Frequently asked questions

The Councils of the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia have agreed to explore the merits of a merger to create a new, leading Australian university.

This exploration will consider whether a merged university would generate a stronger institution that has the potential to deliver greater outcomes for the State of South Australia, and for its students, graduates and partners.

The question of mergers between universities has bounced around South Australia, as it has in other States, for two decades.

The national and international landscapes of higher education are rapidly changing. Now is the time to facilitate a conversation about whether uniting the two universities would create a new internationally renowned university of scale that would be well placed to anticipate and respond to this changing landscape.

As two institutions that already sit alongside one another on North Terrace, that collaborate in areas like the SA Biomed City project, and are successful in their own right, the universities should now grasp the opportunity to consider the merits of a shared future for both institutions.

Both universities have unique histories, and each university has evolved to meet the needs of each generation. The universities are now wanting to explore together whether they might build on that proud history, leading to more opportunity for the communities they serve.

The process will need to determine whether a new university would deliver greater access and benefits to students and alumni, create more opportunities for staff, enable further collaboration with and contribution to the community, increase research opportunities, and make stronger economic, social and cultural contributions to South Australia.

The process will also need to determine whether combining and consolidating the two universities' complementary expertise would: position a new university in the top few in Australia for size and scale; place it firmly within the world’s top 100; and have a reach that could make it one of the most internationally connected universities in Australia.

No. The universities have agreed to explore the merits of a merger to create a new, leading Australian university.

This is about whether or not a new university would be a stronger institution nationally and internationally, with the potential to deliver greater outcomes for the State of South Australia.

The conversation will be focused on whether uniting the two universities would create an internationally renowned university of scale that is well placed to anticipate and respond to the changing landscape of higher education.

The process will need to determine whether a new university would deliver greater access and benefits to students and alumni, create more opportunities for staff, enable further collaboration with and contribution to the community, increase research opportunities, and make stronger economic, social and cultural contributions to South Australia.

No. All current academic programs, student services and research relationships will continue, and each institution will continue to operate as normal during this period.

No. Each institution will continue to operate as normal during this period.

No decision has been made about the creation of a new institution. Both universities are encouraging input and feedback from staff and key stakeholders throughout this consultation period to develop a shared understanding of the likely composition of the workforce, should a new institution be created.

The ultimate aim of this process is to determine whether it is possible to build a stronger university – one that generates greater economic, social and cultural opportunities for South Australia.

Both universities will undertake extensive consultation with staff, students and alumni, as well as business, industry, government and members of the community.

Full details of the consultation process will be announced over the coming weeks, with a website to provide further information and enable submissions to be made. Submissions will be called for across the period August-September.

The process has only just begun and it would not be helpful to pre-empt the outcome of the consultation and the discussions. Each institution will continue to operate as normal during this period.

The two Vice-Chancellors, Professor David Lloyd (UniSA) and Professor Peter Rathjen (Adelaide), will oversee a joint report, to be delivered to the University Councils by the end of the year.

The Councils will consider the report at their December meetings and will determine the merits and viability of progressing with a merger or not, at that time.

This period of consultation will not impact current students or new students who enrol in 2019. The universities guarantee that current students and new students in 2019 will be able to complete their degree and receive a testamur/parchment from the University at which they commence their studies.

Both universities are recognised as world class in various rankings schemes with the University of South Australia again rising in the Times Higher Education young universities rankings, and the QS world university rankings. If a merger were to proceed, it would be on the basis of creating a stronger university with an overall improvement in world rankings.

There is no impact on fees for international students or change to current University policy as a result of the announcement. Students commencing in 2019 or continuing their studies will be subject to the university’s normal annual fee increase which does not exceed 7%.

Areas of study and research

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