In recent years, the University has maintained a strong upward trajectory across a number of key indicators, including the qs world University rankings and the Excellence in Research for Australia (era) evaluation

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VC Welcome


The University of South Australia is an innovative, outward-looking institution known for its strong and engaged research and its experientially-based teaching and learning that is conducted in close collaboration with business, industry, government and the professions.


In recent years, the University has maintained a strong upward trajectory across a number of key indicators, including the QS World University rankings and the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation. It also continues to play an increasingly important role in local, national and global communities.

Among our core principles is a commitment to both excellence and equity, founded on the belief that true equity can only be achieved by enabling greater access to high-quality opportunities.
Our approach to teaching and learning emphasises the achievement of graduate qualities, student-centred learning and flexible program delivery, and we focus on collaborative research in multidisciplinary teams.
We have redeveloped many of our teaching spaces and they now include high-tech facilities for active learning, simulation and student interaction. In addition, our new student learning centre to be completed at our City West campus in 2013 will provide students with a range of learning spaces designed to accommodate different learning styles.
At a global level, we are committed to international education activities and alumni, graduates who are equipped to meet the demands and expectations of the worldwide workforce, significant and developing international research relationships, a culturally diverse staff, and increasing student mobility.
Perhaps most importantly, at the heart of our performance and aspirations is a team of outstanding, dedicated people who ensure that the University of South Australia remains a dynamic, engaging environment in which to work and study.


With best wishes


Professor David Lloyd

Vice Chancellor and President


At a Glance

Location: South Australia

Students: 35,000*

International Students (including offshore): 10,000+*

Metropolitan Campuses (Adelaide): City East, City West, Magill and Mawson Lakes

Regional Campus: Whyalla

Regional Centre: Mt Gambier

Staff: 2,500+* (full time equivalent)

Alumni: 170,000+

Research Institutes: 6

Research Centres: 17

Revenue: $A551 million*

Research Income: c $A60 million*
(* 2011 figures)
Built on more than 150 years of excellence of its antecedent institutions, the University of South Australia was founded in 1991 and has quickly earned a reputation as a national leader in collaborative research, and innovation in teaching.
The University is South Australia’s largest, and operates from five campuses. Its operating revenue for 2011 was more than $A550 million and it has almost 35,000 students, 4,600 of whom study in other countries. It also has more than 2,500 continuing or fixed-term staff.
In the 2012 QS World University Rankings, UniSA was once again ranked in the top three per cent of more than 10,000 universities worldwide. Among global institutions aged 50 years or less, it was ranked 23rd in the QS World Rankings and 65th in The Times Higher Education rankings.
The most recent audit conducted by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (now the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) emphasised that the University is responding quickly and effectively to the forces transforming the nation’s higher education sector. It has been able to effect whole-of-institution change in its approaches to teaching and learning, has been successful in building a focused and concentrated research culture, and has shown itself able to communicate new directions clearly and to ‘engage and inspire staff at all levels of the University’.
The University has a well-recognised local and national brand, with a strong international presence in teaching and learning, as well as an increasing global research profile. It offers more than 400 undergraduate and postgraduate programs across its four academic divisions:

  • Business

  • Education, Arts & Social Sciences

  • Health Sciences

  • Information Technology, Engineering & the Environment

Educating professionals
UniSA strives for excellence in teaching and learning, offering student-centred and flexible program arrangements. Designed in close consultation with industry and the professions, UniSA programs include fieldwork, industry-guided simulations and industry projects. This real-world experience means that UniSA graduates are equipped with the qualities employers look for, and they become significant contributors to their chosen professions - people who are instrumental in reshaping contemporary societies. In recent years, the employment rate of UniSA graduates has remained consistently higher than Australia’s national average.
Creating and applying knowledge
UniSA’s distinctive research profile is based on bringing together multidisciplinary research teams to work with industry, business, government and the professions on projects that are significant to Australia, the region and the world. The close alignment of the University’s research with the Australian Government’s national research priorities means it is well placed for ongoing success. This is reflected in a growing research income, (more than $A60 million in 2011).
Engaging communities
Engagement is a defining characteristic of the University, and it contributes at all levels to the social, intellectual, economic and cultural development of the community. The driving force behind its professional education programs and its applied research focus is the desire to meet the present and future needs of society, and the University is enriched through its interaction with communities through its diverse range of events, collaborations and sponsorships.
UniSA has strong links in teaching, research, consultancy and continuing education with an array of partners in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. UniSA has grown rapidly to be a major provider of Australian higher education and maintains a large cohort of international students, both in Australia and offshore. UniSA seeks to foster international and intercultural perspectives in all areas of its education, research and engagement activities to contribute to the success and competitiveness of graduates and staff, and to the University’s achievements.
Diversity and Equity
Intellectual, cultural, social and racial diversity are woven into the University’s fabric. UniSA maintains its strong commitment to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and it provides programs to meet the educational needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, an aspiration that is enshrined in its founding legislation. The University has also been cited as an Employer of Choice for Women for the past 10 consecutive years by the Federal Government’s Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.

