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The University of Sydney

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Education for all, leadership for good.
Progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo and improving the world around us are in our DNA.
A history of thinking forward
Shaping change and improving lives from the start
Our founding principle as Australia’s first university was that we would be a modern and progressive institution. It’s an ideal we still hold dear today.

When William Charles Wentworth proposed the idea of Australia’s first university in 1850, he imagined “the opportunity for the child of every class to become great and useful in the destinies of this country”.

We’ve stayed true to that original value and purpose by promoting inclusion and diversity for the past 160 years.

It's the reason that, as early as 1881, we admitted women on an equal footing to male students. Oxford University didn't follow suit until 30 years later, and Jesus College at Cambridge University did not begin admitting female students until 1974.

It's also why, from the very start, talented students of all backgrounds were given the chance to access further education through bursaries and scholarships.

Today we offer hundreds of scholarships to support and encourage talented students, and a range of grants and bursaries to those who need a financial helping hand.

Living our values

Generous individuals have played a key role throughout our history.

Shortly after the University was established, prominent Sydney figures began to support our approach to education with bequests, including the equivalent of $32 million from John Henry Challis in 1880.

It is this tradition of giving and giving back that continues to help us contribute to improving lives and social outcomes and welcoming students from all walks of life.

Many of our alumni, for example, donated to the building of the impressive Charles Perkins Centre, which leads research into creating healthier, more sustainable communities.

Named after the first Aboriginal man to graduate from an Australian university and built upon the generosity of our alumni and others, the centre is a beacon of how we actively live the values set down by our founders.
Why us
Vision and values

Leading to improve the world around us. Since our inception, we have believed in education for all and leadership that improves lives in all of the communities that we serve.

The values that inspire our work

Four clusters of values inform the University's ongoing commitment to excellence and transforming our culture so that everyone – across all of our campuses – can thrive.
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Sydney University NSW 2006, Australia
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