Flinders University

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The Flinders University
of South Australia
FlindersUniversity.png
Motto "Inspiring Achievement"
Established 1966
Type Public
Chancellor Stephen Gerlach AM
Vice-Chancellor Michael N Barber
Academic staff 887
Students 20,165
Location Adelaide, South Australia
35°01′15″S 138°34′22″E / 35.020819°S 138.57275°E / -35.020819; 138.57275
Campus Suburban
Organisations IRU Australia
Website www.flinders.edu.au
Flinders University logo
View of Flinders University main campus, with central plaza and lakeside area visible.

The Flinders University of South Australia, commonly referred to as Flinders University, is a public university in Adelaide, South Australia. Founded in 1966, it was named in honour of navigator Matthew Flinders, who explored and surveyed the South Australian coastline in the early 19th century.

The university has established a reputation as a leading research institution with a devotion to innovation. It is a member of the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) Group[1] and ranks in the 10-16 bracket in Australia[2] and 36th in the world of those established less than 50 years. Academically, the university pioneered a cross-disciplinary approach to education, and its faculties of medicine and the humanities are ranked among the nation's top 10.[3]

The university is also ranked within the world's top 400 institutions in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.[4]

History[edit]

Origins and construction[edit]

In the late 1950s, with the growth of population in South Australia and the University of Adelaide's North Terrace campus reaching full capacity, the need for a second South Australian university was identified. In 1960, Premier Thomas Playford announced that 150 hectares (370 acres) of state government-owned land in Burbank (now Bedford Park) would be allocated to the University of Adelaide for the establishment of a second campus.[5]

Planning began in 1961. The principal-designate of the new campus, economist and professor Peter Karmel, was adamant that the new campus should operate independently from the North Terrace campus. He hoped that the Bedford Park campus would be free to innovate and not be bound by tradition.[5]

Capital works began in 1962 with a grant of ₤3.8 million from the Australian Universities Commission. Architect Geoff Harrison, in conjunction with architectural firm Hassell, McConnell and Partners, designed a new university that, with future expansions, could eventually accommodate up to 6000 students.[5]

Independence and opening[edit]

In 1965, the Australian Labor Party won the state election and Frank Walsh became premier. The ALP wished to break up the University of Adelaide's hegemony over tertiary education in the state, and announced that they intended the Bedford Park campus to be an independent institution.[5]

On 17 March 1966, a bill was passed by state parliament officially creating the Flinders University of South Australia.[6] Although the Labor Party had favoured the name "University of South Australia", academic staff wished that the university be named after a "distinguished but uncontroversial" person. They settled upon British navigator Matthew Flinders, who explored and surveyed the South Australian coastline in 1802. Its coat of arms, designed by a professor in the Fine Arts faculty, includes a reproduction of Flinders' ship Investigator and his journal A Voyage to Terra Australis, open to the page in which Flinders described the coast adjacent the campus site.[5]

Flinders University was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on 25 March 1966.[6] Peter Karmel was the first Vice-Chancellor and Sir Mark Mitchell the first Chancellor. The university began classes on 7 March 1966 with a student enrollment of 400.

A significant early initiative was the decision to build the Flinders Medical Centre on land adjacent to the campus and to base the university's Medical School within this new public hospital - the first such integration in Australia. Flinders first accepted undergraduate medical students in 1974, with FMC being opened the following year.[6]

Expansion and restructuring[edit]

In 1990, the biggest building project on campus since the mid-1970s saw work commence on three new buildings - Law and Commerce; Engineering; and Information Science and Technology. Approval for the establishment of a School of Engineering was given in 1991 and degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering[7] and Biomedical Engineering[8] were established shortly afterwards.

In 1991, as part of a restructuring of higher education in South Australia, Flinders merged with the adjacent Sturt Campus of the former South Australian College of Advanced Education. In 1992 the present four-faculty structure was adopted with only a minor change to the School structure made in 2011.

In 1998, the Centre for Remote Health, a rural teaching hospital based in Alice Springs, was established jointly with the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University). This was expanded further in 2011 with the establishment of the Northern Territory Medical Program.

In the past few years the University has grown substantially, establishing new disciplines in a number of areas including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and more disciplines of Engineering.[9]

In 2015, the University will open a new campus at Tonsley (the former site of the Mitsubishi Motors Australia plant) in Southern Adelaide. This campus will initially house the University's School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, along with the Medical Device Research Institute and the Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

Campuses[edit]

The University's main campus is in the Adelaide inner southern suburb of Bedford Park, about 12 km south of the Adelaide city centre.[10] The University also has a presence in Victoria Square in the centre of the city,[11] next door to the Adelaide campus of Carnegie Mellon University. It also maintains a number of external teaching facilities in regional South Australia, south-west Victoria and the Northern Territory. International students make up 10% of the on-campus student population and a number of offshore programmes are also offered, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region.

