaugural student Matthew Wiseman and Foundation Vice Chancellor Don Watts

3 July 1986: Businessman Alan Bond announces plans to develop Australia’s first private, not-for-profit, fully independent university on a Gold Coast site known as Burleigh Forest. Show more

3 July 1986: Businessman Alan Bond announces plans to develop Australia’s first private, not-for-profit, fully independent university on a Gold Coast site known as Burleigh Forest.

Bond University of Applied Technology, as it was originally known, would be funded by a joint venture between Bond Corporation Holdings and Japanese development company, EIE, as part of a broad-based academic, commercial and residential precinct.

The concept developed by a small group of political, business and community leaders was to create a unique learning experience modelled on the world’s leading private universities and ivy league colleges. Classes would be smaller; leading academics and teachers would be drawn from across the globe; and the buildings and facilities would rival the best in the world. Show less

1987 - 1988

Professor Don Watts

23 April 1987: The Bond University Act is passed by the Queensland Government, securing the University’s status as a fully independent tertiary institution.

Coordinator-General for Queensland, Sir Sydney Schubert, is announced as Chancellor and in July, Professor Don Watts takes the reins as Bond's foundation Vice Chancellor. Show more

23 April 1987: The Bond University Act is passed by the Queensland Government, securing the University’s status as a fully independent tertiary institution.

Coordinator-General for Queensland, Sir Sydney Schubert, is announced as Chancellor and in July, Professor Don Watts takes the reins as Bond's foundation Vice Chancellor.

Construction of the campus begins in late September and continues through what goes down in history as the two wettest years ever recorded on the Gold Coast. The University’s earliest staff call themselves the ‘Gumboot Brigade’ as they slosh through the mud. Show less

1989

13 May 1989: 322 students arrive at Bond University to begin undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the Schools of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Technology, and Law. Show more

13 May 1989: 322 students arrive at Bond University to begin undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the Schools of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Technology, and Law.

The campus continues to take shape with completion of the Student Centre, the Main Library and Lake Orr. The Bond University Rugby Union Football Club is established and the English Language Institute (ELI) opens in Surfers Paradise with 23 students. Show less

1990 - 1993

First undergraduate graduation May 1991

13 May 1990: The first cohort of nine MBA students graduate. The ceremony is held in the Princeton Room and is attended by 500 VIP guests, including University co-founder, Alan Bond.

By the time the first 75 undergraduates celebrate their graduation in 1991, student enrolments have grown to more than 1000. Show more

13 May 1990: The first cohort of nine MBA students graduate. The ceremony is held in the Princeton Room and is attended by 500 VIP guests, including University co-founder, Alan Bond.

By the time the first 75 undergraduates celebrate their graduation in 1991, student enrolments have grown to more than 1000.

In the background, however, the joint venture partners are in trouble. In September 1990, Bond Corporation Holdings is placed in receivership with losses of $2.2 billion – the largest in Australian corporate history at the time – and, by the end of 1991, EIE is spending up to $500,000 a week to keep the University afloat.

In 1992, the University breaks even financially for the first time but, after Bond Corporation sells its shares to EIE, the Japanese company also goes into receivership, setting up a battle for the University’s survival that will last until the end of the decade.

Despite the challenging times, the University continues to attract student enrolments, which exceed 1,500 for the first time. Show less

1994

Bond’s fifth year celebration

By Bond’s fifth year, more than 1300 degrees have been conferred. The University continues to expand its program offerings with the introduction of new study areas such as Criminology and Film and Television. The Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTA) are launched to encourage Year 11 and 12 students to enrol in the new Bachelor of Film and Television by making their own short films.  Show more

By Bond’s fifth year, more than 1300 degrees have been conferred. The University continues to expand its program offerings with the introduction of new study areas such as Criminology and Film and Television. The Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTA) are launched to encourage Year 11 and 12 students to enrol in the new Bachelor of Film and Television by making their own short films. Bond’s Law and Accounting programs are ranked No.1 in Australia and a team of MBA students take top honours in the 1994 International Entrepreneurial Moot Competition against the likes of Harvard, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. 

