ANU is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Its location points to its unique history, ties to the Australian Government and special standing as a resource for the Australian people.
ANU’s focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures that its graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.
ANU is Australia’s national university and has a unique history among Australian universities. Calls for the establishment of a national university in Australia began as early as 1900. In 1930, Canberra University College, which was the first institution of higher education in the national capital and was later amalgamated with The Australian National University, enrolled its first students. On the 1 August 1946, the Bill establishing The Australian National University was passed by Federal Parliament. In late 1947, Brian Lewis, Professor of Architecture at the University of Melbourne was appointed Consulting Architect to design the University's major buildings. The first academic staff members arrived to take up their appointments at ANU in 1950. At this time, there were few buildings to house them. On the 7th of December 1951, the ANU conferred its first degree of an Honorary Doctor of Laws on Sir Robert Garran, one of the authors of the Australian Constitution and a long-time advocate of university education in Canberra. In 1964, Hanna Neumann was appointed the University's first female professor, as Professor of Mathematics in the School of General Studies. In June 2001 the ANU Council announced a major restructure of University governance including the creation of Deputy Vice-Chancellors for Research and Education and the establishment of twelve virtual National Institutes.
ANU alumni are mostly prominent in government. ANU has produced several of the former Australian Prime Ministers, 30 current Australian Ambassadors and more than a dozen current heads of Australian Public Service departments, including Prime Minister & Cabinet secretary, and Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson.
ANU’s graduates also include Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Indonesian Foreign Minister, former British cabinet minister and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
The Australian National University has been ranked 25 in the world and the highest ranked Australian university by the QS Top Universities rankings.
The QS World University Rankings consistently show that ANU remains among the top 30 universities in the world. QS also ranks fourteen subject areas at ANU in the top 20 in the world, including Politics (7), Geography (11), Linguistics (11), Environmental Studies (=12), Earth and Marine Sciences (=12), Philosophy (13), Modern Languages (=14), Sociology (=14), History and Archaeology (15), Law and Legal Studies (15), Computer Science and Information Systems (17), Economics and Econometrics (18), Agriculture and Forestry (20), and Mathematics (20).
ANU is also ranked 1st in Australia by all major university rankings, with the university being 1st in the fields of politics and international studies, history, philosophy, sociology, modern languages, mathematics, electrical engineering, earth and marine sciences, and geography.
ANU is situated in the inner-city suburb of Acton, Canberra in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory). But it also has other campuses in the ACT, NSW and the NT that house some extraordinary facilities that help support their teaching, learning and research.
Colleges at Australian National University
ANU Flexible Double Degrees lets ambitious students get more out of university. Build a double degree that broadens your interests, expands your skills and improves your employability. Combine engineering and genetics, commerce and classical studies or even medical science and music. The choice is yours.
ANU is located in Acton on the north side of Lake Burley Griffin, just west of the city centre.
Arriving by plane:
ANU is a 15 minute drive from Canberra Airport. An Airport Express bus to and from the city operates regularly throughout the day. Taxis are available at all times of the day.
Arriving by train or coach:
Canberra has a direct rail service from Sydney and a combined rail and bus service from Melbourne. Coaches arrive in the city centre, a short taxi journey from ANU.