The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne Australia

The University of Melbourne Details

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The University of Melbourne (informally Melbourne University, Melbourne Uni or simply Melbourne) is an Australian publicresearch university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is Australia’s second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Times Higher Education ranks Melbourne as 33rd in the world, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities places Melbourne 44th in the world (both first in Australia). According to QS World University Subject Rankings 2015, the University of Melbourne is ranked 5th in the world for education, 8th in law, 13th in computer science and IT, 13th in arts and humanities, 14th in accounting and finance, 14th in dentistry and 18th in medicine.

Melbourne’s main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of the Melbourne central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria. Melbourne is a sandstone university and a member of the Group of Eight, Universitas 21 and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Since 1872 various residential colleges have become affiliated with the university. There are 12 colleges located on the main campus and in nearby suburbs offering academic, sporting and cultural programs alongside accommodation for Melbourne students and faculty.

Melbourne comprises 11 separate academic units and is associated with numerous institutes and research centres, including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and the Grattan Institute. Amongst Melbourne’s 15 graduate schools the Melbourne Business School, the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Medical School are particularly well regarded.

Four Australian prime ministers and five governors-general have graduated from Melbourne. Nine Nobel laureates have been students or faculty, the most of any Australian university.

The University of Melbourne enjoys an outstanding reputation with world rankings consistently placing us as Australia’s leading comprehensive research-intensive university, and one of the world’s top 50.

Melbourne attracts the best and brightest students and researchers and, with a history of over 160 years, we occupy a special place at the heart of our city’s cultural scene.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • Melbourne Business School
  • Melbourne Dental School
  • Melbourne School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Melbourne School of Design
  • Melbourne Graduate School of Education
  • Melbourne School of Engineering
  • Office for Environmental Programs
  • Melbourne School of Government
  • Melbourne School of Health Sciences
  • Graduate School of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Melbourne School of Information
  • Melbourne Law School
  • Melbourne Medical School
  • Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
  • Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
  • Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences
  • The Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
  • Victorian College of the Arts (VCA)


The University of Melbourne was established by Hugh Childers, the Auditor-General and Finance Minister, in his first Budget Speech on 4 November 1852, who set aside a sum of £10,000 for the establishment of a university. The university was established by Act of Incorporation on 22 January 1853, with power to confer degrees in arts, medicine, laws and music. The act provided for an annual endowment of £9,000, while a special grant of £20,000 was made for buildings that year. The foundation stone was laid on 3 July 1854, and on the same day the foundation stone for the State Library Classes commenced in 1855 with three professors and sixteen students; of this body of students, only four graduated. The original buildings were officially opened by the Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham, on 3 October 1855. The first chancellor, Redmond Barry (later Sir Redmond), held the position until his death in 1880.

The inauguration of the university was made possible by the wealth resulting from Victoria’s gold rush. The institution was designed to be a “civilising influence” at a time of rapid settlement and commercial growth.

In 1881, the admission of women was a seen as victory over the more conservative ruling council.

The university’s 150th anniversary was celebrated in 2003.

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