Historic Merger: University of Adelaide & University of South Australia to Create Largest Higher Education Institution

Australia Oceania Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Jul 06, 2023

University of South Australia and University of Adelaide's agreement to merge

The universities of Adelaide and South Australia have signed an agreement to merge and create the largest higher education institution in the country.

The new combined university, which, according to the agreement, will start operating from January 2026, will be named Adelaide University, Erudera.com reports.

The decision to officially merge into an institution was announced on Saturday night through an email that leaders of both universities sent to their staff, promising there would be no job cuts until at least mid-2017.

“Our focus will be on fulfilling our stated ambition for the new Adelaide University and to grow the workforce in line with educational and research success,” the announcement posted on the University of Adelaide’s website reads.

The partnership between the two universities to become one institution is believed to be the largest university merger witnessed in the world, also contributing to South Australia’s aspirations to become a leading education center.

“With the substantial financial backing of government, the Councils agreed this is a compelling once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance the ambitions for higher education in South Australia and the nation – further and faster,” the statement adds.

Commenting on the merger, South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas told the Financial Review that the union will unlock investment in R&D and will attract an additional 13,000 students within eight years of its creation.

According to local media reports, the university is projected to contribute an extra amount of $500 million annually to the South Australian economy and enroll more than 70,000 students. Adelaide University is also expected to grow the workforce by 1,200 jobs.

This historic deal between the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia follows the state’s government to explore ways to better serve the state through the higher education sector.

The talks began in December 2022, when the two universities signed a Statement of Cooperation with the government of South Australia and Australia to consider the possibility of creating a university for the future.

The University of Adelaide is the third oldest university in Australia, a member of the prestigious Group of Eight. It has a total of 23,905 students, 30 percent of whom are international students from more than 100 countries. The university has 3,500 members of staff engaged on its three main campuses.

Similarly, the University of South Australia enrolls a large number of students, more than 37,000, of which over 5,000 are international students. There are 2,800 staff across the university’s six campuses.

Image source: University of Adelaide Twitter account

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