Mission & Focus

Our mission

The University is an international institution that distinctively embraces the ideal of the research university, where the excitement, vitality and passion of the search for new knowledge is one in which all students participate; as an enlightened and tolerant community where able students can find support, whatever their background or circumstances; and as a place where the Kaurna people, original custodians of the land on which the campuses now rest, are acknowledged and their culture respected. The University of Adelaide draws strength from its founding values as it fulfils its future research and teaching aspirations.

Research being undertaken at our Waite campus

Our distinctive features

  • A student body of democratic breadth
  • A staff of international distinction
  • A spirit of freedom to investigate new fields
  • A sense of importance to the community
  • A goal to prepare educated leaders.

Our focus

The University has three primary areas of focus. We are committed to achieving excellence in education, research and engagement with the community.


  • Education

    Inspiring tomorrow's leaders

    Adelaide’s vision is to prepare young leaders, whatever their background or circumstances.

    At the University of Adelaide, students learn with the guidance and support of outstanding teaching staff, many of whom are nationally and internationally recognised leaders in their field.

    Working closely with world-class academics, students acquire the skills, knowledge and experience to make a significant contribution in their careers. Operating at the cutting edge of their disciplines, our academics enthusiastically share their passion for new knowledge and encourage students’ own pursuits of world-changing discoveries. Equally important, students have ready access to staff throughout their time here, thanks to our low staff-to-student ratios. A commitment to incredibly high standards of teaching ensure students are given every opportunity to excel and fulfil their potential.

    As well as the deep discipline knowledge and research skills they acquire, the key attributes of Adelaide graduate include critical thinking and problem solving, teamwork and communication skills, career and leadership readiness, intercultural and ethical competency, self-awareness and emotional intelligence. The support services and opportunities provided by the University, including mentoring, counselling, industry internships, career services, scholarships and accommodation services create an environment that provides students with the best opportunity for success.

    Visit our Study at Adelaide website for more information on studying here.

  • Research

    Research with impact

    The University of Adelaide is committed to world-class research with tangible outputs of global significance, which challenge and change the world around us.

    Our researchers are committed to solving the world’s grandest challenges, and significantly impacting the economy, health, public policy and the quality of life.

    Adelaide’s research strengths span a wide range of sectors including food and wine, defence and security, health and medicine, engineering and technology, life sciences, mining and energy, and the environment.

    Five world-class multidisciplinary research institutes mobilise expertise to lead progressive research reflecting global and national priorities in the areas of agriculture, environment, health and disease prevention, minerals and energy, photonics and advanced sensing.

    The five research institutes are:

    • The Environment Institute
    • The Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER)
    • The Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing (IPAS)
    • The Robinson Institute
    • The Waite Research Institute

    Across Adelaide’s faculties and research centres, over 1700 researchers work collaboratively, across disciplines, and in partnership with industry and government. Their excellence is recognised in world university rankings and 99% of our research areas were rated as ‘world standard or above’ in the latest ‘Excellence in Research Australia’ assessment.

    Of all Australian universities, Adelaide is the top performer in securing research grant funding, on a per capita basis, relative to its size.

    We invite you to read stories of our research impact and research collaborations and be inspired by our work.

    Visit our Research website for more information.

  • Engagement

    The University is a great source of great pride and an important member of the Adelaide community.

    The University works with the community through strategic partnerships and alignments with business and enterprise, government bodies, other research institutions, non-government organisations and industry groups. This is reflected in an extensive local and international partnership network.

    As an institution that fosters discovery of new knowledge, sharing information and inspiring through talent has always been central to our philosophy. Public lectures have been held since our early beginnings.

    This tradition of community engagement continues today through a range of activities including Research Tuesdays public lectures and open days, through music concerts, public tours, exhibitions and participation in community events.

    Our biggest day of the year is Open Day where over 12,000 members of the community visit the North Terrace campus and learn more about our academic programs, career pathways and research.

    The University’s city campus is part of the North Terrace cultural boulevard, with the State Library, Art Gallery of South Australia and South Australian Museum. Our iconic sandstone buildings along this promenade include Bonython Hall, the Mitchell building and Elder Hall.

    We are committed to working with the community to make the transformative effect of a university education accessible to more people and to link ground-breaking research with real-life applications.

    More information

    Visit our External Relations website for more information.

    Visit our News & Events website for details about upcoming public lectures and events.