The University's commitment to graduate qualities reflects a world-wide movement within educational institutions such as universities. There is a deliberate focus on the development of particular student outcomes through educational programs. A number of different terms are used to refer to these outcomes including graduate qualities, graduate outcomes, graduate attributes, generic qualities and transferable or key skills.

The University of South Australia has adopted as institutional policy a statement of seven graduate qualities as the outcomes it seeks for its undergraduates (stated below). It has also developed a related set of Research Degree Graduate Qualities.

A graduate of the University of South Australia:

  1. operates effectively with and upon a body of knowledge of sufficient depth to begin professional practice
  2. is prepared for life-long learning in pursuit of personal development and excellence in professional practice
  3. is an effective problem solver, capable of applying logical, critical, and creative thinking to a range of problems
  4. can work both autonomously and collaboratively as a professional
  5. is committed to ethical action and social responsibility as a professional and citizen
  6. communicates effectively in professional practice and as a member of the community
  7. demonstrates international perspectives as a professional and as a citizen.

Each of the qualities has indicators which serve as a guide to their development.