The University of South Australia (UniSA) is a public research university in the Australian state of South Australia. It is a founding member of the Australian Technology Network of universities, and 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. 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. Under the University's Act, 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".
UniSA 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. In 2015, it 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. It has two Adelaide city centre campuses, two Adelaide metropolitan campuses, and two South Australian regional campuses.
UniSA was formed in 1991 by the merger of the South Australian Institute of Technology with three South Australian College of Advanced Education campuses. To the former SACAE campuses of Magill, Salisbury, and Underdale, SAIT added its three campuses at City East, The Levels (now called Mawson Lakes) and Whyalla. The two other SACAE campuses, City (adjacent to University of Adelaide), and Sturt (in Bedford Park, adjacent to Flinders University), were later merged into their nearby universities.
School of Arts
The South Australian School of Arts can trace its history back to 1856 and the work of Charles Hill and H. P. Gill, and connected to the South Australian School of Design. As such, it can claim to be one of the oldest art schools in Australia, and the oldest public art school. The school, now within UniSA's Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, is also known for providing a visual arts scholarship, the Ann & Gordon Samstag Scholarship.
The South Australian College of Advanced Education (SACAE) was formed in 1982 with the merger of five Colleges of Advanced Education (CAE). Adelaide, Hartley, Salisbury, Sturt, and Torrens CAEs became the Adelaide, Magill, Salisbury, Sturt, and Underdale campuses of the SACAE.
The CAE themselves were formed from various Teachers' Colleges in 1973.
- 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, 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).
In 1979 Hartley CAE was formed from the merger of Murray Park CAE and Kingston CAE.
The South Australian Institute of Technology traced its origins back to 1889 when the 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. The building, the gift of Sir George Brookman, was from 1918 to 1960 the home of Adelaide Technical High School. In 1960 it 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. In 1965 SAIT was designated a college of advanced education resulting in a broadening in the range of courses offered, particularly at the professional level. Under a government reform to education in 1991 it was given the option of merging with the newly formed TAFE SA or the SACAE to form the University of South Australia. SAIT was an educational institution with 3 campuses in suburban Adelaide, and had a broad range of topics making it a clear fit with neither institution, though SACAE was chosen in the end.
Shortly after the merger, Salisbury campus was vacated in 1996, given its proximity of the nearby Levels campus, but its sale was held up for many years by litigation. In 1997, a new campus was opened at City West with schools from Underdale being relocated there. In 2005, the campus at Underdale was closed as part of the Blueprint 2005 project, and its remaining programmes were moved to other campuses. To this day, some infrastructure still exists at Underdale such as Document Services and Distance Education. Blueprint 2005 also involved a number of new buildings, in particular at City West and Mawson Lakes.
In 2013, the university released the 2013–2018 Strategic Plan named "Crossing The Horizon", shaping the future actions of the university nationally and internationally. As part of the plan, the university committed to open the Centre for Cancer Biology, the Museum of Discovery and the Innovation and Collaboration Centre, all housed under the new Health Innovation Centre due to be completed in 2018. In 2015, the construction for the new Great Hall started at UniSA's City West campus, which was later renamed Pridham Hall after a generous gift from UniSA alumnus Andrew Pridham.
In April 2017, news reported that senior management of the university had 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.
Later in August 2017, 612 of the UniSA's 28,070 enrolled students or 2% of the student population responded to the Australian Human Rights Commission's first 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). Results for the proportion of students subject to sexual harassment were: national average 21% and UniSA 16% (31st). In responses to the survey, UniSA, together with all other Australian universities, introduced the Respect.Now.Always campaign, in a joint attempt to combat on-campus sexual assault at Australian universities' campuses.
In June 2018, the university, along with University of Adelaide, launched official talks of a possible merger. The proposition was described as the formation of a "super uni" by Steven Marshall and Simon Birmingham.
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. 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.
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. There was a major reconstruction to the historic School of Mines building in 2008–09 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 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).
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. 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.
In 2014 the University opened an $85 million learning centre on the City West campus. Named for alumnus, artist Jeffrey Smart, the building houses teaching and learning spaces, library resources and a 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. It will also house the university's new "Science|Creativity|Education" Studio (Sci|C|Ed).
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. It will also house the university's new education precinct.
Mawson Lakes (formerly The Levels) houses computing and information technology, engineering, science, civil aviation, applied science, sports science, e-commerce and environmental studies programs. The campus also houses many research institutes and centres, the newest of which is the Future Industries Institute (FII).
Programs offered at Whyalla include nursing, social work, early childhood and primary teaching, engineering and community wellbeing as well as a Foundation Studies program.
Based in the Limestone Coast region of southeast South Australia, UniSA's Mount Gambier Campus opened in 2005, and provides for 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
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
- Future Industries Institute (FII)
- Sansom Institute for Health Research
- Hawke Research Institute
- Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science
Rankings and achievements
The University of South Australia is ranked within the top 300 universities worldwide by the QS World University Rankings  and 201-250th ranking bracket by the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UniSA Business School is fully accredited by EQUIS, which accredited fewer than 200 universities worldwide. Nationally, the university was ranked 8th in Australia in the Excellence in Research for Australia rankings.
University of South Australia Students Association (USASA, formerly UniLife) is a democratic organisation run by students. USASA provides administrative support to over 100 sporting and social clubs, a 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.
- Andrew Baines, artist
- D. M. Cornish, author
- Barbara Hanrahan, artist, printmaker and writer
- Jeffrey Smart AO, artist, studied at the South Australian School of Art and Crafts circa 1940
- Peter Serwan, artist
- Poh Ling Yeow, artist, celebrity chef, television presenter
Business and commerce
Journalism and media
- Phillip Coorey, journalist
- Sarah Cumming, weekday weather presenter on Seven News Sydney
- Joel Dry, a journalist with Nine News Queensland
- Georgina McGuinness, weekend anchor and reporter for National Nine News. (Alumna of SACAE, Magill campus, graduated 1987)
- Rebecca Morse, Ten News presenter, former ABC reporter and presenter, and South Australian Media Awards Journalist of the Year in 2005
- Indira Naidoo, consumer rights advocate and former television news presenter (ABC and SBS). (Alumna of SACAE)
- Kelly Nestor, former co-anchor of National Nine News and former ABC, Channel Ten and Sky News Australia presenter (Alumna of SACAE, Magill campus.)
- Sally Sara AM, ABC TV journalist and correspondent
- Robert Lau Hoi Chew (1942–2010), Malaysian Member of Parliament, and Deputy Minister of Transportation of Malaysia
- Lina Chiam, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, Singapore
- Nick Champion, ALP member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Wakefield
- Bob Day, former Family First Senator for South Australia
- Glenn Docherty, Mayor of the City of Playford
- Trish Draper, former Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the Division of Makin
- Iain Evans, former Leader of the Liberal Party in South Australia and former Leader of the Opposition in the South Australian parliament (Alumnus of SAIT)
- Tom Kenyon, ALP Former member of the Parliament of South Australia representing the Electoral district of Newland
- Michelle Lensink MLC, Deputy Leader of Liberal in the South Australian Legislative Council
- Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia, Leader of the Liberal Party in South Australia, and member representing the Electoral district of Dunstan
- Tony Messner, former Liberal Senator for South Australia and federal Minister for Veterans Affairs
- Mark Parnell MLC, SA Greens member of the Parliament of South Australia
- Christopher Pyne, Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the Division of Sturt, and former Minister for Ageing
- Trish White, ALP member of the Parliament of South Australia representing the Electoral district of Taylor
- Dana Wortley, ALP member of the Australian Senate