The coolest things that happened at Sydney Uni in 2016

16 December 2016
Get ready for major FOMO

If there were world university rankings for awesome things that happen on campus, we reckon we'd be in for a gold medal. Here's just a few of the coolest things that happened on campus this year.

That time at Sydney Uni when…

Jackie Chan popped in to film his new movie

The movie legend visited campus in July to film several scenes for his latest film, Bleeding Steel. The biggest Chinese production ever to be filmed in Australia, the science-fiction thriller shoot saw several actors dressed in futuristic costumes strolling around Eastern Avenue and grabbing coffee on campus. Chan set up camp in the Pharmacy Building, before shooting scenes at The Women’s College and a parkour fight sequence inside the Graffiti Tunnel. We can’t wait to see what Sydney Uni looks like on the big screen when Bleeding Steel hits cinemas in 2017!

Jackie Chan spotted outside the Faculty of Pharmacy. 

We reached next level Hogwarts status

Our students and visitors often liken our sandstone buildings and grotesques to those of Hogwarts.  But the likeness was made official this year when we were named by Buzzfeed as the world’s second most ‘Hogwarts-like’ university (behind Oxford, where parts of the films were actually filmed!).

Oh, and did we mention we have our very own Quidditch Society?

It's official! We're the 2nd most Hogwarts-like uni in the world.

Game of Thrones got (seriously) academic

It’s no secret that we’re big Game of Thrones fans here at Sydney Uni, but who would have thought that quantum physics could predict the end of the season six finale? Or that the awful King Joffrey looks like ‘an amateur’ compared to the real life William the Bad of Sicily? 

We took to our academics to ask, according to their areas of study, who might end up on the Iron Throne at the end of the series, and what might happen in the finale (SPOILER ALERT: Don’t watch if you’re still catching up on GOT episodes!)

It wasn’t the first time the Winds of Westeros blew across campus though. In 2014 winter came to Sydney Uni for a very special GOT carillon cover which was even watched by Davos Seaworth himself!

An academic approach to Game of Thrones

Our student vets helped Indira the tiger get a (very big) CAT scan

Student vets at our University Veterinary Teaching Hospital helped take care of a very special patient in July, when Indira the cross-eyed tiger came in for tests ahead of surgery.

Beautiful Indira was the first tiger to be treated at the facility in more than a decade, and stole the hearts of our staff and students (including PhD candidate and Instagrammer Louise Prestipino (@glassfauna), who took some great shots on the day).

Indira at our Vet hospital. Pic: Louise Prestipino ( @glassfauna )

Ice Cube visited The Con to share some study advice

Okay, so technically this happened just over a year ago (but how could we not include it). Ice Cube and his son O’Shea Jackson Jnr came to visit us at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in September when they were in Sydney to promote their film Straight Outta Compton.

The pair jammed with our classical music students, posed for a photo shoot and gave them some study time. Ice Cube’s words of wisdom? Stay creative, stay positive, be confident, do what you love and… EXPRESS YOURSELF! 

Ice Cube and O'Shea Jackson Jr at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Photo: @lifewithoutandy

Our student athletes helped us come 45th in the world at the Rio Games (if we were a country)

Our 27 student athletes left the Rio Games with a gold and bronze medal and three silvers.  We were glued to our TV screens cheering them on as they competed in more than 20 disciplines.  If the University of Sydney were a country, we would have been raked 45 on the overall medal tally! Australia finished 10th on the medal ladder with eight gold, 11 silver and ten bronze. 

Wishing our Sydney Uni students good luck in Rio!

We entered the world of Snapchat

Our Sydney Uni Snapchat account was launched at Open Day in August with a treasure hunt which saw attendees explore our campus, taking snaps using GeoFilters designed by our clever students. Those who completed a snap story with all six raced back the Quad to snap up a stash of Sydney Uni prizes.

Since then, our students have taken the Snapchat reigns and taken our fans with them for a behind the scenes look at everything from the set up of our architecture exhibitions, to graduation and opera performances to international experiences in Vietnam and Stockholm. 

See what uni life is really like through the eyes of our students. Add sydney_uni on Snapchat to see what our students get up to in 2017.

X marks the spot. Pic: Esra Yavuzcehre (@esraordinary). 

We raised the bar and were part of some seriously fun events

We’re all for taking education out of the lecture theatre and into our city.  In October, we took to Sydney’s famous bars, with 20 free talks by our academics on everything from business innovations to Taylor Swift. Find out more about Raising the Bar.

This year, Associate Professor Michael Biercuk spoke about the exciting world of quantum technology at TEDxSydney, and Sydney Uni grads Emily Parsons Lloyd spoke about her cross-disciplinary artistry at TEDxYouth.

Our student Instagrammers were there to capture all the action, sharing some amazing photos of the day through our Insta account. 

Kanye designed our graduation robes (well, sort of), and the Jezabels played a secret show.

The announcement that Kanye West was to design a limited edition Yeezy academic robe for 2017 graduands was met with a flurry of excitement from our students – until it was revealed to be an April Fools joke.

Luckily, we did get our real life music fix this year, when Aussie band The Jezebels (who are all Sydney Uni grads!) performed a secret show for our students at Manning Bar. Listen to some of their favourite uni memories.

Kanye hard at work on his graduation robe designs. 

We became the home of one of Sydney’s most instagrammable staircases

If you haven’t visited our Business School’s new Abercrombie Building yet, you definitely will have seen its staircase on Instagram. Here are just a few of our favourite spiral staircase shots taken since the building opened in 2016. 

Brooklyn started her dog-torate 

No bones about it, Sydney Uni’s newest student, Brooklyn the British bulldog had a ball at this year's O Week.  She romped around campus, made friends at the USU’s O Week festival, collected her student card and even gatecrashed the Vice Chancellor’s office. 

For many of our students, Brooklyn's return to campus was a triumphant one. When she was just a puppy, many of our student vets helped care for her when she came for treatment at the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Naturally, they all fell in love with her and were very excited to see her in good health having fun on campus. 

Brooklyn's first day at Sydney Uni

Hundreds of Intsagram photos were posted as tributes to our jacaranda. Pic: @seveennnnn

A purple reign ended and a new beginning bloomed

After a glorious 88 years, we sadly said goodbye to our famous jacaranda tree in 2016. But not before it gave one final bloom to wish our students well for their final weeks of study in 2016.

For many years our students lived by the folklore that any undergraduate who fails to study before the tree's first bloom appears will fail their exams. Hundreds flocked to the Quad to pay their respects for the tree that had been the backdrop of decades of graduation photos.

But 2017 will bring with it a new year and a new tree. Two new trees in fact!  Find out more about the cloned jacaranda (that’s right, our beloved tree was cloned before it died) and the native tree that will take pride of place in the Quad next year.


Joining us in 2017? We can’t wait to share all the exciting stuff we have in store for you. Keep up to date on all the cool stuff happening at Sydney Uni by following us and sharing your pics and videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (sydney_uni).

See you on campus in 2017! 

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