University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide (colloquially Adelaide University or Adelaide Uni) is a public university located in Adelaide. Established in 1874, the university is the third oldest in Australia. It has produced five Nobel laureates, 101 Rhodes scholars and is a member of the prestigious Group of Eight, as well as the Sandstone universities.

Its main campus is located on the cultural boulevard of North Terrace in the city-centre alongside prominent institutions such as the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the State Library of South Australia. The university also has four other campuses throughout the city: Roseworthy College at Roseworthy; The Waite Institute at Glen Osmond; Adelaide University Research Park at Thebarton; and the National Wine Centre in the Adelaide Park Lands.


The University is divided into five faculties, with various subsidiary schools:

Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences: Australian School of Petroleum (ASP); School of Chemical Engineering; School of Civil & Environmental Engineering; School of Computer Science; Education Centre for Innovation & Commercialisation; School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering; School of Mathematical Sciences; School of Mechanical Engineering.

Faculty of Health Sciences: University of Adelaide School of Dentistry ; School of Medical Sciences; Medical School; School of Paediatrics & Reproductive Health; School of Population Health & Clinical Practice; School of Psychology.

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences: Elder Conservatorium of Music; School of History & Politics; School of Humanities; School of Social Sciences; Wilto Yerlo Centre for Australian Indigenous Research & Studies.

Faculty of the Professions: Graduate School of Business; School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urban Design; School of Commerce; School of Economics; School of Education; Law School.

Faculty of Sciences: School of Agriculture, Food & Wine; School of Chemistry & Physics; School of Earth & Environmental Sciences; School of Molecular & Biomedical Science.

Through forward thinking strategies, the University of Adelaide has capitalised on a number of opportunities to commercialise its research. It engages in extensive contract research and collaborative work in conjunction with local and international companies, as well as Federal, State and Local Governments. This activity is managed by the University's commercial development company, Adelaide Research & Innovation Pty Ltd (ARI).

Some examples of recent influences to the University's teaching and research priorities are the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) in Adelaide's northern suburbs to which the University provides many physics, engineering and IT graduates, the growth in South Australia's wine industry which is supported by the Waite and National Wine Centre campuses producing oenology and agriculture/viticulture graduates.

In addition, the university participates in the Auto-ID Labs.

Brief Explanation

Since its establishment in 1874 the University of Adelaide has been amongst Australia's leading universities. Its contribution to the wealth and wellbeing of South Australia and Australia as a whole - across all fields of endeavour - has been enormous.

Studying at the University of Adelaide means being part of a rich tradition of excellence in education and research, with world-class academic staff and a vibrant student life.

Adelaide has a fine tradition of exemplary scholarship and ground-breaking research, and its unique relationship with industry and other organisations ensures that our research expertise is translated into tangible benefits for the global community.

Adelaide's research is at the leading edge of knowledge, with research earnings consistently the highest per capita of any university in Australia. Analysis of the impact of publications and citations shows that the University of Adelaide is ranked in the top 1% in the world in 11 research fields.

An innovative and forward-looking University, Adelaide has major strengths in wine and food, health sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, information technology and telecommunications, environmental sciences and social sciences.

At the heart of the University's vision, achievement and impact is our commitment to excellence, our sense that a focus on the experience of the student is fundamental, and our belief that research intensity and innovative, high quality teaching have a symbiotic relationship that underpins and characterises the finest universities in the world.

We are committed to producing graduates recognised worldwide for their creativity, knowledge and skills, as well as their culture and tolerance. Our graduates make an impact on the world.

The beginnings

In 1872, the Baptist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches in the province of South Australia founded a Union College "to provide young men with an education beyond school level". Courses were offered in Classics, Philosophy, English Literature, Mathematics and Natural Science.

That same year, a wealthy grazier and copper miner, Walter Watson Hughes, proposed a donation of 20,000 pounds to the new college — an immense sum in those days, and more than enough to found a university.

So the University of Adelaide came into being, with a Bill "for an act to incorporate and endow the University of Adelaide" receiving the Governor's assent on 6 November 1874. The University began teaching in March 1876, with the Bachelor of Arts the first degree offered. The University was formally inaugurated on 25 April 1876, and fully constituted on 2 May 1877, when the admission of 73 graduates of other universities to degrees ad eundem gradum of the University of Adelaide enabled the Senate to be established.

A progressive institution

Adelaide is the third-oldest university in Australia and older than all but a handful of universities in England.

From the start, it was a progressive institution. It was the first Australian university to admit women to academic courses — in 1881, ahead of Oxford (1920) and Cambridge (1948). It was the first Australian university to grant degrees in Science — its first science graduate was also its first woman graduate, Edith Emily Dornwell. It was the first Australian university to establish a Conservatorium of Music, a Chair of Music, and a Doctor of Music, and the first to grant that degree to a woman (Ruby Davy in 1918). Adelaide graduated Australia's first woman surgeon (Laura Margaret Fowler), the first woman elected to a university Council in Australia (Helen Mayo), and the first Australian woman to be a Queen's Counsel, South Australian Supreme Court Judge, Deputy Chancellor and then Chancellor of an Australian university, and Governor of an Australian State — the redoubtable Dame Roma Mitchell.

A reputation for excellence
The University of Adelaide was quick to establish a reputation for excellence in education and research. Teachers and graduates soon made an impact that was felt not only in South Australia but also in national and international arenas.

An early Professor of Mathematics and Physics was Sir William Bragg, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1915 for his work on X-ray crystallography. He shared the honour with his son, Sir Lawrence, a graduate of the University.

Another graduate honoured with a Nobel Prize (1945) was Lord Howard Florey, who pioneered the application and manufacture of penicillin.

The early Antarctic explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson, had a 50-year association with the University, including 31 years as Professor of Geology and Mineralogy.

In more recent times, mechanical engineering graduate Dr Andy Thomas was Payload Commander aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on its 10-day mission in 1996. He was also chosen by NASA for the Shuttle-Mir research project, and is now Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office.

Today, the University's Creative Writing students have the opportunity to benefit from the advice of Nobel Laureate for Literature 2003, JM Coetzee, who in 2002 accepted appointment as an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow within the University.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2005 was awarded to Dr J. Robin Warren, who graduated MB BS from the University of Adelaide in 1961. He shares the prize with Barry Marshall "for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease," and becomes the fifth person directly associated with the University of Adelaide to win a Nobel Prize.

An international institution

The University of Adelaide has built a rich tradition of excellence to become a leader in Australian higher education and research. Since its foundation, it has produced 100 Rhodes Scholars, and the University is now known internationally for the quality of its programs and its high-calibre graduates, whose skills go beyond the workplace to make an impact on the world.

The University of Adelaide extends across four campuses and accommodates more than 19,000 students, including approximately 4,500 international students from 90 countries. The 1200 high-quality teaching and research staff come from all parts of the globe.

The academic enterprise, by its nature, is not limited by national boundaries, and the University works to ensure that the many informal linkages that exist between its academic staff and their colleagues worldwide are complemented by a series of formal relationships with other universities, as well as non-university institutions, government bodies, NGOs and industry groups, to benefit both its research programs, and the learning and teaching experience of its students.

At the time of writing, the University of Adelaide had in place formal linkages with 138 universities in 25 countries.

Good governance

The University of Adelaide is governed by its Council, which is established by the University of Adelaide Act. The Council's responsibilities are to oversee the management and development of the University, devise or approve strategic plans and major policies, and monitor and review the operation of the University.

Council has 21 members, is chaired by the Chancellor, and is advised by seven standing committees. Other Management Committees advise the Vice-Chancellor and President and senior managers.

The University's Chief Executive Officer is the Vice-Chancellor and President. He is supported by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic) , Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Research) and Vice-President (Services & Resources).

The University's academic activities are grouped into five Faculties: Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences; Health Sciences; Humanities & Social Sciences; Professions; and Sciences. Each Faculty is headed by an Executive Dean.

University of Adelaide ranked 62nd in the 2007 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Adelaide ranked 106th in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Adelaide ranked 81st in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Adelaide ranked 103rd in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

University of Adelaide ranked 92nd in the 2011 QS World University Ranking
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits is sweet ~ Aristotle

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela

Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself ~ John Dewey
William Butler Yeats: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.