Meanwhile, EIE receivers put the campus land and buildings up for sale, free of tenants and the University of Queensland wins the tender to purchase the Bond campus, despite protests by Bond students who march on Parliament House in Brisbane. Questions are raised over Bond’s legal rights to occupy the campus. The case eventually goes to the Supreme Court which grants Bond University a three-year tenancy. Show less

1999

Vice Chancellor Professor Ken Moores, Commercial Director John LeLievre and Registrar Alan Finch signing the purchase of the campus

13 August, 1999: Bond’s tenth anniversary year is capped off with the news that Bond University Limited has purchased the 50ha site and campus buildings for $65 million.

2000 – 2003

Large group of students and staff under the arch building

In 2000, the milestone of 5000 alumni is reached and enrolments exceed 2000 for the first time.

The resolution of Bond's ownership is a major turning point in the University's history, ushering in a new era of growth and development. Show more

In 2000, the milestone of 5000 alumni is reached and enrolments exceed 2000 for the first time.

The resolution of Bond's ownership is a major turning point in the University's history, ushering in a new era of growth and development.

The following year, Vice Chancellor Professor Ken Moores presents a three-year strategic plan that includes the establishment of a new Institute of Health Sciences, with a view to introducing an undergraduate medical degree.

Working with strategic advisor Trevor Rowe (then managing director of Salomon Smith Barney Australian Corporate Finance), Professor Moores negotiates with the Federal Government for a loan scheme that Bond students could access to help finance their studies.

The decision to extend FEE HELP to Bond students in 2003 finally puts the University on a level playing field with public sector institutions.

By this time, Trevor Rowe has been installed as Chancellor of Bond University. He appoints Queensland Director General of Health, Professor Robert Stable as Vice Chancellor, forging a highly successful six-year partnership overseeing a new phase of expansion and renewed vigour. Show less

2004 – 2006

Vice Chancellor Professor Robert Stable with Prime Minister John Howard at the opening of the Health Sciences and Medicine Building

In 2004, the Australian Medical Council approves Bond’s undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery – Australia’s first ever private medical degree – and one of the world’s leading evidence-based medicine experts, Professor Chris del Mar, is recruited from the United Kingdom to establish the new medical school. Show more

In 2004, the Australian Medical Council approves Bond’s undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery – Australia’s first ever private medical degree – and one of the world’s leading evidence-based medicine experts, Professor Chris del Mar, is recruited from the United Kingdom to establish the new medical school. Prime Minister John Howard officiates the opening of the Medical School building in April 2006, by which time the new Faculty of Health Science and Medicine is up and running, with programs in Forensic Science, Exercise Science, Sports Science and the full range of biomedical and health sciences.

The Faculty of Business is re-launched as a ‘super faculty’ combining Business, Technology and the new School of Sustainable Development – the first designated planning and design school in Australia to fully integrate environmental, urban planning and architectural disciplines.

A reinvigorated focus on research sees external research funding triple and the number of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students increase by 65% in just two years.

The Career Development Centre gets a make-over and Bond College is launched to provide pathway programs into Bond University degrees.

In 2007, Bond is ranked equal best university in Australia by the independent publishers of the Good Universities Guide, scoring the maximum five-star rating in nine key student experience categories. Show less

2007 – 2011

Bond University Moot Court opening in 2007

The University continues to expand its degree offerings in response to industry demand: Australia’s first Doctor of Physiotherapy program, a new Masters of High Performance Science focussing on elite athletes, undergraduate and postgraduate offerings in Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management, Multimedia and Architecture. Show more

The University continues to expand its degree offerings in response to industry demand: Australia’s first Doctor of Physiotherapy program, a new Masters of High Performance Science focussing on elite athletes, undergraduate and postgraduate offerings in Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management, Multimedia and Architecture.

The inaugural cohort of medical students graduate in 2009 and every one of them secures an internship; Bond Law teams win a series of prestigious international mooting competitions, cementing Bond’s reputation as one of the world’s leading advocacy teaching universities; and, in the 2011 Australian Financial Review BOSS rankings, Bond’s MBA is ranked in the top 10 MBA programs in Australia.

The multi-million dollar Legal Skills Centre opens in 2007, incorporating a state-of-the-art moot court modelled on the High Court of Australia. Other new facilities include the Macquarie Trading Room, the Balnaves Foundation Multimedia Learning Centre, the ADCO Amphitheatre and Alumni Court. In August 2008, Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard opens the Mirvac School of Sustainable Development building. It is the first building in Australia to achieve a six Green Star – Education PILOT Certificate Rating for Design by the Green Building Council of Australia.

