Adelaide University

Adelaide University

Template:Use Australian English

The University of Adelaide
Coat of Arms of the University of Adelaide
Latin: universitas adelaide
Motto Sub Cruce Lumen
"The light (of learning) under the (Southern) Cross"
Established 1874
Type Public
Chancellor The Hon. Robert Hill
Vice-Chancellor Professor Warren Bebbington
Admin. staff 3,159
Students 25,000
Location Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Urban: North Terrace
Suburban: Waite, Thebarton and the National Wine Centre

Rural: Roseworthy
Overseas Education Centre: Singapore
Colours White and Black         
Affiliations Member of the Group of Eight, ASAIHL, ACU

The University of Adelaide (colloquially Adelaide University or Adelaide Uni) is a public university in Adelaide, South Australia. Established in 1874, it is the third oldest university in Australia. It is associated with five Nobel laureates, 104 Rhodes scholars and is a member of the Group of Eight, as well as the sandstone universities.

Its main campus is on the cultural boulevard of North Terrace in the Adelaide city centre, adjacent to the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the State Library of South Australia. The university has five campuses throughout the state: North Terrace; Roseworthy College at Roseworthy; The Waite Institute at Urrbrae; Thebarton; and the National Wine Centre in the Adelaide Park Lands. It has a sixth campus, the Ngee Ann – Adelaide Education Centre (NAAEC), in Singapore.[1]

The 20th Vice-Chancellor of the University is Professor Warren Bebbington. Formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Affairs) at the University of Melbourne, he commenced in July 2012.[2]


The University of Adelaide was established on 6 November 1874 after a £20,000 donation by grazier and copper miner Walter Watson Hughes, along with support and donations from Thomas Elder.

The first Chancellor was Sir Richard Hanson and the first vice-chancellor was Dr Augustus Short. The first degree offered was the Bachelor of Arts and the university started teaching in March 1876.

The University has a long history of championing the rights of women in higher education. In 1881, it was the first Australian university to admit women to science courses and its first female graduate was Edith Emily Dornwell (BSc., 1885). The university also graduated the first female surgeon, Laura Fowler (MB, 1891). Ruby Davy (B. Mus., 1907; D. Mus., 1918) was the first Australian woman to receive a doctorate in music.[3] The University was also the first to elect a woman to a University Council in Australia, Helen Mayo (MBBS, 1902).

The great hall of the University, Bonython Hall, was built in 1936 following a donation from the owner of The Advertiser newspaper, Sir John Langdon Bonython, who left £40,000 for a Great Hall for the University.

The University of Adelaide graduates include prominent individuals who have made significant contributions to their fields nationally and internationally, and include Howard Florey, Lawrence Bragg, Mark Oliphant and Hugh Cairns.


North Terrace

The main campus of the University forms the centre of Adelaide's main cultural precinct, North Terrace. It is bordered by the Art Gallery of South Australia, the State Library of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the "City East" campus of the University of South Australia, with the Adelaide University Medical and Dental Schools located across Frome Road, behind the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

The vast majority of students and staff of the University are based at the North Terrace campus, where the majority of courses are taught and schools are based. The central administration of the University and the main library, the Barr Smith Library, are both located on this campus. While many other universities have law and business schools or satellite campuses within the central business district, the University of Adelaide is unique among Australian sandstone universities for having its main presence adjacent to the main business and shopping precinct.

Bonython Hall, (the great hall of the University), the Mitchell Building, the Elder Hall, the Napier building and the Ligertwood building, form the North Terrace street frontage of the campus. Bonython Hall is one of the many historic and heritage listed buildings located at the North Terrace campus. Others include Elder Hall, the Mitchell Building and the reading room of the Barr Smith Library.

The North Terrace campus also regularly hosts live music and cultural events, particularly on the Barr Smith Lawns and in the UniBar.

National Wine Centre

Located in the Adelaide Park Lands at the eastern end of North Terrace, the Wine Centre offers some of the university's oenology courses.


The Waite campus has a strong focus on agricultural science, plant breeding and biotechnology. A number of other organisations are colocated in the Waite Research Precinct, including the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG). The School of Agriculture, Food and Wine is based on the Waite campus and the campus contains components of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. It is adjacent to the Urrbrae Agricultural High School.