Organisation[edit]

View of the courtyard of the Humanities building of the Flinders University.

Flinders University offers more than 160 undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as higher degree research supervision across all disciplines. Many courses use new information and communication technologies to supplement face-to-face teaching and provide flexible options.

Faculties and schools[edit]

Affiliates[edit]

Student life[edit]

Housing[edit]

Flinders is the only South Australian university with on-campus accommodation in the Adelaide metropolitan area. There are two options:

  • University Hall (catered)
  • Deirdre Jordan Village (self-catered).

For off-campus accommodation, Flinders Housing run a free, up-to-date accommodation service which lists private accommodation available on the rental market.

Media[edit]

The Empire Times was published by the Students' Association of Flinders University (SAFU) from 1969 to 2006. The founder and first editor of the newspaper was Martin Fabinyi, and the newspaper was originally printed in the back of his house by fellow student Rod Boswell. Empire Times had a history of controversial humour and anti-establishment discussion. Notable former editors and contributors included Martin Armiger and Greig (HG Nelson) Pickhaver, Steph Key and Kate Ellis. Empire Times ceased publication in 2006 as a result of voluntary student unionism.

The newly formed student organisation, Flinders One, launched Libertine Magazine in 2008. It was published quarterly at the beginning of each term. Libertine was contributed to by students across the Flinders community and features articles, a feature artist, columns, creative writing, and a rant in each edition. It was partially funded by outside advertising, which was liaised through Flinders One. The magazine was distributed throughout campuses, and was a space for student creativity and voice.

Libertine Magazine finished printing at the end of 2011 after the 2011 Student Council decided to revamp it. A new form of publication will be investigated and launched in 2012. The Student Council particularly want to bring back the student voice of the magazine after Libertine lost popularity. While a few thousand copies were printed each quarter, only a couple dozen were ever picked up by students on campus.

A Media Group has been established by the Student Council and will propose a new form of media to the student council. After the SSAF passed in 2012, more money should be available for Student Media.

Empire Times has been revived in 2013 by FUSA (Flinders University Student Association).

2014 editors: Jade Kelly, Bethany Lawrence and Jess Nicole 2013 editors: Simon Collinson, Sarah Gates and Preesan Pillay.

Empire Times releases 10 issues over the academic year.

Student Representation[edit]

Flinders University Student Association (FUSA) www.fusa.edu.au

Sports[edit]

Flinders University has many sports teams that compete in social and competitive competitions. Flinders University also fields a baseball side in the Division 5 and Division 6 levels of the South Australian Baseball League.

Distinguished alumni and persons[edit]

To date, Flinders has produced four Rhodes scholars.[18]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Innovative Research Universities, www.irua.edu.au
  2. ^ http://www.shanghairanking.com/Country2012Main.jsp?param=Australia
  3. ^ Ross Williams; Nina Van Dyke (November 2006). "Rating Major Disciplines in Australian Universities: Perceptions and Reality". Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2013". Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e http://www.flinders.edu.au:80/about/our-university/our-history/1958---1965-from-the-ground-up.cfm Flinders University - 1958-1965: From the ground up
  6. ^ a b c http://www.flinders.edu.au:80/about/our-university/our-history/1966---1971-the-first-students.cfm Flinders University - 1966-1971: The first students
  7. ^ http://flinders.edu.au/science_engineering/csem/disciplines/eee/
  8. ^ http://flinders.edu.au/science_engineering/csem/disciplines/bme/
  9. ^ http://flinders.edu.au/science_engineering/csem/disciplines/mecheng/
  10. ^ Location and getting to Flinders, www.flinders.edu.au
  11. ^ Flinders in the City, www.flinders.edu.au
  12. ^ Education, Humanities and Law
  13. ^ "Health Sciences - Flinders University". Flinders.edu.au. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  14. ^ "Science & Engineering - Home Page - Flinders University". Scieng.flinders.edu.au. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  15. ^ "Social and Behavioural Sciences - Flinders University". Flinders.edu.au. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  16. ^ About_ACD accessed 7 June 2011
  17. ^ "Tu'ivakano became Prime Minister Designate". Matangi Tonga. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  18. ^ "Great results rewarded with Rhodes Scholarship". 16 October 2009. 

External links[edit]

Affiliated teaching bodies
Institutional affiliations