University of South Australia

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University of South Australia
University of South Australia.svg
Motto Educating professionals. Creating and applying knowledge. Engaging our communities.
Type Public research university
  • 1856 SA School of Arts
  • 1889 SA School of Mines & Industries
  • 1991 University of South Australia
Endowment A$607.54 million
Chancellor Jim McDowell
Vice-Chancellor David Lloyd
Academic staff
3,064 (Full-time)[1]
Students 32,000 (2015)
Location Adelaide, Whyalla and Mount Gambier, SA, Australia
34°55′29.41″S 138°35′44.35″E / 34.9248361°S 138.5956528°E / -34.9248361; 138.5956528Coordinates: 34°55′29.41″S 138°35′44.35″E / 34.9248361°S 138.5956528°E / -34.9248361; 138.5956528
Colours Blue, White          
Sports UniSA Sport

The University of South Australia (UniSA) is a public research university in the Australian state of South Australia. It is the largest university in South Australia with more than 32,000 students.

The university was founded in its current form in 1991 with the merger of the South Australian Institute of Technology (1889) and College of Advanced Education (1856), combining more than 150 years of teaching and research history.[2] The legislation to establish and name the new University of South Australia was introduced by the Hon Mike Rann MP, Minister of Employment and Further Education.[3]

Under the University's Act,[4] its original mission was "to preserve, extend and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research, scholarship and consultancy, and to provide educational programs that will enhance the diverse cultural life of the wider community".

The University of South Australia is among the world's top universities, ranked within the top 300 universities worldwide by the QS World University Ranking and top 15 nationally in research outcomes.[5][6] In 2015, UniSA was named as one of the world’s best young universities ranked in the world’s top 50 under 50 at #25 by Quacarelli Symonds and #38 by Times Higher Education.

The University is a founding member of the Australian Technology Network of universities. It has two Adelaide city centre campuses, two Adelaide metropolitan campuses, and two South Australian regional campuses.


The University of South Australia was formed with the merger of the South Australian Institute of Technology (SAIT) with three of the campuses (Magill, Salisbury and Underdale) of the South Australian College of Advanced Education (SACAE) in 1991.[7] The two other SACAE campuses, City and Sturt, were merged with the University of Adelaide and Flinders University respectively.[8] To the former SACAE campuses of Magill, Salisbury and Underdale, SAIT added to the merger its three campuses at City East, The Levels (now known as Mawson Lakes) and Whyalla.

Salisbury campus was vacated in 1996, but its sale was held up for many years by litigation. In 1997, a new campus was opened at City West. In 2005, the campus at Underdale was closed as part of the Blueprint 2005 project, and its programmes were moved to other campuses. Some services still reside at Underdale such as Document Services. Blueprint 2005 also involved a number of new buildings, in particular at City West and Mawson Lakes.[9][10]

School of Arts[edit]

The South Australian School of Arts can trace its history back to 1856[11] and the pioneering work of Charles Hill and H. P. Gill, through an unbroken succession of titles and changes in emphasis. It can claim to be one of the oldest art schools in Australia, and the oldest public art school.[12] See South Australian School of Design for more detail.

The South Australian School of Arts, an established school within the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, provides the most prestigious and valuable visual arts scholarship in Australia, the Gordon Samstag Scholarship.[13]

History of SACAE[edit]

The South Australian College of Advanced Education was formed in 1982 with the merger of five Colleges of Advanced Education. Adelaide CAE, Hartley CAE, Salisbury CAE, Sturt CAE and Torrens CAE respectively became the Adelaide (adjacent to Adelaide University), Magill, Salisbury, Sturt (actually in Bedford Park, adjacent to Flinders University) and Underdale CAE.[14]

Hartley CAE was in turn formed from the 1979 merger of Murray Park CAE and Kingston CAE.

Origins of the Colleges of Advanced Education[15]

1973 saw the formation of the Colleges of Advanced Education which would make up the SACAE.

  • Adelaide CAE developed from Adelaide Teachers College (est. 1921), which had its roots in a training school established in 1876.
  • Murray Park CAE originated from Wattle Park Teachers College, which branched off from Adelaide Teachers College in 1957.
  • Torrens CAE had its origins in the South Australian School of Arts, which dates back to 1856,[16] and in Western Teachers College, which branched off from Adelaide Teachers College in 1962.
  • Kingston CAE developed from the Adelaide Kindergarten Teachers College (est. 1967), which had its roots in a kindergarten training centre established in 1907.
  • Sturt CAE was originally Bedford Park Teachers College (est. 1966).
  • Salisbury CAE was originally Salisbury Teachers College (est. 1968).

