143 years ago the University of Adelaide was founded with a noble goal: to prepare, for South Australia, young leaders shaped by education rather than birth or wealth in a settlement free of old world social and religious inequalities.
The University's first Vice-Chancellor, Dr Augustus Short, had a vision for a university open to investigate new fields such as the sciences, modern literature, art and moral philosophy; This vision was realised in 1882 when the University became the first in Australia to grant degrees in science.
The spirit of enquiry was further embraced and the freedom to explore non classical subjects continued. Before reaching the 1900s the University offered degrees in arts, science, law, medicine and music. Additionally mathematics, philosophy, languages and mining engineering were taught. These flagship degrees and disciplines continue at the University today, with the curriculum evolving over time through input from industry, and the pioneering research and discovery for which Adelaide’s academics are known.
By every measure, the University of Adelaide—a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight research-intensive universities—stands tall among the world’s leading institutions of learning and innovation.
The clearest indication of this is our consistently high rating by the most respected international assessment bodies: QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education and Shanghai Jiao Tong’s Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU). All consider us one of the top 1% of universities worldwide, and the top university in our state.
We’re equally proud of the fact that the vast majority of our research is rated ‘above or well above world standard’ by the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research Australia program.
We count among our distinguished alumni: five Nobel Laureates; over 100 Rhodes Scholars, including Australia’s first Indigenous recipient; and Australia’s first female prime minister and Supreme Court judge. Many of our staff and teachers are internationally recognised leaders in their fields. And we attract a diverse student body of over 27,000 from more than 90 countries.