Facts about ANU

Facts about ANU

Our campus and lands have been places for people to gather and share knowledge for more than two millennia. Since our foundation in 1946.

Welcome to The Australian National University (ANU), one of the world’s great universities.

Since 1946, we’ve been a national resource on the world stage – a trusted intellectual powerhouse of research and education.

For two millennia, our campus and lands have been places for people to gather and share knowledge.

Everything ANU does today – from visionary teaching and internships to transformative research– is helping to solve tomorrow’s problems while advancing Australia’s and the Asia-Pacific region’s capability and position worldwide.

The Australian National University (ANU) acknowledges, celebrates and pays respect to the Ngambri and Ngunnawal people of the Canberra region and all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we learn, meet and work. Their cultures are among the oldest continuing ones in human history.



A talented community

#34 university in the world1

#5 stars for student-to-staff ratio and staff qualifications in Australia2

#1 most international university in Australia3

#1 most employable graduates in Australia4


Top 10 in the world in six disciplines 3

#1 in 13 academic disciplines in Australia5

Only Australian member of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU)


Students from across Australia and 100 countries

10,252 undergraduate students

7,128 postgraduate students

A university in the heart of Canberra, the nation’s capital

Canberra view

Canberra’s beauty, accessibility and friendliness make it the perfect place to live and study.

  • #1 most sustainable city in Australia 6
  • #3 smartest city in the world 7
  • 25% of people speak a language other than English 8
  • 3 hours’ drive to Sydney
  • 2 hours’ drive to the snow and the sea
  • Short commute times by car, tram or bicycle

Six Nobel laureates


2011: Professor Brian Schmidt AC (Physics)

1996: Professor Rolf Zinkernagel AC

1996: Professor Peter Doherty AC (Medicine)

1994: Professor John C Harsanyi (Economics)

1963: Professor John Eccles AC (Medicine)

1945: Lord Howard Florey OM, ANU Chancellor 1965-68 (Medicine)


Policy leaders


ANU is a leader in public policy formation and debate. Our nation’s governments and those of neighbouring Asia-Pacific countries rely on us to comment on and contribute to policy matters confronting our region.

Our location in the nation’s capital and our focus on national policy issues makes us an invaluable resource for state and regional governments and the Australian parliament. ANU public policy expertise covers multiple disciplines and brings together leading initiatives, such as the Public Policy Fellows Program and Crawford School of Public Policy. The Crawford School works with the Australian Public Service to boost the expertise of policy practitioners and connects our world-leading academics with the policy development arms of government departments.


These experts have shaped policy in Australia and abroad while at ANU:



Professor Bruce Chapman AO(HECS)

Higher Education Contributions Scheme

Professor Glenn Withers AO

Immigration Points System

Professor Ross Garnaut AO

Garnaut Climate Change Review

Emeritus Professor Marian Sawer AO

Democratic Audit of Australia

Professor Peter Drysdale AM

Intellectual architect of APEC

Professor Margaret Thornton

Member Law Experts Group on the Exposure Draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill (Cth)

Professor Kim Rubenstein

Restructure of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948

Professor Warwick McKibbin AO

A number of global economic models, including the McKibbin-Sachs Global Model and the McKibbin-Wilcoxen Blueprint


Future makers


Some of the influential ANU alumni leading their fields around the world.

Syed Akbaruddin, India’s former permanent representative to the United Nations (2016–2020) 

John Bryant, businessman, former CEO of Kellogg Company (2011–2017) 

Datuk Dr Paul Chan, Malaysian academic, economic advisor and entrepreneur. Higher Education Learning Philosophy (HELP) co-founder, vice-chancellor and president, University of Malaysia. 

Ronny Chieng, comedian and actor  

Graham Farquhar AO, FAA, FRS, biophysicist, Senior Australian of the Year 2018 

Hannah Gadsby, comedian, writer and actress  

Stephen John Gageler AC, Justice of the High Court of Australia; former solicitor-general of Australia 

Peter Garrett AM, musician, environmentalist, activist and former politician 

Lieutenant General David Morrison AM (Retd.), Chief of Army 2011-2015, Australian of the Year 2016  

Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa, Indonesian diplomat, former foreign affairs minister (2009–2014) 

Sophia Hamblin Wang, Chief Operating Officer Mineral Carbonation International, carbon utilisation expert

Professor Mary O'Kane, Australian scientist and engineer, former vice-chancellor and president University of Adelaide (1996–2001)

Professor Marcia Langton AO, anthropologist and geographer. First ever (identified) Indigenous Honours graduate in Anthropology at ANU. 

Michael Alexander McRobbie AO, Australian–American computer scientist; 18th president of Indiana University (2007–2021) 

Annastacia Palaszczuk, 39th premier of Queensland 

Mari Pangestu, Indonesian economist, managing director of development policy and partnerships, World Bank since 2020.  

Thérèse Rein, entrepreneur and founder of Ingeus  

Jennifer Robinson, human rights lawyer and barrister 

Kevin Rudd AC, 26th prime minister of Australia 

Susan Ryan AO, former Australian age discrimination and human rights commissioner  

Rob Scott, Wesfarmers chief executive officer

Larry Sitsky AO, FAHA, Australian composer, pianist, music educator and scholar 

Graham Tuckwell AO, businessman and philanthropist  

Penny Williams PSM, diplomat, first female Australian ambassador to Indonesia 

Prince Katsura Yoshihito, member of the Imperial House of Japan 

1. QS World University Rankings 2023; 2. Good Universities Guide 2023; 3. Times Higher Education Rankings 2023; 4. Times Higher Education Global University Employability Rankings 2023–24; 5. QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023; 6. The World’s Most Sustainable Cities 2021; 7. IMD Smart City Index 2023; 8. Multicultural Canberra 2022;