It gives me great pleasure to introduce the ANU 2015 Annual Report.
As Australia's national university, ANU continued to demonstrate its role as a national leader in research, education and public policy excellence in 2015 while strengthening its reputation as one of the world's finest universities.
This year ANU was recognised as one of the world's top 20 universities - achieving the position of 19 in the QS World University Rankings. The University was also named the top Australian university in the CWTS Leiden Rankings, which measures the impact of research publications and collaborations.
Our global position was underlined following the release of the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) results. The ERA results found ANU leads the nation in research excellence with 95 per cent of broad-fields research and 91 per cent of specific discipline research at ANU rated above or well above world standard.
Our esteemed academic community continued to be acknowledged in 2015 and congratulated for their outstanding contributions to research and outreach. We were especially pleased to congratulate Professor Graham Farquhar who received the Prime Minister's Science Prize in October.
Offering students an unparalleled educational experience continued to be at the core of the University's mission in 2015. ANU announced it would be joining with the University of Canberra (UC) in 2016 to offer a unique vertical double degree for science teaching, combining a Bachelor of Science (BSc) from ANU with a Master of Teaching (MTeach) from UC. The new double degree was launched by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA and will make it possible for final year BSc students to also study for the MTeach, with final-year classes credited for both awards.
The University celebrated a number of milestones in 2015 including the 50th Anniversary of the ANU School of Music. The School opened in 1965 and continues to be a hub for musical expression in Canberra. We also celebrated 50 years of the HC Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship. The Fellowship has helped ANU establish itself as an international hub for artists, writers, composers, musicians and visitors from all types of creative arenas.
The ANU Indonesia Project also celebrated 50 years in 2015. Since its inception, this program has grown from a small group of Indonesiafocused economists to an interdisciplinary research centre of international renown.
2015 also marked 30 years since the establishment of the ANU Shell Questacon Science Circus. The 30-year partnership between government, industry and education is the longest running three-way partnership in Australia and the Circus has become Australia's f lagship science outreach program.
A significant moment in our nation's history occurred in November when ANU formally apologised and returned the Willandra Lakes ancestral remains (Mungo Man) to the elders of the Mutthi Mutthi, Ngiyampaa and Paakantji/ Barkandji people.
In August ANU led thousands of people to break two world records in stargazing. More than 1,800 gathered on Fellows Oval in front of the Chifley Library on a chilly night while 7,960 people attended 37 sites across Australia from Tasmania to Western Australia.
The University continued to demonstrate its commitment to a healthier workplace for all staff and students and implemented a new Smoke Free policy across all the University's sites in 2015. The new healthy campus policy is designed to help people kick the habit for good and the University is offering a range of support and advice for staff and students wanting to quit smoking.
Finally, earlier this year I announced my intention to retire as Vice-Chancellor at the end of my term. It has been an enormous honour for me to serve this fine institution for the past five years and I would like to thank all ANU staff, students and alumni for the tremendous opportunity.
From 1 January 2016 Nobel Laureate and ANU researcher Professor Brian Schmidt AC will commence as the 12th ANU Vice-Chancellor.
Professor Ian Young AO
Please note, in the 2015 Annual Report, the mention of the donation by Bruce Hall to the Day of Giving was incorrectly listed as $120 . The correct figure is $10,120. This was a typographical error.