The New College Communities

The New College Communities are home to 562 undergraduates and postgraduates studying and researching at the University of New South Wales. The New College Communities have been affiliated with UNSW since 1969.

Our nearly 7000 alumni have contributed enormously to the University’s global academic standing and to leadership across all sectors of society within Australia and internationally.

The New College Communities presently comprise:

  •   New College, the residential community for 247 undergraduate students at UNSW.
  •   New College Postgraduate Village (NCV), the residential community for 315 postgraduate and upper-year undergraduate students at UNSW.

Our two communities are formally affiliated with the University of New South Wales but are operated independently by a not-for-profit company, associated with the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

Our Colleges are founded on Christian faith and values. The communities celebrate, and are enriched by the cultural diversity of our staff and students – not imposing any religious test on students but welcoming people of all faiths and philosophies. The New College Communities are members of University Colleges Australia (UCA) and Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC).

New College was founded by the New University Colleges Council (NUCC) and opened its doors to UNSW students in 1969. New College Postgraduate Village (NCV) opened in 2009 and was a development undertaken by New College during the tenure of the College’s fifth Master, Prof Trevor Cairney OAM.

The New College Communities, in some ways, pay homage to the traditional collegiate model developed at Oxford and Cambridge Universities – living and learning combined within quadrangle buildings. The New College founders saw that the Oxbridge residential colleges were holistic institutions, taking responsibility for both the social and academic dimensions of undergraduate life. Over more than five decades, New College and NCV have worked to refine this model to operate fun and safe residential communities at one of Australia’s foremost universities. The pastoral care and academic support that underpins student life within our communities promotes wellbeing and leadership development so that every collegian can flourish in a diverse and cross-disciplinary environment.

In 2019, New College celebrated its 50th Anniversary and New College Postgraduate Village (NCV) celebrated its 10th Anniversary. In that year, the history of the New College Communities was published in a book titled, Something Borrowed, Something Blue: 50 Years of New College, UNSW.

Purchase the New College Communities history book.

The New College Lectures are our flagship lecture series. In 1986, the College set up a Trust to conduct an annual series of public lectures so that eminent public figures, academics and theologians could address an important issue or aspect of contemporary society and comment on it from the standpoint of their Christian faith and professional expertise. The lectures are usually run in September and are often broadcast by ABC Radio.

Find out more about the New College Lectures.

CASE is a specialist centre that aims to provide Christian commentary on social, intellectual and academic issues, and engage people of all persuasions in debate and discussion concerning contemporary issues of broad interest. It does this through the CASE website, the Case Quarterly publication, and through seminars and conferences.

Visit the CASE website.

Master's Welcome

Adjunct Prof Bill Peirson
Adjunct Prof Bill Peirson, Master & CEO

Welcome to the New College Communities at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia – undergraduate and postgraduate residential colleges providing accommodation at UNSW.

The New College Communities have always sought to be much more than places to live. New College and New College Postgraduate Village (NCV) are home to 562 outstanding men and women who enrich one another’s lives. You can study, eat and sleep in any apartment building or hall of residence, but our New College Communities are much more than that.

The founders of New College recognised that university education should offer more than just a degree or qualification. Our residents do very well academically, but they also look for ways to make a difference to the world through service to others. This begins in the way we support one another and contribute to community life, and it extends to impacting campus life and the wider world.

Our aim is to build a community whose members have positive influences on each other’s lives. The New College Communities provide a network of relationships enabling connectedness and a sense of belonging. The academic support and pastoral care systems reflect the fact that welfare and growth of students are at the core of College life.

Great universities of the world do more than simply deliver degrees; they inspire and transform their students into lifelong learners and contributors wherever they might be.

They also produce research and scholarship that has an influence for good in the world: solving problems, creating new forms of technology, enriching the arts, informing social and economic policy and so on. The New College Communities exist to serve the University of New South Wales, particularly its students, and we are grateful for these opportunities. We see it as a privilege to offer opportunities for students from all over the world to experience the unique life that our New College Communities offer. Why don’t you consider joining us?

Adjunct Prof Bill Peirson
Master & CEO

Vice-Chancellor's Welcome

At UNSW Australia, we are focused on providing our students with an outstanding education to permit them to pursue outstanding opportunities. 

UNSW Vice Chancellor  Professor Ian Jacobs

To that end, in 2015 I was proud to launch our UNSW 2025 Strategy focused on three priorities - Academic Excellence, Social Engagement and Global Impact. We aim to achieve great things over the next decade and the success of our future students is key to achieving our goals. We prepare top-notch students to go out into the world equipped with the skills and experiences that they need to contribute to their communities.

Over the past seven years, we have invested more than $1.2 billion in new facilities for students and researchers across our three campuses, demonstrating our commitment to providing our students with cutting-edge facilities and access to lecturers who are world leaders in their fields. But a great university does more than provide its students with the finest teachers and state-of-the-art facilities – it also provides a contemporary and engaging campus life for its students.

UNSW campuses abound with meetings places, food outlets, social activities and clubs, sport and a wide range of accommodation to meet the diverse needs of our student body.

New College is an integral part of the rich and varied community life at UNSW. Home to 562 UNSW students, New College supports these individuals academically and personally, and in turn, its residents actively engage in and contribute to campus life.

By providing a collegial environment for its residents, New College assists the University to attract students with the highest potential from around the world. New College’s distinguished alumni include 4 Rhodes Scholars, over 90 University Medallists and leaders in business, government, the law, academia, the arts and varied professions.