History of SAIT[edit]

The South Australian Institute of Technology was an educational institution with 3 campuses in Adelaide, SA. Under a government reform to education in 1991 it was given the option of merging with the newly formed TAFE SA or the South Australian College of Advanced Education to form the University of South Australia. It had a broad range of topics making it a clear fit with neither institution.

South Australian School of Mines and Industries[edit]

  • 1889 South Australian School of Mines and Industries established on the corner of North Terrace and Frome Road between the University of Adelaide and the Royal Adelaide Hospital.[17] The building, the gift of Sir George Brookman,[18] was from 1918 to 1960 the home of Adelaide Technical High School.
  • 1960 The South Australian School of Mines and Industries became the South Australian Institute of Technology (SAIT) and Adelaide Technical High School moved to Glenunga to become Glenunga High. The SAIT was made up of three campuses, all of which remain a part of the University of South Australia.[15][17]
  • 1965 The SAIT was designated a college of advanced education resulting in a broadening in the range of courses offered, particularly at the professional level.[17]


There are two campuses in the Adelaide city centre (both on North Terrace), two metropolitan campuses (at Mawson Lakes, formerly The Levels, and Magill), and two campuses in regional South Australia, (Whyalla and Mount Gambier). A state-of-the-art Learning Centre, located in the western half of Hindley Street (in the city) is now complete.[19] The University of South Australia delivers its offshore degree programs in collaboration with private institutions in Hong Kong Baptist University and other higher education institutions throughout Asia.

City East[edit]

UniSA City East Campus, which incorporates Brookman Hall

Located on the corner of North Terrace and Frome Road, (opposite the Royal Adelaide Hospital and adjacent to the University of Adelaide, on the site of the former South Australian Institute of Technology, and before that, the School of Mines), the City East campus is home to UniSA's Division of Health Sciences. It provides undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees for over 7,000 students.

The campus has undergone several building upgrades and expansions in recent years. The Basil Hetzel Building was opened in 2005 and includes 2,000 square metres of multipurpose biomechanical, pharmaceutical and microbiological laboratory space.[20] There was a major reconstruction to the historic School of Mines building in 2008-09[21] to include a new outdoor plaza, a new exercise physiology clinic, outdoor walkways, student lounges and other upgrades.

UniSA's health and biomedical research concentration is focused on education and research concerning the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of health problems. It encompasses the schools of Health Sciences, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Population Health and The Sansom Institute for Health Research.

A small selection of non health related programs are run from the City East campus, including construction management, geographic information systems, planning and geoinformatics, and surveying. City East is also home to the Centre for English Language in the University of South Australia (CELUSA) and the South Australian Institute of Business and Technology (SAIBT).

City West[edit]

Located on the corner of North Terrace and Morphett Street (in the city), the City West Campus is home to business, law, commerce and management, architecture and creative arts. It is located between North Terrace and Hindley Street in buildings constructed in the 1990s for the new campus.

New building was also undertaken as part of a $167 million six-year asset plan known as Blueprint, including the $35 million Hawke building, named in honour of former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke and opened in 2007.[22] The Hawke Building houses the second largest public art gallery in the state of South Australia, the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art. It also includes the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, (purpose-built for exhibitions relating to culture, history and social debate), the Allan Scott Auditorium, the Hawke Prime Ministerial Library, and Australia's only architecture museum.

The Blueprint project included the construction of six major buildings, extensions and upgrades across UniSA's six campuses and featured the Dorrit Black and Kaurna buildings completed in 2005 at City West, the South Australian School of Art, and the Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design.[23]

In 2014 the University opened an $85 million cutting-edge learning centre on the City West campus. Named for alumnus, artist Jeffrey Smart, the building houses teaching and learning spaces, access to ibrary resources and an integrated range of student support services. Also being built on the City West campus are the new Great Hall featuring a sports complex, swimming pool and facilities for graduations, exams, corporate and cultural events which opens in 2017 and a new Health Innovation Building, part of the biomedical and health precinct being developed on North Terrace. The Health Innovation Building, due to open in 2018, is a $230m health and research facility to support a collaborative and holistic approach to health research. It will also house the university’s new Science|Creativity|Education Studio (Sci|C|Ed) which will bring science and technology out of the lab and into the public realm, creating new opportunities for scientists, students and industry to innovate, create and collaborate.

The City West campus is also home to the Business School comprising the Schools of Commerce, Management, Marketing, and Law.


Murray House and landscaped grounds, UniSA Magill Campus

Magill Campus is located on St. Bernard's Road at Magill. It focuses on a range of education, humanities and social science disciplines, including Psychology, Communication and Media, Public Relations, Journalism, and the Study of International Relations.[24]

It will also house the university’s new education precinct.[25]

Mawson Lakes[edit]

Mawson Lakes (formerly The Levels) is well known for its computing and information technology, engineering, science, civil aviation, applied science, sports science, e-commerce and environmental studies programs.

