Established by Act of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1946, The Australian National University was the country's only full-time research university. It then had no undergraduate teaching responsibilities. Its mandate was to undertake "postgraduate research and study both generally and in relation to subjects of national importance."
Since then, the University's character had developed and there have been progressive additions to its range of activities. Amalgamation with the Canberra University College in 1960 added undergraduate teaching. The role of the Faculties, which undertake the undergraduate teaching task as well as engaging in postgraduate training and research, is akin to that of the remainder of Australian universities, involving both teaching and research. Amalgamation in 1992 with the Canberra Institute of the Arts, comprising the Canberra School of Art and the Canberra School of Music, brought music and art teaching and practice into the range of the teaching activities.
Throughout these developments, the research schools that comprised the original University of 1946, together with the research schools established since then, have maintained a distinct identity within the University as the Institute of Advanced Studies.
The ANU continues to be a unique institution within the Australian university system. It is well placed to continue and build upon its role as a major centre of research in the natural, physical and social sciences and the humanities. It values its reputation as an innovative research and teaching university.
Graduate education continues as one of the major focuses of the University and about one quarter of the total enrolment is undertaking post-graduate study. Regardless of whether those students are enrolled in the Institute of Advanced Studies or the Faculties, the full resources of both and of University Centres are available to them through the Graduate School.
Our campus is on a 145-hectare site in Australia's national capital, Canberra. It is a very attractive site, adjoining native bushland, Lake Burley Griffin and the city centre. The campus provides a safe, enjoyable and friendly study environment.