Prestige and tradition: What can you learn from a university’s 150-year history? | Top Universities

Prestige and tradition: What can you learn from a university’s 150-year history?

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated Updated

Sponsored by the University of Adelaide 

When choosing a university for your studies, there are often clear benefits to focusing on institutions with a rich history of academic accomplishments and a proven track record of producing talented graduates. 

Ranked 89th in the world in the latest QS World University Rankings, the University of Adelaide is celebrating its 150th year. To mark the occasion, we look at what it means to study at a university with such a prestigious history and why that history should influence your decision-making when deciding where to study. 

150 years of academic discoveries and global impact 

When you attend a university which has existed as long as the University of Adelaide, your learning is part of a rich tradition which spans generations and has been responsible for innovations and discoveries across a wide range of academic disciplines. 

Cutting-edge research doesn’t happen overnight; it takes years of investment to build the best facilities and attract the brightest minds. The University of Adelaide’s 150th year is an opportunity to celebrate that journey and where it may lead in the future, exploring the impact of the university’s research across fields as varied as space exploration, climate change and agriculture. 

To give one example, the university is part of a current initiative to bring oyster reefs along the Australian coastline back from extinction, restoring a vital ecosystem for the native mud oyster.  

That commitment to academic advancement is captured in the university’s performance in the most-recent QS World University Rankings by Subject, where it ranked within the global top 100 for 14 different subjects including classics, dentistry, geology and philosophy. 

If you’re looking for a university education that can help you make a difference in the world, choose a university that’s demonstrated over multiple centuries its ability to improve the lives of millions of people. 

Follow in the footsteps of incredible alumni 

Dr Sarah Cannard

The older the university, the greater the scope of its alumni network. Over 150 years, the University of Adelaide has educated some of the brightest minds across various fields and you could be next. 

Having the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of one of her heroes was a key factor in Dr Sarah Cannard’s decision to apply to the University of Adelaide: “It was an easy decision to study at the University of Adelaide because Andy Thomas, Australia’s first member of NASA’s elite astronaut corps, went there. I was following in the footsteps of one of my heroes.” 

Since graduating, Dr Cannard has been working in her dream job, as a lead engineer in a team working to send a rover to the moon: “Funnily enough, I now work right across the road from the University of Adelaide – at the SmartSat CRC headquarters and next to the Australians Space Agency at Lot Fourteen.  

“There are so many possibilities for the future of the growing Australian space sector and I’m very fortunate to be able to do the work I love, in a city I love.” 

Dr Cannard is one of over 160,000 University of Adelaide alumni with an incredible story to tell and several of these case studies can be found on the university website as part of the anniversary celebrations. 

How the University of Adelaide is celebrating its historic milestone 

Kaurna Day at the University of Adelaide

To mark its 150th anniversary, the University of Adelaide has introduced a new tradition – Kaurna Day. This is an opportunity for the university to acknowledging the Kaurna Nation's history, culture, and enduring connection to the land upon which the university stands and operates. 

Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide, said: "2024 is the university’s milestone 150th year, but the history of the land on which our campuses are located, and the connection of the traditional Kaurna custodians to place is much, much older.” 

One of the indigenous peoples of Australia, the Kaurna Nation’s connection with the university spans decades. Looking ahead, the university envisions an enduring contribution to the Kaurna people, collaborating with them on reclaiming and revitalising the endangered Kaurna language, Kaurna Warra.  

The free event consisted of a day of cultural immersion, storytelling, and shared learning for attendees, with performances by First Nations artists from the Centre of Aboriginal Studies in Music, traditional games and cultural workshops. 

Many more events are planned to mark the 150th anniversary, both reflecting on the university’s history and celebrating the possibilities for the future. More information about these events can be found on the University of Adelaide website

Image credits: University of Adelaide

This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

Want more content like this Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

saved this article

saved this article

Explore Events

Get assisted by higher education experts

Our expert teams can help start your academic journey by guiding you through the application process.

Related Articles Last year

Most Shared Last year

Most Read Last year