The Australian National University

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The Australian National University (ANU) is a national research university located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Its main campus in Acton encompasses seven teaching and research colleges, in addition to several national academies and institutes.

Founded in 1946, it is the only university to have been created by the Parliament of Australia. Originally a postgraduate research university, ANU commenced undergraduate teaching in 1960 when it integrated the Canberra University College, which had been established in 1929 as a campus of the University of Melbourne. ANU enrolls 10,052 undergraduate and 10,840 postgraduate students and employs 3,753 staff. The university’s endowment stood at A$1.13 billion in 2012.

ANU is consistently ranked among the world’s top universities. ANU is ranked co-equal 19th in the world (first in Australia) with King’s College London by the 2015/16 QS World University Rankings, and 52nd in the world (second in Australia) by the 2015/16 Times Higher Education. ANU was named the world’s 25th (first in Australia) most international university in a 2016 study by Times Higher Education. In the 2015 Times Higher Education Global Employability University Ranking, an annual ranking of university graduates’ employability, ANU was ranked 32nd in the world (first in Australia). ANU is ranked 89th (first in Australia) in the 2015 CWTS Leiden ranking. ANU is ranked first in the 4 Palmes category in the Eduniversal ranking.

ANU counts six Nobel laureates among its faculty and alumni. The university has educated two prime ministers, 30 current Australian Ambassadors and more than a dozen current heads of Government departments of Australia. Students entering ANU in 2013 had a median Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of 93, the equal-highest among Australian universities.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences
  • ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
  • ANU College of Business & Economics
  • ANU College of Engineering & Computer Science
  • ANU College of Law
  • ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment
  • ANU College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences


The Canberra School of Music and the Canberra School of Art were amalgamated by ANU in 1992.

ANU established its Medical School in 2002, after obtaining federal government approval in 2000.

On 18 January 2003, the Canberra bushfires largely destroyed the Mount Stromlo Observatory. ANU astronomers now conduct research from the Siding Spring Observatory, which contains 10 telescopes including the Anglo-Australian Telescope.

In February 2013, financial entrepreneur and ANU graduate Graham Tuckwell made the largest university donation in Australian history by giving $50 million to fund an undergraduate scholarship program at ANU.

ANU is well known for its history of student activism and, in recent years, its fossil fuel divestment campaign, which is one of the longest-running and most successful in the country. The decision of the ANU Council to divest from two fossil fuel companies in 2014 was criticised by ministers in the Abbott government, but defended by Vice Chancellor Ian Young, who noted:

On divestment, it is clear we were in the right and played a truly national and international leadership role. […] [W]e seem to have played a major role in a movement which now seems unstoppable.

As of 2014 ANU still had investments in major fossil fuel companies.

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