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University of Sydney

The University of Sydney, established in 1850, is the oldest university in Australia, and it is located in Sydney, the capital city of the state of New South Wales. It is one of Australia's "Group of Eight" leading universities and remains one of the country's largest educational institutions. In 2004, the University of Sydney reported an enrolment of 47,296 students and employed 2,451 academics.

Centred on the Oxbridge-inspired grounds of the University's Main Campus on the south-western outskirts of the Sydney CBD, the University of Sydney now possesses a number of campuses as a result of mergers in recent years.



The University has a number of campuses and is has continued to expand over the years. Until recently, the University also operated the Museum of Contemporary Art .

As of 2004, the campuses are:

Camperdown/Darlington (main) campus

Eastern Avenue in the Main Campus
Eastern Avenue in the Main Campus
Originally housed in what is now Sydney Grammar School, in 1855, the government granted the university land in Grose Farm , three kilometres from the city, which is now the main Camperdown campus. The architect Edmund Blacket designed the original Neogothic sandstone Quadrangle and Great Tower buildings, which were completed in 1862. The great expansion of the university in the mid-20th century resulted in the acquisition of land in Darlington across City Road. The Camperdown/Darlington campus houses the headquarters of the University, and the Faculties of Arts, Science, Education and Social Work, Pharmacy, Veterinary Science, Economics and Business, Architecture, and Engineering. It is also the home base of the large Faculty of Medicine, which has numerous affiliated teaching hospitals across the State.

The main campus is also the focus of student life at campus, with the student-run University of Sydney Union (also known simply as the Union) in possession of three buildings on-site - Wentworth, Manning and Holme Buildings. These buildings house the large proportion of the university's catering outlets, and provide space for game rooms, bars and function centres. One of the more prominent activities organised by the Union is the Orientation Week (or 'O-week'), centering on stalls set up by clubs and societies on the Front Lawns.

The University is currently undertaking a large capital works program, which will see the amalgamation of the smaller science and technical libraries into a larger library, and the construction of a central administration and student services building along City Road.

Mallett Street campus

The Main Quadrangle of the University of Sydney
The Main Quadrangle of the University of Sydney
The Mallett Street campus is home of the Faculty of Nursing. As of 2005, the Faculty no longer offers undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing programs.

Cumberland campus

Formerly an independent institution (the Cumberland College of Health Sciences), the Cumberland campus in the Sydney suburb of Lidcombe was incorporated into the University as part of the higher education reforms of the late 1980s. It is home to the Faculty of Health Science, which covers various allied health disciplines, including physiotherapy, speech therapy, radiation therapy, occupational therapy, etc.

Law campus

Near St. James Railway Station in the centre of Sydney, this is located across the road from the New South Wales Supreme Court. In 2007, it is expected that the Faculty of Law will move to the main campus following the construction of the new law building between Fisher Library and the Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre and Auditorium Complex.

Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle

Main article: Sydney College of the Arts

The Sydney of the College of the Arts (SCA) is based in a former sanitorium in the Sydney suburb of Rozelle, overlooking Sydney Harbour. The college specialises in the creative arts.

Conservatorium of Music

Main article: Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The Conservatorium of Music is located near Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens a short distance from the Sydney Opera House; it was acquired by the University in the 1990s. It is not to be confused with the University of Sydney's main campus Department of Music, which was the subject of a notable documentary called Facing the Music .

Orange Agricultural College

Located at Orange in rural NSW, the Orange Agricultural College joined in 1994. Orange campus was principally the domain of the former Faculty of Rural Management; however other undergraduate courses from the Faculties of Arts, Science, Nursing and Pharmacy were also taught at Orange.

The Orange Campus and the Faculty of Rural Management were transferred to Charles Sturt University in 2005 amid objections from the staff and students of at the University of Sydney.

Camden campus

Located on Sydney's southwest rural fringe, the Camden campus houses research farms for agriculture and veterinary science.

Narrabri Plant Research Centre

The Narrabri Plant Research Centre is located at Narrabri, near the Queensland border.

Higher Education (Amalgamation) Act 1989

Under the terms of the Higher Education (Amalgamation) Act 1989, the following bodies were incorporated into the University of Sydney in 1990:

  • the Sydney Branch of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music
  • the Cumberland College of Health Sciences
  • the Sydney College of the Arts of the Institute of the Arts
  • the Sydney Institute of Education of the Sydney College of Advanced Education
  • the Institute of Nursing Studies of the Sydney College of Advanced Education
  • the Guild Centre of the Sydney College of Advanced Education.

The Orange Agricultural College was originally transferred to the University of New England under the Act, but then transferred to the University of Sydney in 1994, as part of the reforms to the University of New England undertaken by the University of New England Act 1993 and the Southern Cross University Act 1993.

The New England University College was founded as part of the University of Sydney in 1938, and separated to become the University of New England in 1954.


Main article: University of Sydney Library.

The University of Sydney Library consists of numerous individual libraries with the main building, Fisher Library, named after an early benefactor. The University library is the largest in the southern hemisphere, with a collection of over 5.1 million items. It possesses many rare items such as one of the two extant copies of the Gospel of Barnabas, and a first edition of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Sir Isaac Newton.

Museums and galleries

Museums and galleries which are part of the university include the Nicholson Museum of Antiquities and the Macleay Museum .

Notable alumni

The University of Sydney boasts a large number of alumni, some quite famous and influential, who have gone on to make significant contributions in their fields of endeavour. These include:

From 2 December 2003 to 28 January 2005, the leaders of Australia's four largest political parties were all Sydney alumni. Three of the four are still led by alumni, all except the Australian Labor Party (which was formerly led by alumnus Mark Latham):

External links

Last updated: 10-18-2005 17:40:47
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