The study of history has been part of the curriculum of the University of Melbourne since it began teaching in 1854. The study of history, and the history of the University (150 years of academic excellence), makes some fascinating reading.
The University of Melbourne is as much a part of the City of Melbourne as its people.
The University of Melbourne was founded very early in the history of the colony of Victoria, less than 20 years after Batman and Fawkner arrived and less than two years after gold commenced the dramatic increase of population and wealth.
The University itself was a direct product of the gold rushes. It was made possible by the wealth of gold and was a demonstration of how important Victoria now saw itself. It was a conscious move by the raw and young community to cloak itself with some of the culture and sophistication of the parent country, and to assert its equality with Sydney whose university opened in 1852. Melbourne's University was also intended to be an agency of civilization - to improve the moral character of the colony.