University of Adelaide

University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide
Coat of Arms of the University of Adelaide
Latin: Universitas Adelaidensis
Motto Sub Cruce Lumen
"The light (of learning) under the (Southern) Cross"
Established 1874
Type Public
Chancellor Rear Admiral the Hon Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN (Rtd)
Vice-Chancellor Professor Warren Bebbington
Administrative staff
Students 26,270 (2013)[1]
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 consistently ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide. It is also 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 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.[2]

The 20th Vice-Chancellor of the University is Professor Warren Bebbington, who was formerly the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Affairs) at the University of Melbourne. He commenced his position in July 2012.[3]


  • History 1
  • Campuses 2
    • North Terrace 2.1
    • National Wine Centre 2.2
    • Waite 2.3
    • Roseworthy 2.4
    • Thebarton 2.5
    • Singapore 2.6
  • Residential colleges 3
  • Academia 4
  • Research 5
  • Rankings 6
  • Student life 7
    • Associations 7.1
    • Media 7.2
    • Sports 7.3
  • Student enrolment 8
  • Smoke-free university initiative 9
  • Notable people 10
  • Marine programmes 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • Gallery 14
  • External links 15


Mitchell Building, University of Adelaide (with man and penny farthing bicycle) & the Mortlock Library, North Terrace, Adelaide (looking West), 1879–1886

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.[4]

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. John Davidson was the first Hughes professor of English literature and mental and moral philosophy.[5]

The University has a long history of championing the rights of women in higher education. It was the second University in the English-speaking world (after the University of London, 1878) to admit women on equal terms with men (1881), though women studied alongside men from the commencement of classes in 1876, and were equally eligible for all academic prizes and honours. Its first female graduate was Edith Emily Dornwell, who was also the first person in Australia to receive the degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc., 1885). The university also graduated Australia's 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.[6] 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.

University 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

Mitchell Building from front, 2008.

The main campus of the University is on 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.

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.

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 main building at the Waite Research Institute.

The Waite campus has a strong focus on 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.[7]

In 2004, Premier Mike Rann opened the multimillion-dollar Plant Genomics Centre at the Waite Campus.[8] Then in 2010 Premier Rann opened The Plant Accelerator, a $30 million research facility - the largest and most advanced of its kind in the world.[9]


Located north of the city, the Roseworthy campus comprises 16 km2 of TAFE.


Stirling Street entrance to the University of Adelaide's Thebarton Campus

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.[10]


The Singapore presence, located at the Ngee Ann – Adelaide Education Centre (NAAEC),[2] is the University of Adelaide's first overseas centre. It is a joint venture with the Ngee Ann Kongsi foundation.[11][12]

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.[13] 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, Kathleen Lumley College and Australian Lutheran 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.


Bonython Hall and Mitchell Building from North Tce (looking west).

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 Arts: 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 Physical Sciences; 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 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…".[14] 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.[15] The first in this series was given in 2005.


Former Vice-Chancellor Gavin Brown (left) with wife Diane Ranck and Associate Professor Brendon Coventry in 2009

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,[16] 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 QS World University Rankings for 2011[17] ranked the University of Adelaide 92nd in the world's top 300 universities and in 2012, it was 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 Adelaide University Union was responsible for organizing the annual Prosh (University of Adelaide) events.


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

  • On Dit, the student magazine,[18]
  • Adelaidean, the University's newspaper,[19]
  • Lumen, the alumni magazine.[20]

The University of Adelaide Press publishes staff scholarship and works of interest about the history and activities of the University.[21] The Press is also responsible for publishing the Adelaide Law Review.

The University of Adelaide founded Australia's first community radio station, Radio Adelaide, in 1972.[22]

Opportunities to participate in theatre productions are available through the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild and the Law School Revue.


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.

Smoke-free university initiative

On 2 July 2010, the University officially implemented its "Smoke-Free Policy".[23] This move was the culmination of an anti-smoking agenda headed by Professor Konrad Jamrozik[24] and subsequently, following Jamrozik's death, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Justin Beilby.[23] Security have the right to eject people smoking within the University buildings and also fine people smoking in the gardens or walkways. Also, It is the first higher education institution in South Australia to institute a smoke-free policy.[23] 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.[23]

Notable people

Robin Warren, who graduated from the University of Adelaide in the 1950s, discovered that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the cause of most peptic ulcers, leading to a breakthrough in understanding a causative link between Helicobacter pylori infection and stomach cancer.[25][26][27]

The size, prestige and history of the University of Adelaide has enabled it to graduate a large number of distinguished alumni. Sixteen chancellors, twenty vice-chancellors, one hundred and four Rhodes Scholars, five Nobel laureates, and one Prime MinisterJulia Gillard, the first female Prime Minister of Australia–have all graduated or attended the University of Adelaide.[28][29][30] Other notable attendees and graduates include Leo Blair, the father of British Prime Minister Tony Blair; law lecturer at the University of Adelaide while Tony was a child. Robin Warren, who alongside Barry Marshall, discovered that peptic ulcers were largely caused by the infection Helicobacter pylori, graduated from the university in the 1950s. Warren and Marshall won the Nobel Prize for their discovery in 2005. Brendon Coventry, who helped discover the immune cycle,[31] Edward Charles Stirling, a physiologist, politician and advocate for women's suffrage, Tim Flannery (Australian of the Year), Margaret Reid, the first female president of the Australian Senate, Janine Haines – the first female federal parliamentary leader of an Australian political party, Margaret White, the first female judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland and Roma Mitchell, the first female Queen's Counsel in Australia (1962), Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia and the first female superior court judge in the British Commonwealth (1965).

Marine programmes

University of Adelaide in collaboration with University of South Australia offers Masters programmes in Marine Engineering. The degree is from University of Adelaide and a certain number of courses are delivered by University of South Australia.[32]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b NAAEC, Ngee Ann – Adelaide Education Centre,
  3. ^ University of Adelaide appoints its 20th Vice-Chancellor, Media release 26 March 2012, University of Adelaide
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Ruby Davy, Australian Dictionary of Biography,
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Clare Peddie,"Green light on plant growth", Adelaide Advertiser 29 Jan 2010
  10. ^ TEC group – now referred to as the Centre for Energy Technology (CET).
  11. ^ Ngee Ann Kongsi foundation,
  12. ^
  13. ^ Gavin Walkley, St Mark's College: The Buildings and Grounds
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ University's e-press recasts publishing model, 11 November 2009, The Australian
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b c d
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Brendon J Coventry et al. CRP identifies homeostatic immune oscillations in cancer patients: a potential treatment targeting tool? Journal of Translational Medicine 7 (2009)
  32. ^


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 University Engagement Branch
  • University Engagement Branch of the University of Adelaide
  • Libraries of the University of Adelaide
  • Seek Light
  • 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