From the Vice-Chancellor
"Our graduates make an impact on the world". That's what our advertising says, and without any exaggeration, we hear of many ways - daily - of how that is occurring.
This month, as we hold our December graduations (no less than 13 ceremonies from 13-21 December), I am reminded more than ever of the contributions our graduates make in industry, government, the community and academia in a myriad of fields and in countries all across the world.
Having educated some of the nation's best and brightest students for more than 130 years, we sometimes take it for granted that some of our graduates will go on to excel in their chosen fields. But it's worth stopping to think about Adelaide's unique place in higher education and the quality of our graduates on a national and international level.
Bear in mind, Adelaide is not the biggest of universities on a national scale, and at times it's easy for people to overlook the significance of Adelaide's graduates simply because we're not on the eastern seaboard. And yet, I hear of many success stories that demonstrate that our graduates are making their mark in Australia and overseas, over and above the size of the university they come from.
Because we are a Group of Eight (Go8) university, we attract the best students in the State. Our academic standards are higher, our expectations of students are higher, and we see many of our students rise to the challenge and commit to a high level of academic performance. This is naturally reflected in the external community as well, and our graduates go on to make unique and ongoing contributions in a range of areas. In fact, many of our current students are already committed to making an impact on the world even before they graduate, as the comment piece by Erin Riddell in this issue of the Adelaidean shows.
There's no doubt that this time of year helps to emphasise how good our graduates really are. Major scholarship announcements such as the Rhodes, and more recently the Menzies and Monash scholarships, are always strongly represented by current students and graduates from Adelaide.
Last month we held a special celebration to honour the University's 103 (so far) Fulbright Scholars. These are all outstanding students and staff who have made distinguished contributions to their fields. When you see all of the names listed on the Honour Board, it reinforces the breadth and depth of academic talent that has existed at the University of Adelaide over the years. Each one of these people has a unique story to tell - and they are just some of the University's many high achievers.
The recent federal election also was a reminder of just how many Adelaide graduates are making a contribution to Australian public life. Our graduates can be found in all of the major political parties in Australia, and many of them are members of parliament.
We congratulate all Adelaide graduates who have taken up the challenge of helping to run this country, which is one of the greatest contributions anyone can make.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President