In 2010, long-time Bond supporter and art patron, Dr Patrick Corrigan, facilitates an auction of Indigenous art that raises funds to support a number of scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Show less

2012-2016

Dr Patrick Corrigan

The next chapter of Bond’s story is highlighted by recognition on the international stage. Bond Business School gains global accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), becoming one of only eight business schools in Australia to hold this dual international recognition. Show more

The next chapter of Bond’s story is highlighted by recognition on the international stage. Bond Business School gains global accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), becoming one of only eight business schools in Australia to hold this dual international recognition. The Master of Construction Practice becomes the first postgraduate degree in Australia to be accredited by the worldwide Chartered Institute of Building.

Bond Law partners with Zhongnan University of Economics and Law (ZUEL) in China and the Swiss International Law School. It also continues to develop its North American market by offering specialist subjects in Canadian Law, with the 1000th Canadian law student enrolling at Bond in 2014.

The Bond-BBT Global Leadership MBA designed for Japanese executives, delivered with Dr Kenichi Ohmae, Chairman of Business Breakthrough University, celebrates its 1000th graduate in 2016.

Other international linkages allow students to undertake internships and study tours to Silicon Valley, China, Africa, remote communities in the Solomon Islands and in a network of AECOM offices in 150 countries worldwide.

In 2014, Bond features in the world’s Top 200 QS World University Rankings for the first time. The following year, it is crowned World’s Best Beachside University by Study International.

Closer to home, Bond College expands its pathway options with a range of diploma qualifications and a strategic focus on sport sees Bond develop study and training partnerships with local, state and national rugby union, rugby 7s, AFL and swimming organisations.

A commitment to closing the gap on educational disadvantage for Australia’s First Nations people inspires a formal Indigenous Education Strategy involving scholarships, specialised student support, on-campus cultural awareness and community outreach.

Between 2012 and 2017, Indigenous students from all over Australia are presented with scholarships to study at Bond University, and Indigenous student enrolments more than double. Show less

2017 - 2018

Transformer Hub

In the lead-up to Bond’s 30th birthday celebrations, major refurbishments are carried out to the Legal Skills Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine building, Bond Business School and the Multimedia Learning Centre.

The Fabian Fay clubhouse opens in April, further supporting the growth of Bond University Rugby Club and Bond Sport at large. Show more

In the lead-up to Bond’s 30th birthday celebrations, major refurbishments are carried out to the Legal Skills Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine building, Bond Business School and the Multimedia Learning Centre.

The Fabian Fay clubhouse opens in April, further supporting the growth of Bond University Rugby Club and Bond Sport at large.

Bond Business School marks the graduation of Queensland’s first ever cohort of Actuarial Science students and launches the innovative Transformer program that aims to instil entrepreneurial, ‘big picture’ thinking in students from all Faculties.

The University debuts at No.20 in the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings of the Best Small Universities in the World. Show less

2019: Celebrating 30 years

Large group of staff and students forming the shape of 30 for the 30th anniversary celebrations.

From a tumultuous battle for survival in the early years to recognition on the world stage, Bond University has fought hard to earn its place as Australia’s leading private university.

Through critical challenges such as the Global Financial Crisis and the Australian Government’s uncapping of student places at public universities, the University has held fast to its founders’ vision to deliver the best possible student experience. Show more

From a tumultuous battle for survival in the early years to recognition on the world stage, Bond University has fought hard to earn its place as Australia’s leading private university.

Through critical challenges such as the Global Financial Crisis and the Australian Government’s uncapping of student places at public universities, the University has held fast to its founders’ vision to deliver the best possible student experience.

The Good Universities Guide rated Bond University No.1 in Australia for student experience, for the 14th year in a row.

In the Federal Government's Employer Satisfaction Survey, Bond ranked No.1 out of 42 universities Australia-wide; and Bond took out two of only 13 national honours at Australia's most prestigious teaching awards.

While the University takes pride in its track record of success and high ratings, the 30thAnniversary is also a time to look ahead at all the opportunities for innovation, imagination and exploration that the future holds. Show less