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University of Melbourne
Victoria 3052
PHONE: 61-3-9344-4000
FAX: 61-3-9347-5104


When Pauline Hanson's star was still in the ascendant, the father of a prospective student from Singapore fired off a letter to the University of Melbourne. He was worried about his child being the brunt of racist sentiments. The letter landed on the desk of Derek Chan, a man well qualified to offer advice. The university's associate dean for international students, Chan has lived in Australia for 34 years and has an 18-year-old daughter of his own. Chan wrote back to allay Dad's fears and Melbourne enrolled yet another international freshman.

The episode is indicative of the ever-strengthening bond between Melbourne and Asia. About 10% of the university's 34,500 students come from overseas. Vice-Chancellor Alan Gilbert believes that campuses Down Under provide fertile ground to develop a successful multicultural society. "Australia may be on the geopolitical margins of the world," he says. "But it has a role to play in showing how a dynamic, culturally diverse society can function."

Not that assimilating into Aussie life is always smooth. The university's "Arrival Survival" handbook warns overseas newcomers that their first impression of their Australian counterparts will likely be of loud unholy drunken hedonists. "I don't think there's racism on campus," says Goh Kimito, a student from Japan. "But there are still two distinct groups, Australian-born students and international students." Goh bridged the gap by lodging with a local family, where she loves watching Australian kids interacting - and occasionally fighting - with their parents. On campus and off, Melbourne offers a distinct learning experience.

- By Ian Jarrett

in the rankings score out of rank
academic reputation 19.38 20 5
student selectivity 15.97 25 40
faculty resources 15.03 25 44
research output 9.80 20 4
financial resources 4.33 10 21
OVERALL SCORE 64.50 100 10

statistics   rank
rank this year 10
rank last year 9
median annual
pay, teachers
& researchers,
40,199 45
14 33
citations in
per teacher
0.91 14
per student,
4.60 14

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