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University merger discussions progress as all parties sign Statement of Cooperation

Announcements
Higher Education
8 Dec. 2022

The University of Adelaide and University of South Australia have reached an historic agreement regarding the amalgamation of both institutions—signing a Statement of Cooperation with the State and Federal Governments.

The agreement is the result of months of discussions between the two universities and the State Government. The parties will now work together to progress a feasibility and business case to chart the path forward.

The combined university would be the biggest in Australia for domestic students.

Importantly, if a final decision is made to establish a new combined university, following the feasibility and approval of the business case and financial plan, the leadership of both universities have agreed to the following:

  • The combined university would be called Adelaide University and is intended to be operational from January 2026.
  • There would be no net job losses as a consequence of creating the combined university.
  • A Transition Council would be created with up to 14 members plus a Chancellor.
  • Each university would nominate half of the members of the Transition Council.
  • UniSA would nominate the Chancellor of the Transition Council subject to consultation with University of Adelaide.
  • A co-leadership model would be implemented initially, with each university appointing one of two co-Vice Chancellors
  • The Transition Council would oversee an open and competitive process to appoint a Vice-Chancellor for the combined university.
  • The Transition Council would also determine the process and time frame to be used to identify and appoint a new Chancellor for the combined university to commence by the second year of the combined university’s operation.

The combined university would be created and governed by new legislation modelled in large part on the University of South Australia Act.

In recognition of the significant benefits the combined university would have for South Australia, including the economy, the South Australian Government has agreed to provide a financial contribution to maximise the transformational opportunities being pursued. These arrangements will be developed further in coming weeks.