Australian National University

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Template:ANU Infobox The Australian National University (ANU), is a university located in Canberra, the national capital of Australia. According to several international indices, it is the best university in Australia, being particularly strong in research. It is a member of Australia's "Group of Eight" lobby group.


The ANU was founded in 1946 by the Australian Government as Australia's only research-only university. With a mandate for "postgraduate research and study, both generally and in relation to subjects of national importance to Australia" the ANU was intended to strengthen Australia's research efforts at the highest levels.

In 1960 undergraduate education was added to the ANU by amalgamation with the Canberra University College. The University retains two distinct parts: the Institute of Advanced Studies continuing a focus on research and postgraduate study, and the School of General Studies (now known as The Faculties) which includes both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The ANU also contains many focused schools and centres.

The Australian National University is the only university in Australia with a constitution and structure dictated by an Act of the Commonwealth Parliament; all other Australian universities were established by State or Territory parliaments. The University is governed by a 15 member Council which, subject to Australian National University Act 1991 govern the university.

Academic structure

Students enjoy lunch at ANU
File:Chifley library at anu.JPG
Chifley library, the largest library at the ANU

The academic structure of the ANU is made up of three parts: The Institute of Advanced Studies, The Faculties and the University Centres.

The Institute of Advanced Studies

The Institute is focused on post-graduate education and research and comprises nine research schools and a research centre:

  • Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Australia's premier university center for astronomical research, the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) runs the ANU's two observatories Mount Stromlo Observatory and Siding Springs Observatory. [1]
  • Research School of Biological Sciences
The Research School of Biological Sciences (RSBS) is one of Australia's leading biological research centres. Research is carried out in significant areas such as agriculture, environment, health and technology. [2]
  • Research School of Chemistry
The Research School of Chemistry (RSC) extends our fundamental knowledge in chemistry concentrating on areas of national importance. The RSC's outstanding performance is recognised around the world. [3]
  • Research School of Earth Sciences
The Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) is one of the top ten, university geoscience programs in the world. [4]
  • Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering
The Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering (RSISE) contains the Department of Information Engineering and the Computer Sciences Laboratory. [5]
  • Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS) is Australia's leading centre for research and postgraduate training on the Asia Pacific region. Priority research areas include Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Southwest Pacific. [6]
  • Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering
The Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering (RSPhysSE) is Australia's foremost physical sciences and engineering research facility. Research ranges from the fundamental to the applied, including both experimental and theoretical work. The school's primary research areas are: materials science and engineering; lasers, nonlinear optics and photonics; nanotechnology and mesoscopic physics; physics of atoms, molecules and the nucleus; plasma physics and surface science; physics and the environment.[7]
  • Research School of Social Sciences
The Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) is the leading Australian institution for theoretical and empirical research in the social sciences. The following programs exist within the school: Demography & Sociology, Economics, History, Law, Philosophy, Political Science and Social & Political Theory. [8]
  • The John Curtin School of Medical Research
The John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) was formed in 1948 as a result of the vision of Nobel Laureate Howard Florey and Prime Minister John Curtin. Two of Australia's Nobel Prizes have been won by research performed at John Curtin. [9]
  • The Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies
Enjoying a reputation as a leader in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration The Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies (CRES) includes economists, hydrologists, historians, ecologists, anthropologists and soil scientists. High quality research is undertaken into many natural resource and environmental issues. [10]

The Faculties

The ANU Faculties teach the undergraduate courses run by the university. They also have post-graduate research students. There are seven ANU Faculties:

  • Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts has over 3,500 students. The Faculty consists of the Schools of Archaeology & Anthropology, Art, Humanities, Language Studies, Music, and Social Sciences as well as the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies and the Centre for New Media Arts. [11]
  • Faculty of Asian Studies
The Faculty of Asian Studies offers the widest range of Asian studies available in Australia at both undergraduate and graduate levels. [12]
  • Faculty of Economics and Commerce
The Faculty of Economics and Commerce carries out teaching and research in the areas of business, economics and related disciplines. [13]
  • Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology combines the departments of Engineering and Computer Science. [14]
  • Faculty of Law
The ANU Faculty of Law was established in 1960. It has strengths in the following areas: international law, public law, environmental law, commercial law and intellectual property law. [15]
  • Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science includes the following departments, schools & centres: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Botany & Zoology, Chemistry, Earth & Marine Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Resources, Environment and Society and Science Communication. In 2004 the ANU began offering an advanced four year science degree, The Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours), or PhB. This research focused degree is Australia's most prestigious science degree. [16]
  • ANU Medical School
The ANU Medical School is the newest of the ANU's schools. The school's foundation was announced on April 10, 2001, and the first intake of students was in February 2004. [17]

University Centres

The University Centres are organisational structures that can draw from both the Faculties and the Institute.

  • Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy
  • Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government
  • Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute
  • Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • Centre for Cross-Cultural Research
  • Centre for Mental Health Research
  • Humanities Research Centre
  • National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health
  • National Graduate School of Management
  • Mathematical Sciences Institute (joint with The Faculties and the Institute)
  • The National Europe Centre


The ANU's main campus is located in, and occupies most of the Canberra suburb of Acton. The campus covers 1.45 km2 (350 acres) adjoining native bushland, Black Mountain, Lake Burley Griffin, the suburb of Turner and the city centre. Six of the university's seven affiliated halls and colleges are located on campus, while Fenner Hall is located on Northbourne Avenue in the nearby suburb of Braddon. The halls and colleges are:

With over 10,000 trees on its "green" campus, the ANU was awarded the Silver Greenhouse Challenge Award at the annual Australian Engineering Excellence Awards in 2003.

The university also runs a coastal campus at Kioloa on the South Coast of New South Wales dedicated to field work training, a North Australia Research Unit in Darwin in the Northern Territory and two observatories Mount Stromlo Observatory near Canberra, and Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran New South Wales.


The ANU campus is divided into eight precincts, with three on the west side of Sullivans creek, and five on the east side.

  • The west side precincts are:
    • Dickson Precinct - located in the west, it includes five of the residential colleges - John XXIII, Burgmann, Ursula, Burton & Garran and Bruce.
    • Linnaeus Precinct - located in the centre west, includes the Hancock library
    • Daley Precinct - located in the north west, includes the gym and Willows Oval
  • Located on the east side of Sullivans creek are:
    • Kingsley Precinct - located in the north, includes Union court, the Chifley library, Toad Hall, Drill hall gallery and AD Hope building
    • Baldessin Precinct - located in the north east, includes the Faculty of Asian Studies, the School of Art and the School of Music.
    • Ellery Precinct - located in the centre, includes the Law building and HC Coombs building.
    • Liversidge Precinct - located in the south east towards Acton Peninsula, includes University House, Lennox House and Sir Roland Wilson Building
    • Garran Precinct - located in the south, includes everything south of South oval including the John Curtin School of Medical Research.


Notable past and present staff


The university sponsors various prizes. The list includes:

Recent events

On Friday 5 August, 2005 at 1.50pm an explosion in the Research School of Chemistry blew out three windows, burned the roof and caused an evacuation of the University. No-one was injured although it caused $1 million in damage. [18]

See also

External links

Template:Group of Eight

fr:Université nationale australienne ja:オーストラリア国立大学