As the foregoing makes clear, the challenges ahead in the higher education environment are great. But the University of Adelaide is fortunate in its setting, its historic heritage, its robust financial health, and its standing in the community.
Today the city of Adelaide is amongst the world’s most appealing university towns— safe, pollution free, a relaxed city of 1.1 million set between pristine beaches and scenic hills. The University’s North Terrace Campus opens into the city on its southern border, it flanks the State’s Art Gallery, Museum, Library, Botanical Gardens, and Zoo on its western and eastern borders, while its northern border runs down to the picturesque banks of the Torrens River. Its setting boasts a unique concentration of cultural institutions and civic amenities.
The University enjoys deep-rooted support from the South Australian community, expressed in generous bequests of the attractive buildings and historic Chairs that give the campus character, and in the willing time and interest given it by so many of the State’s leading citizens, as well as by its large alumni group around the world. It has robust financial health and one of the strongest cohorts of international students anywhere in the nation. Given these advantages and the dedication and loyalty of its staff, Adelaide can unquestionably fulfill its aspirations.
In this Strategic Plan, Australia’s third oldest university commits to a distinctive approach which recaptures the ideal of the research university, and seeks an internationally-focussed staff and a tolerant, progressive student mix which will prepare students for global citizenship in an increasingly borderless world. It will be a university true to its historical roots, yet passionately committed to its role in producing graduates destined to play leading parts in the Asian Century.
To succeed in the coming decade we will need to recapture the combination of teaching and research excellence with civic engagement, of local enlightenment with international renown which animated the University’s early days, so that it becomes by 2024 no less than Australia’s most distinctive university, set in Australia’s most civilised of cities.