University of Sydney

#118 /
Global Influence
Australian university founded in 1850

University of Sydney Featured Rankings

About University of Sydney

By James Barham, PhD

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:

  • John Cornforth — chemistry
  • Pioneering neuroscientist, John C. Eccles — physiology or medicine
  • Economist John Harsanyi — economics

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:

  • John Passmore
  • John L. Mackie
  • David M. Armstrong
  • David Stove
  • Charles B. Martin
  • Peter Godfrey-Smith

Other famous University of Sydney–linked persons include:

  • Physicist and chaos theory pioneer, Robert M. May
  • Soprano, Joan Sutherland
  • Poet, Les Murray
  • Novelist, Howard Jacobson
  • Noted feminist author, Germaine Greer
  • Influential literary critic, Clive James
  • Noted art critic and historian, Robert Hughes
  • Sinologist and essayist, Simon Leys (Pierre Ryckmans)
  • Film directors Bruce Beresford, Peter Weir, Phillip Noyce & Jane Campion

According to Wikipedia, The University of Sydney is a public research university located in Sydney, Australia. Founded in 1850 as Australia's first university, it is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. The university is one of Australia's six sandstone universities. The university comprises eight academic faculties and university schools, through which it offers bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.

What Is University of Sydney Known For?

University of Sydney is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

University of Sydney's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

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 Nursing, Medical, and Literature. Here are some of University of Sydney's most famous alumni:

John Harsanyi
John Harsanyi
A Hungarian economist .
Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer
An Australian writer and public intellectual.
Steve Keen
Steve Keen
An Australian economist.
David Malet Armstrong
David Malet Armstrong
An Australian philosopher .
Robert May, Baron May of Oxford
An Australian scientist who has been Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government .
Raymond Dart
Raymond Dart
An Australian anatomist and anthropologist .
Clive James
Clive James
An Australian writer, critic, and broadcaster .
V. Gordon Childe
V. Gordon Childe
A British historian and archaeologist.
Douglas Mawson
Douglas Mawson
An Australian geologist and explorer of the Antarctic .
Val Plumwood
Val Plumwood
An Australian philosopher.
John C. Butcher
John C. Butcher
A New Zealand computer scientist.
Michael Kirby
An Australian jurist and academic.

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