The campus also houses many internationally and nationally recognised research institutes and centres, the newest of which is the new multi-million Future Industries Institute (FII) which focuses on building knowledge and capacity in core future industries.[26]


Programs offered at Whyalla reflect the needs and priorities of rural and regional Australia. Whyalla campus has developed programs and expertise that reflect rural and regional Australia. The campus provides expertise in the fields of nursing, social work, early childhood and primary teaching, engineering and community wellbeing as well as offering a pathway to tertiary learning through its Foundation Studies program.[27]

Mount Gambier[edit]

Based in the Limestone Coast region of southeast South Australia, UniSA’s Mount Gambier Campus provides learning opportunities to country-based students and researchers.

Mount Gambier offers students undergraduate programs in nursing, social work, primary and early childhood education, and UniSA Foundation Studies, which prepares students for tertiary education.

Organisation and governance[edit]

Learning Centre, city west campus

Division of Health Sciences

  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
  • School of Population Health

Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences

  • School of Art, Architecture and Design
  • School of Communication, International Studies and Languages
  • School of Education
  • School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy

UniSA Business School

  • School of Commerce
  • School of Management
  • School of Marketing
  • School of Law

Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment

  • School of Engineering
  • School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences
  • School of Natural and Built Environments

Research Institutes

  • UniSA has four flagship research institutes:
  • Future Industries Institute (FII)
  • Sansom Institute for Health Research
  • Hawke Research Institute
  • Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science



Name Position Commenced Concluded
Alan Mead Vice-Chancellor 1991 1997
Denise Bradley[28] Vice Chancellor 1997 2007
David Klingberg[28] Chancellor 1998 2008
Alice McCleary[29] Deputy Chancellor 2002 2009
Peter Høj Vice Chancellor 2007 2012
Ian Gould Chancellor 2008 2015
Wendy Craik Deputy Chancellor 2010 current
David Lloyd Vice Chancellor 2013 current
Jim McDowell Chancellor 2016 current

Academic profile[edit]

Rankings and achievements[edit]

University rankings
University of South Australia
QS World[30] 279
THE-WUR World[31] 201-250
USNWR World[32] 433=
CWTS Leiden World[33] 255
Australian rankings
QS National[30] 15
THE-WUR National [34] 9
CWTS Leiden National[33] 15
ERA National[36] 8[35]

The University of South Australia is ranked within the top 300 universities worldwide by the QS World University Rankings [37] and 201-250th ranking bracket by the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[38] UniSA Business School is fully accredited by EQUIS, which accredited fewer than 200 universities worldwide.[39] Nationally, the university was ranked 8th in Australia in the Excellence in Research for Australia rankings.[35]


Student life[edit]


University of South Australia Students Association (USASA, formerly UniLife) is a democratic organisation run by students, which is responsive to student needs. USASA improves the quality of student life by providing administrative support to over 100 sporting and social clubs, a diverse range of events throughout the year and free advocacy and advice services, and also produces the UniSA student magazine Verse Magazine.

After the passing of the voluntary student unionism legislation the activities and collective voice of students was significantly diminished. However this has spurred the student association to work hard to offer students better value for money.


UniSA Sport, which manages the sporting life of students at the university, organizes and facilitates the development of sport clubs and activities on campuses. UniSA sport teams participate annually in both national and regional intercollegiate competitions such as the Australian University Games as well as the Southern University Games between Victorian, Tasmanian and South Australian universities.


Employment of alleged rapist[edit]

Senior management of the university allowed an alleged rapist to teach. An investigative report, commissioned by the Catholic Church, reported 16 allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the man while working at his previous institution, Tenison Woods College in 2010. An alleged historic victim, who was then a student at Tenison Woods College and a current student at UniSA, informed the university about the man in 2015. A copy of the investigative report was submitted in 2016. However, no action was taken by the university in both cases, and the man continued teaching until his tenure was naturally expired. Vice Chancellor David Lloyd later apologised to the victim saying "what you have experienced should simply never have happened", assuring her that the man will no longer have contact with UniSA students.[40]

2017 Human Rights Commission survey[edit]

In 2017, 612 of the UniSA's 28,070 students responded to the Australian Human Rights Commission's national survey on campus abuse. The reported result of the proportion of students subject to sexual assault were: a national average rate of 1.6%, with UniSA at 3% (fourth highest), University of Adelaide (1,182 responses from 24,836 students) at 0.8% (30th), and Flinders University (320 responses from 21,116 students) at 0.2% (38th). Results for the proportion of students subject to sexual harassment were: National average 21%, Adelaide 21% (16th), Flinders 21% (17th) and UniSA 16% (31st).[41] However, a different article reports the statistics on sexual harassment as: national figure of 26%, with UniSA at 24%, Flinders University at 23% and the University of Adelaide at 28%.[42]