It is situated in Adelaide's south-eastern foothills, in the suburb of Urrbrae on 174 hectares (430 acres). A large amount of the land was donated in 1924 by the pastoralist Peter Waite. A large amount of money was donated by Rosina and John, the widow and son of William Tennant Mortlock. These donations were initially used to establish the Waite Agricultural Research Institute which later became the Waite campus.

A Soil Research Centre was founded in 1929 with a donation of £10,000 from Harold Darling of J. Darling and Son, grain merchants.[4]


Main article: Roseworthy College

Located north of the city, the Roseworthy campus comprises 16 km2 of farmland and is a large centre for agricultural research. Other organisations linked to the campus include SARDI and the Murray TAFE.


The Thebarton campus, which is also known as Adelaide University Research Park, is the base of the University's Office of Industry Liaison. The campus works in conjunction with the University's commercial partners. Commercial enterprises at Thebarton campus include businesses involved in materials engineering, biotechnology, environmental services, information technology, industrial design, laser/optics technology, health products, engineering services, radar systems, telecommunications and petroleum services. The campus also provides much of the infrastructure for the Graduate Entrepreneurial Program which allows recent graduates to start businesses with support from the University. The flames for the recent Sydney and Athens Olympic Games were developed at the Thebarton campus by the TEC group.[5]


The Singapore presence, located at the Ngee Ann – Adelaide Education Centre (NAAEC),[1] is the University of Adelaide's first overseas centre. It is a joint venture with the Ngee Ann Kongsi foundation.[6]

The vision of the partners is to provide a high quality educational facility in Singapore combining under-graduate and post-graduate academic programs with applied executive and professional development courses taught by experienced consultants and professionals. Courses are taught at the completely renovated Teochew Building on Tank Road in the city centre. Dedicated facilities for students include multi-media equipped lecture rooms, a student computer network with Internet access, computer equipped syndicate rooms, a computer laboratory, a student lounge and private study rooms.

The Ngee Ann – Adelaide Education Centre also serves as a platform for potential research collaboration in strategically important areas for both Australia and Singapore. Public lectures in the form of "3rd Tuesday: Where Great Minds Come Together", are presented by University of Adelaide professors on a regular basis. "3rd Tuesday" provides excellent opportunities for Alumni to network with subject experts and industry leaders, and to catch up with old friends.

Residential colleges

The University of Adelaide, unlike most universities, did not set any land aside on its North Terrace campus for student accommodation, due mainly to an ideological opposition to the culture of live-in students, but also influenced by the small size of the original campus.[7] However, demand for residential college accommodation led to the establishment of private colleges affiliated to the University. St. Mark's College was founded by the Anglican Church (then called the Church of England) in 1925, Aquinas College in 1950 by the Catholic Church, Lincoln College in 1952 by the Methodist Church, and later St Ann's College, and Kathleen Lumley College. All are located within close walking distance of the University, across the River Torrens in North Adelaide. In addition to providing accommodation and meals for local, interstate and international students, each college organises academic support, social activities and sporting opportunities for its members.


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

  • Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences: Australian School of Petroleum (ASP); School of Chemical Engineering; School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering; School of Computer Science; 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; School of Nursing; 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.
  • Faculty of the Professions: School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urban Design; Business School; School of Economics; Education Centre for Innovation & Commercialisation; 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.

The Roseworthy Campus has faculty status with a single School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. In addition to overseeing the School’s academic and research activities, the Executive Dean is responsible for liaison with public and private research partners and the wider community.

The University has a long history of indigenous education, and established its first formal courses in the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM) in 1972. The recruitment, administration and support of indigenous students, as well as overseeing the Indigenous Employment Strategy and delivering Foundation Studies Programs, is conducted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education: Wilto Yerlo in the Division of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic).

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.

The University hosts a number of prestigious lecture series, including the Joseph Fisher Lecture in Commerce, established in 1903 following a donation by politician and newspaper proprietor Joseph Fisher of £1000 to the University “for the purpose of promoting the study of commerce”. The Gavin David Young Lectures in Philosophy began in 1956, owing their existence to a bequest made by Jessie Frances Raven, in memory of her father, for "the promotion, advancement, teaching and diffusion of the study of philosophy…".[8] The University also presents the James Crawford Biennial Lecture Series on International Law, named for James Richard Crawford SC, a graduate of the University who went on to be Dean of Law at the University of Sydney and subsequently Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge, where he is a Professorial Fellow of Jesus College and former Director of the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law. Professor Crawford delivered the first lecture in 2004. The University is one of a number of institutions to have established an Edward Said Memorial Lecture.[9] The first in this series was given in 2005.


