Flinders University, or The Flinders University of South Australia, is a public university in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, founded in 1966. It is named in honour of navigator and explorer Matthew Flinders, who explored and surveyed the South Australian coastline in the early 19th century.
The university has established a reputation as a leading research institution with a devotion to innovation. It is a member of Innovative Research Universities Australia and ranks among the leading universities in Australia. Academically, the university pioneered a cross-disciplinary approach to education and has respected faculties in medicine, law, the sciences and humanities. In 2008 the university is ranked 10th in Australia and among the top 401 universities globally by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Just 18 days earlier, however, the South Australian Parliament had passed legislation to create an independent institution and the State's second university officially came into being on July 1st. There were 90 staff, four schools and just over 400 students. Professor Peter Karmel was the first Vice-Chancellor and Sir Mark Mitchell the first Chancellor. The campus land has been owned by the State or Federal Government since 1915.
The university takes its name from British navigator Matthew Flinders, who explored and surveyed the South Australian coastline in 1802. Its coat of arms includes a reproduction of Flinders' ship Investigator and an extract from his book A Voyage to Terra Australis.
A significant early initiative was the decision to build the Flinders Medical Centre on land adjacent to the campus and to base the university's Medical School within this new public hospital - the first such integration in Australia. FMC opened in 1976. In 1990, the biggest building project on campus since the mid-1970s saw work commence on three new buildings - Law and Commerce; Engineering; and Information Science and Technology. In 1991, as part of a restructuring of higher education in South Australia, Flinders merged with the adjacent Sturt Campus of the former South Australian College of Advanced Education. In 1992 the present four-faculty structure was adopted.
Flinders University offers more than 160 undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as higher degree research supervision across all disciplines. Many courses use new information and communication technologies to supplement face-to-face teaching and provide flexible options.