University timeline

1986

Alan Bond

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. 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 will serve as Chancellor and Professor Don Watts takes the reins as Bond’s inaugural Vice-Chancellor in July.

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 and, tragically, the foundation Dean of Business, Steve Johnson, drowns in a flash flood in Mudgeeraba Creek just days before the first students arrive. Show less

1989

Bond University open day event 1989

13 May 1989: 322 students arrive at Bond University to begin undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the Faculties 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 Faculties 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 off campus in Surfers Paradise with 23 students. Show less

1990 - 1993

The first cohort of nine MBA students graduate

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. 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.

A reduction in funding to the University results in a major restructure, with 75 out of 187 general staff losing their jobs; added to 53 previous job losses from the closure of the Science and Technology School.

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. Show less

1994 - 1998

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. 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 #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

University Lake view

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

2001 group photograph

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.

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

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.

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

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), 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, Dr Robert Stable as Vice Chancellor, forging a highly successful six-year partnership overseeing a new phase of hope, expansion and renewed vigour. Show less

2004 – 2006

2005 flood photograph

The launch of Bond’s new ‘blue sky’ branding and imagery sets the tone for a major period of growth for the University. Show more

The launch of Bond’s new ‘blue sky’ branding and imagery sets the tone for a major period of growth for the University.

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 practitioners, Dr Chris del Mar, is recruited from the UK to establish the new medical school. Prime Minister John Howard officiates at the opening of the $20 million Bond University 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 Business Faculty 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

2009 ICC Mooting winners

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, Computer Games, 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, Computer Games, 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, and the Bond University Institute for Sport (BUIS) Research Centre at Robina.

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.

And in 2010, long-time Bond supporter and art patron, Dr Patrick Corrigan, facilitates an auction of Indigenous art that raises $70,000 to support a small number of scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Show less

2012-2016

Bond Institute of Health and Sport

The next chapter of Bond’s story is highlighted by recognition on the international stage: 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 Zhongan 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 1000thCanadian law student enrolling at Bond in 2014.
  • 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, 67 Indigenous students from all over Australia are presented with scholarships to study at Bond University and Indigenous student enrolments more than double. 

Dr Corrigan’s art auction evolves into the Annual Indigenous Gala attracting more than 500 attendees and raising almost $2million to support Bond’s Indigenous education initiatives over the five-year period. Show less

2017 - 2018

Transformer Hub

In the lead-up to Bond’s 30thbirthday 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. Show more

In the lead-up to Bond’s 30thbirthday 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.

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 #20 in the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings of the Best Small Universities in the World and welcomes HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, to the campus as hosts of the inaugural [email protected] Australia regional final. Show less

2019: Celebrating 30 years

Limitless sculpture

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. 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.

In 2019 …

  • The Good Universities Guide rated Bond University #1 in Australia for student experience … for the 13thyear in a row;
  • In the Federal Government’s Employer Satisfaction Survey, Bond ranked #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