The University of Melbourne is a public research university located in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1853, it is Australia's second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Its main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of Melbourne's central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria.
Incorporated by the Victoria Colony, the University of Melbourne is one of Australia's six sandstone universities and a member of the Group of Eight, Universities, Washington University's McDonnell International Scholars Academy, and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Since 1872, various residential colleges have become affiliated with the university, offering accommodation for students and faculty, and academic, sporting and cultural programs. There are ten colleges located on the main campus and in nearby suburbs.
The university comprises ten separate academic units and is associated with numerous institutes and research centers, including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and the Grattan Institute. Amongst the university's fifteen graduate schools, the Melbourne Business School, the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Medical School are particularly well regarded.
Hugh Childers, the Auditor-General and Finance Minister in his first Budget Speech established the University of Melbourne following a proposal on 4 November 1852, who set aside a sum of £10,000 for the establishment of a university. Act of Incorporation established the university on 22 January 1853, with power to confer degrees in arts, medicine, laws and music. The act provided for an annual endowment of £9,000, while a special grant of £20,000 was made for buildings that year. The foundation stone was laid on 3 July 1854 and on the same day the foundation stone for the State Library. Classes commenced in 1855 with three professors and sixteen students; of this body of students only four graduated. The Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham, officially opened the original buildings on 3 October 1855.