Students at the University of Sydney
Early women students and graduates
The first students were admitted to the University of Sydney in 1852.
However it was not until 1881 that Senate unanimously decided to allow the admission of women, and the passing of the University Amendment Act in 1884 secured the legal rights of women at Sydney University.
The first two women were admitted to the University in 1882, graduating Bachelor of Arts three years later.
Some professors however doubted the suitability of women for their particular discipline or course, and consequently did little to encourage women students. It was therefore difficult for women to enrol in some courses, e.g. Law and Medicine.
Once enrolled, many early women students faced discrimination during their time at the University, from Professors and from male students, e.g. in Medicine.
Then, once they had graduated, many of these early women faced issues of limited employment opportunities and discrimination in the workplace, e.g. in Law, Medicine, Dentistry and Science.
However, by 1990 just over a century after the first woman graduated women students outnumbered men for the first time in the history of Sydney University, with 15,000 women enrolled in a student body of 26,000.
The first women undergraduates and graduates
Click on the links below for a snapshot and photos of the first University of Sydney women undergrduate students and graduates in the earliest faculties:
the early women
|Architecture||1918:||1922:||Bachelor of Architecture|
Edith Swain BA
Ada Evans BA
|Veterinary Science||1930:||1935:||Bachelor of
The life of the early women students
View photos and information about the life of the early women students:
- The Women's Common Room 1885
- Early women's unions from 1892
- The Women's Union and building (Manning House) 1917
- The Women's College 1892
For more information, click on the links below: