University of Melbourne
#93 Overall Influence

University of Melbourne

Australian public university located in Melbourne, Victoria

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Melbourne is a public research university founded in 1853, the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Australia.

The founding of the university by the State of Victoria was facilitated by the discovery of gold in 1851, and the ensuing “Victorian Gold Rush.”

In some years, the Victorian gold fields were second in output worldwide only to California’s. Hence, the State of Victoria became quite prosperous, attracting immigrants from all over the world. The state-financed University of Melbourne also grew quickly and soon achieved a remarkable degree of academic excellence.

In 1857, a Law School was opened; in 1861, a Faculty of Engineering; and in 1862, a School of Medicine.

Today, Melbourne comprises seven campuses, with a total student body numbering about 52,000. With an endowment of approximately A$1.3 billion, Melbourne remains the wealthiest university in Australia.

Melbourne is associated with seven Nobel laureates, namely:

  • Bacterial geneticist, Joshua Lederberg
  • Molecular biologist, Elizabeth Blackburn
  • Neuroscientist, John Eccles
  • Immunologists, Macfarlane Burnet & Peter Doherty
  • Economists, James Mirrlees & Clive Granger

Other Melbourne–linked individuals include the following:

  • Philosophers Samuel Alexander, Peter Singer, Frank Jackson, Graham Priest, Graham Oppy, Brian O’Shaughnessy & David Oderberg
  • Mathematicians, Keith Briggs, Jonathan Pila, Ian Sloan, Danny Calegari, Edward Nanson, Joachim Rubinstein, Brendan McKay & Alison Harcourt
  • Computer scientists, Andrew Freeman & Samuel Braunstein
  • Painter, Lewis Miller
  • Popular singer and songwriter, Judith Durham
  • Film directors, Gillian Armstrong & George Miller
  • Actors, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Isabel Lucas, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke & Nadia Townsend
  • Comedians, Hamish Blake & Andy Lee
  • Feminist activist and essayist, Germaine Greer
  • Architect, Roy Grounds
  • Roman Catholic Cardinal, George Pell
  • Astronomers, Fulvio Melia & Wilbur Christiansen
  • Physicists, Leslie Martin, Kerr Grant, Richard Dalitz, Helen Quinn, Harry Massie & Peter Hannaford
  • Chemists, Norman Greenwood & Andrew Holmes
  • Geologists, Martin Glaessner & Ted Ringwood
  • Immunologist, Ian Frazer
  • Endocrinologist, Richard Pestell
  • Journalist and TV personality, Emma Alberici
  • Economists, Lisa Cameron & William F. Mitchell
  • Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange
  • International law and diplomacy scholar, Helen Durham
  • General John Monash
  • Former Australian Prime Ministers, Alfred Deakin, Robert Menzies & Julia Gillard

What is University of Melbourne known for?

#30 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#40 World Rank
Medical
#50 World Rank
Education
#65 World Rank
Nursing
#68 World Rank
Biology
#70 World Rank
Communications
#80 World Rank
Law
#81 World Rank
History
#85 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#100 World Rank
Social Work
#107 World Rank
Engineering
#108 World Rank
Literature
#119 World Rank
Computer Science
#131 World Rank
Philosophy
#134 World Rank
Mathematics
#142 World Rank
Economics
#144 World Rank
Sociology
#148 World Rank
Political Science
#160 World Rank
Chemistry
#161 World Rank
Business
#168 World Rank
Physics
#246 World Rank
Anthropology
#255 World Rank
Psychology
#343 World Rank
Religious Studies

Influential People

Who are University of Melbourne's Most influential alumni?

University of Melbourne's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Earth Sciences, Medical, and Education. University of Melbourne’s most academically influential people include Julian Assange, Germaine Greer, and Elizabeth Blackburn.

Julian Assange
Julian Assange

Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist

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Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer

Australian writer and public intellectual

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Elizabeth Blackburn
Elizabeth Blackburn

Australian-born American biological researcher

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Geoffrey Blainey

Australian historian

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Helen Garner
Helen Garner

Australian author

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Raewyn Connell
Raewyn Connell

Australian sociologist

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John Eccles
John Eccles

Australian neurophysioloigst

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Harrie Massey
Harrie Massey

Australian physicist

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Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett

Australian actress

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Peter Singer
Peter Singer

Australian philosopher

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Christos Tsiolkas

Australian writer

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Helen Quinn
Helen Quinn

Australian physicist

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