The University of Adelaide is one of the most research-intensive universities in Australia. Its researchers are active in both basic and commercially-oriented research across a broad range of fields including agriculture, health sciences and engineering.

Research strengths include Agriculture, Environment, Mineral & Energy Resources, Social Innovation, Health & Biomedical Science and Sensing & Computation.

The University is a member of Academic Consortium 21,[10] an association of twenty research intensive universities, mainly in the Asian region though with members from the USA and Europe. The University holds the Presidency of AC 21 for the period 2011–2013 as host the biennial AC21 International Forum in June 2012.


The ranked 102nd.

Student life


As of 1 July 2006, membership of the Adelaide University Union (AUU) has been voluntary for all students, following the passing of voluntary student unionism (VSU) legislation by the Federal Government. The AUU funds five affiliates which carry out their functions autonomously. They are the Adelaide University Postgraduate Students’ Association (AUPGSA), the Clubs Association (CA), the Roseworthy Agricultural Campus Student Union Council (RACSUC), the Student Representative Council (preceded by the now defunct Students' Association of the University of Adelaide) and the Waite Institute Students' Association (WISA).


The University of Adelaide has three print news publications; these are:

  • On Dit, the student magazine,[12]
  • Adelaidean, the University's newspaper,[13]
  • Lumen, the alumni magazine.[14]

The University of Adelaide Press publishes staff scholarship and works of interest about the history and activities of the University.[15]

The University of Adelaide founded Australia's first community radio station, Radio Adelaide, in 1972.[16]


Most University sport is organised by the Adelaide University Sports Association (AUSA). The Sports Association was founded in 1896 by the Adelaide University Boat, Tennis and Lacrosse Clubs. The Association disaffiliated from the Adelaide University Union (AUU) on 1 January 2010 and is currently directly affiliated to the University of Adelaide. The AUSA supports 37 sporting clubs which provide a diverse range of sporting opportunities to students of the University of Adelaide (AU). The AUSA is a major stakeholder in the AU North Terrace Campus based Sports Hub fitness centre and the North Adelaide based university playing fields.

Student enrolment

The University currently enrolls in excess of 25,000 students, including 5,758 international students (2009) from more than 99 countries. Adelaide University has approximately 130,000 Alumni worldwide, along with 400 student exchange agreements.

Singapore Adelaide Alumni Fund

At the University of Adelaide and Ngee Ann Kongsi's 10th Anniversary dinner on 18 April 2008 in Singapore, University of Adelaide Colombo Plan graduate Dr Tony Tan, then Chairman of Singapore's National Research Foundation, and now President of Singapore, launched the Singapore Adelaide Alumni Fund, which will provide financial assistance to undergraduate students who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents, and are studying full-time at the University of Adelaide. The Ngee Ann Kongsi has generously agreed to match every dollar contributed up to SGD$250,000.[17]

Smoke-free university initiative

On 2 July 2010, the University officially implemented its "Smoke-Free Policy".[18] This move was the culmination of an anti-smoking agenda headed by Professor Konrad Jamrozik[19] and subsequently, following Jamrozik's death, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Justin Beilby.[18] It is the first higher education institution in South Australia to institute a smoke-free policy.[18] The North Terrace campus has been smoke-free since July 2010, it was planned that the Waite and Roseworthy campuses would be smoke-free by 2011, and the University's residential facilities have also been made smoke-free.[18]

Notable people


See also

External links

  • The University of Adelaide website
  • The University of Adelaide – Singapore
  • Adelaide Research & Innovation Pty Ltd
  • Confucius Institute
  • The University of Adelaide Press website
  • Adelaide University Sports Association
  • Web address for alumni and ex-students of the University of Adelaide so they can update their contact details with the Adelaide University's Development and Alumni office
  • Development and Alumni office of the University of Adelaide
  • Libraries of the University of Adelaide
  • Life Impact
  • Adelaide University Union
  • On Dit: The Adelaide University Student magazine
  • Creative Writing Programs at Adelaide University
  • Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing
  • Environment Institute
  • The Robinson Institute


Coordinates: 34°55′09″S 138°36′15″E / 34.919159°S 138.604140°E / -34.919159; 138.604140 (University of Adelaide)