The University of Adelaide is a public university located in Adelaide, the coastal capital of South Australia. It was founded in 1874 by the philanthropist and copper miner, Walter Watson Hughes.
The third oldest university in the country, Adelaide's first official lecture was given in Latin in 1876, and the first degree offered was the Bachelor of Arts.
The university’s first vice-chancellor was Dr Augustus Short, an Oxford University graduate who had taught at Christ Church College. Short strived to make the University of Adelaide as progressive as possible, introducing sciences, modern literature, art and philosophy to the curriculum, distinguishing it from the standard Classics curriculum found in Oxford at the time. His goal was achieved in 1882, when the university became the first in Australia to grant science degrees.
Today, the university focuses on ‘discovering new knowledge’, ‘pursuing innovation’ and ‘preparing the educated leaders of tomorrow who are independent, creative thinkers with an international perspective.’
It is a member of the Group of Eight association of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, with degrees offered across five faculties: Arts, Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Health Sciences, as well as the Professions and Faculty of Sciences.
Adelaide has over 21,000 registered students (around 5,500 of whom are international) and more than 3,5000 members of staff. The university has four campuses located throughout South Australia and degree programmes are also offered in Singapore through its partnership with the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre. Other study abroad opportunities are available to students in Hong Kong, France, the Netherlands, and more.
The university claims associations with five Nobel laureates and 104 Rhodes scholars, as well as many other notable alumni, including Julia Gillard, the first female Prime Minister of Australia, and Robin Warren, who co-discovered the link between the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and peptic ulcers.
Adelaide’s mascot is Eco the Lizard. The university’s mascot translates as ‘The light (of learning) under the (Southern) Cross.’