The wave of expansion of Homo sapiens out of its African birthplace reached the continent of Australia around 40,000 years ago, or more. However, the first visit of Europeans to the land down under did not occur until 1606, when the Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon made landfall at what is now the town of Weipa on the western shore of the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland.
Several sightings and landings by other Dutch, as well as Spanish, explorers occurred over the next century and a half or so. However, it was not until 1770 that Captain James Cook claimed for the British crown the region surrounding an inlet along the southeast coast that he named Botany Bay, lying just south of modern Sydney. It was this event which led in short order to the continuous settlement of Australia by Europeans and other outsiders.
It is useful to remember, by way of comparison with the other schools on this list, that by the time the University of Sydney (the first Australian university) was founded in 1850, the British presence in the continent now universally and affectionately known as “Oz” was only about three quarters of a century old.
A lot has happened in that short time.
Today, the University of Sydney is a very large institution of higher learning serving more than 52,000 students and enjoying an endowment approaching the A$2 billion mark.
Sydney is connected to five Nobel Prize–winners in all, including:
The University of Sydney has had a strong international presence in academic philosophy ever since the arrival of the Scottish-born philosopher John Anderson in the 1920s. Other distinguished Sydney-associated philosophers include:
Other famous University of Sydney–linked persons include:
Who are University of Sydney's Most influential alumni?
University of Sydney's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Education, Anthropology, and Nursing. University of Sydney’s most academically influential people include Germaine Greer, Robert Hughes, and Clive James.
Australian writer and public intellectualview profile
Australian critic, historian, and writerview profile
Australian authorview profile
Hungarian economistview profile
British historian and archaeologistview profile
Australian poet, environmentalist and Indigenous rights campaignerview profile
Australian anatomistview profile
Australian poet and criticview profile
Australian editor and publisherview profile
Australian public intellectualview profile
Australian economistview profile
Australian academic, researcher and author specialising in social studies of biomedicineview profile