I would like to extend to you a very warm welcome to UNSW Sydney and to New College. I hope your experiences here will be memorable and always enjoyable.

UNSW Affiliation 

The New College Communities are affiliated colleges of The University of New South Wales (UNSW). This means that New College and New College Postgraduate Village (NCV) are independent from – not owned or managed by UNSW – but closely partnered with the University.

‘Affiliation’ is a concept rooted in the establishment of Australia’s very first university, The University of Sydney. Historically, in England, universities and their colleges were essentially one and the same. Oxford and Cambridge, the only officially recognised universities in England until 1832, each constituted a federation of colleges. To be a member of a university was to be a member of a college. Colleges were highly exclusive, due in large part to their religious tests for entry. However, this was challenged in the late 18th and 19th centuries, with the continuing humanist legacy of the Enlightenment and the start of the Industrial Revolution.

It was in this climate that The University of Sydney was founded in 1852. It adopted a different model to the old English universities. The central University would teach the students, and any religious input would happen in independent denominational colleges. The ensuing University of Sydney’s 1854 Affiliated Colleges Act cemented the term and concept in Australian universities.

By the 1960s, the period in which New College was established, affiliation had become the dominant relational model for denominational colleges at universities. New College’s founding body, the New University Colleges Council (NUCC) therefore drew up terms of affiliation and negotiated their acceptance with UNSW. Both parties agreed that New College should have responsibility for its own students. The only real stipulation made by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Philip Baxter, was that the College uphold the University’s principle of open entry, free of any religious test or condition. Specifically, he wanted the College to adhere to Section 44 of the Technical Education and New South Wales University of Technology Act (1949).

Section 44 provided that:

No religious test shall be administered to any person in order to entitle him to be admitted as a student of the University, or to hold office therein, or to graduate thereat, or to enjoy any benefit, advantage or privilege thereof.

According to the wishes of the University and NUCC, the New College lease indeed contains an item stating “that no religious test shall be administered to any person in order to entitle him to be admitted as a student of the said college or to enjoy any benefit, advantage or privilege thereof”. The University Council passed a resolution declaring New College to be an affiliated college on 10 May 1965. When NCV opened in 2009, it followed the same pattern, becoming an affiliated college of UNSW, founded on Christian faith and values but open to people of all faiths and none.

New College and NCV are valued members of UNSW, having contributed thousands of students over the last fifty years to the University’s success. We have been home to 106 University medallists, 4 Rhodes Scholars, over 80 PhD recipients in the last ten years alone, and countless students who have become leaders in a broad range of professions and industries. As the University recognised all those years ago, affiliated colleges enrich the lives of students and enrich the University as a whole.

At the New College Communities’ 50th and 10th anniversary celebrations in 2019, Chancellor of UNSW, Mr David Gonski AC, commented,

There will be no stopping for this University and a lot of it comes from the strength of this College.

Governance & Policies

The New College Board consists of 10 Directors with 8 appointed by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, 1 appointed by the University of New South Wales, and 1 appointed by Members of the Company. Appointments are typically for 4 years, with a maximum of 3 four-year terms.

The authority of the Board is derived primarily through the powers and responsibilities given to it by the Constitution of the Company of New College, the Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012, and is accountable to its principal stakeholder being the Company of New College and through it the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Other stakeholders include the staff, the residents who make up the community of New College, and alumni.

The object of the Board is the management, governance and control of New College to achieve the objects of the Company (set out in the Constitution).

Key responsibilities include appointment of the Master and senior staff, determining the College’s mission statement, approving annual budgets both for operations and capital works, overseeing financial performance, and determining the College’s policy framework in which the Master manages the College.

In general terms, for the good governance and management of the College, the distinctive role of the Board is to make policy and verify its implementation.

Click here to view the College's response to Recommendation 9 of the Australian Human Rights Commission's Change the Course report.


Mission & Vision


We cultivate outstanding university campus communities of academic excellence and pastoral care, shaped by Christian faith and values, where every student can flourish.


To be known as the premier family of university residential colleges in Australia — communities that, through our Christian foundations, inspire intellectual, moral and spiritual development to prepare men and women for service and leadership.

Motto, Crests & Colours


The New College motto is taken from the Latin version of Psalm 111:10

Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini

In English, this is translated as:

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

There is a painting in the Dining Room of New College that symbolises the motto in traditional Aboriginal art form.

Crests & Colours

The description of the original New College Crest is:

Argent two chevrons sable, on a chief azure, an open book proper between two mullets of eight points argent !

The book symbolises the College's relationship with the University of New South Wales ('Scientia' was added in 1987); the two stars link the College to the Anglican Diocese of Sydney; and the chevrons are for the College's namesake: New College, Oxford.

The official colours of New College are blue, black and grey (sometimes represented as silver). From 1969, New College sporting teams had played in red and black. However, in early 1974, the NCSA resolved to change the sporting colours to blue, black, and grey to make them consistent with the College’s academic colours. In practice the NCSA continued to produce merchandise, such as jumpers, in the College ‘red’ up until the late 1980s but over time the blue, black and grey gained prominence until the red disappeared.

Green was chosen as the colour for NCV’s logo and branding during its development. In 2018, the College Board formally approved the colour green for branding of New College Postgraduate Village and a crest was created accordingly.

Original New College Crest

The original New College crest was designed at the request of Rev Noel Pollard by Dr F. M. Mathews in 1968

New College Crest
A present day representation of the New College crest
New College Postgraduate Village Crest
A present day representation of the New College Postgraduate Village crest


Community Handbooks