The University of Melbourne has a rich and fascinating past spanning 160 years.

Every building, every department and every period of time has its own story. While some of these stories have been recounted many times over, a great number remain to be written.

Beginning as a cluster of buildings set in a large park on the fringe of the city, with four professors and 16 students, the University now sits at the heart of a thriving international city.

Today over 8000 academic and professional staff support a vibrant student body of more than 48 000, including more than 13 000 international students from over 130 countries around the world.

Past achievements – contributing to a brighter tomorrow


First woman to graduate from an Australian university, Julia ‘Bella’ Guerin, graduates from the University of Melbourne.


Professor Graeme Clark developed and later conducted the first multi-channel commercial cochlear implant, engineering the first bionic ear.


Melbourne Model introduced, reflecting the global trend towards broad and liberal undergraduate education leading into specialised, professional graduate study and research degrees.

Our history

Discover our rich and fascinating past. Explore the university's history from its earliest years to the present.

Our history timeline