The University of South Australia Student Association expressed sorrow and said it would hold "the university accountable for their practices, and will be keeping the pressure on the institution to reform procedures and services that are survivor centric and accessible for all students".[43] Vice-Chancellor David Lloyd questioned the data saying there were "significant differences in response rates at each university" and that it "does not reflect our own recorded reporting of such incidents".[42][44]

Previously under a 2016 FOI request, UniSA had said that between 2011 and 2016 there were only 17 officially reported cases of sexual abuse on campus, resulting in no expulsions, no suspensions and two formal warnings.[45] Adelaide based End Rape on Campus (EROC) support worker Sharna Bremmer,[46] confirmed that she has liaised with sexual assault victims from Australian universities including UniSA.[47] In May 2016 the university introduced the Respect.Now.Always campaign in an attempt to combat on-campus sexual assault.[48]

Notable alumni[edit]


Business and commerce[edit]

Human Rights[edit]

Journalism and media[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "UniSA Business School - 25 years of enterprise". 
  3. ^ News Release, University of South Australia, 17 August 2006
  4. ^ "University legislation". University of South Australia. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "QS World University Rankings® 2015/16". 11 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Anonymous (4 December 2015). "ERA 2015 results". 
  7. ^ "genealogy". University of South Australia. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Australian Higher Education Institutions: Mergers and Amalgamations 1987-2004" (PDF). Universities Australia website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2008. 
  9. ^ "SA's campus makeover". The Advertiser. 27 November 2002. 
  10. ^ "BLUEPRINT UniSA - ADVERTISING FEATURE - Ambitious plan a reality". The Advertiser. 26 April 2005. 
  11. ^ "About the School". 
  12. ^ McCulloch, Alan Encyclopedia of Australian Art Hutchinson of London 1968 ISBN 0-09-081420-7
  13. ^ "The Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships". University of South Australia. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "UniSA Milestones". University of South Australia. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "UniSA genealogy". University of South Australia. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  16. ^ "School of Art History Project". University of South Australia. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c "UniSA Milestones". University of South Australia. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  18. ^ "The Late Sir George Brookman". The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931). Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 21 June 1927. p. 12. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "New $80m Learning Centre". University of South Australia. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Basil Hetzel Building". University of South Australia. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "UniSA Facilities Management Unit Announcement". University of South Australia. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "Hawke Building opens – a hallmark of character, innovation and leadership" (Press release). University of South Australia. 9 October 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "From Blueprint to Landmark – UniSA City West buildings launched" (Press release). University of South Australia. 26 April 2005. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ The Adelaide Planetarium University of South Australia. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  27. ^ "Whyalla Campus". University of South Australia. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  28. ^ a b "Annual Report 2006" (PDF). University of South Australia. Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  29. ^ "Annual Report 2009" (PDF). University of South Australia. Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  30. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2018". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  31. ^ "World University Rankings 2017-2018". TSL Education Limited. 
  32. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities Rankings 2016". U.S. News and World Report. 
  33. ^ a b "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2017". Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University. 
  34. ^ "THE 2016-2017 - Australia". Times Higher Education. 
  35. ^ a b "All unis winners in research audit". The Australian. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  36. ^ "Australian University Rankings". Australian Education Network. 
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ Funnell, Nina (2017-04-05). "Alleged rapist allowed to teach University of South Australia students". Archived from the original on 2017-04-05. Retrieved 2017-07-24. 
  41. ^ "Search how every university in Australia ranks for sexual harassment and assault". The Age. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  42. ^ a b David Washington (1 August 2017). "Uni sex assault survey: SA institutions react to their data". indaily. 
  43. ^ Joe Nes (4 August 2017). "Universities must acknowledge their failings & take real action on sexual assault & harassment". University of South Australia Student Association. 
  44. ^ [1]; [2].[not in citation given] Both articles behind a paywall.
  45. ^ Funnell, Nina (10 October 2016). "Full list of universities exposed by sexual assault investigation". News Limited. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  46. ^ Davis, Ashleigh (5 June 2016). "Australian woman starts group to tackle sexual assault on campus - as she says 'plagiarism can attract greater sanctions than rape'". Daily Mail Australia. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  47. ^ Rooke, Drew (10 September 2016). "Campus assaults". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  48. ^ "Respect.Now.Always". University of South Australia. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  49. ^ a b c "101 things you might not know about UniSA" (PDF). UniSA. November 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 

External links[edit]