UniSA – The Next Decade
In 2010, UniSA released Horizon 2020, its statement of strategic intentions for the next decade. It articulates the vision that, in 2020, UniSA will be defined by:

  • an outstanding student experience and exceptional graduates

  • world-class research clusters and an exciting, research-intensive culture

  • innovative solutions to social, economic, political and technological challenges

  • a commitment to equity and excellence, reinforcing each other in an environment characterised by uncompromising high standards

Over the next decade, UniSA will:

  • invest at least $A1 billion in capital projects to support our ambitions

  • consolidate our campuses to make better use of our resources and strengthen services to students

  • create a university college to provide pathways to higher education for students who have the capacity to study at university, but have not had the appropriate preparation (UniSA College opened its doors in 2011 and continues to report strong enrolments)

  • seek to establish a medical school that focuses on the health needs of disadvantaged populations

  • construct a major building at the City West campus integrating smart learning spaces and student support services (work underway, due for completion in 2013)

  • develop research infrastructure that underpins major growth in the number of research-productive staff and doctoral graduates


Senior Management Structure (for SMG positions)


The XXX is one of a group of senior managers who report to the Vice Chancellor and President. The members of the Senior Management Group are:


  • Vice Chancellor and President

  • Chief Operating Officer

  • Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Academic

  • Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Research and Innovation

  • Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Business

  • Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Health Sciences

  • Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Education, Arts and Social Sciences

  • Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President: International and Development

  • Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment.


As a member of the Senior Management Group, the XXX is expected to be fully aware of all facets of university policy and activity. The XXX participates with other members of the Senior Management Group in the leadership and management of the university.


The XXX works closely with the other members of the Senior Management Group to:


  • set appropriate performance targets for key performance indicators related to the Portfolio/Division across the University

  • devise and implement strategies to improve outcomes related to key performance indicators for the University

  • ensure strong academic and financial performance by the University

  • develop appropriate plans, policies and strategies for the University and the Portfolio/Division

  • meet targets established within the corporate planning process.

Vision, Mission and Values


UniSA will be a leading contributor to Australia having the best higher education system in the world, supporting the world’s best educated and most innovative, cohesive and sustainable society.



UniSA educates professionals and citizens to the highest standards; creates and disseminates knowledge; and engages with our communities to address the major issues of our time.





UniSA promotes and sustains open intellectual enquiry characterised by high standards of ethics and integrity. Academic rigour, excellence and relevance underpin our actions in research and its application, in teaching and learning and in engagement with our communities.



UniSA’s teaching and research connects strongly with the issues of our local, national and international stakeholders - students, alumni, staff, partners, professions, government, industry, academic peers and community groups.


Social justice

UniSA gives effect to reconciliation with Indigenous Australians and builds social cohesion by achieving equitable educational access and outcomes across our diverse student community, through research that aims to improve the quality of life and by acting responsibly as a corporate citizen.



UniSA contributes to environmentally, economically, socially and culturally sustainable development, and we aim to reduce our own environmental impact.



UniSA anticipates change and acts quickly to seize opportunities and solve problems.



UniSA is outward looking, welcoming diversity and the wide range of perspectives it brings, is international in outlook, as well as collaborative, creative, agile and enterprising.


Research at UniSA


The University fosters an intellectually rigorous and dynamic research environment and has six research institutes:

  • Ian Wark Research Institute for chemical sciences and physical chemistry

  • Institute for Telecommunications Research

  • Hawke Research Institute for social sciences

  • Sansom Institute for Health Research

  • Barbara Hardy Institute for sustainability

  • Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science

These institutes have the multidisciplinary capacity to address research questions in a range of priority areas including sustainability, the social and biological determinants of health and Indigenous health, telecommunications, marketing science, materials science and social science research. The University also has 17 research centres, and its emerging research priorities include population health, defence and security, Asian business and Muslim/non-Muslim understanding.

The second Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment released in 2012 further endorsed the quality of UniSA research across each of its four divisions, with more than 86 per cent of its assessed research rated at or above world-class standard. An overall ratings table of Australian institutions compiled from the results in ERA 2012 saw UniSA ranked 14th out of 39 universities, up from 19th in ERA 2010.
In the highly-competitive Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) scheme, UniSA ranked number two in Australia for income received from the Commonwealth, and in 2012 UniSA is a participant in 13 CRCs. This illustrates its strong and growing collaborations with end users of research.
UniSA more than doubled its annual research income since 2004, and it recorded its best-ever outcome in the 2012 round of National Health and Medical Research Council funding by securing more than double the grant funding it earned the previous year. In 2011, UniSA had more than 1,200 PhD students, including more than 400 international students from 59 countries. Almost 80 per cent of these students were working in research institutes and centres, with many engaged in projects supported by a range of industry and end-user partners.


UniSA was awarded $A40 million from the Federal Government's Education Investment Fund (with $A5 million support from the South Australian Government) towards its new Materials and Minerals (M2) Science Building at Mawson Lakes, which was formally opened in August, 2012. State and Federal governments also pledged $A13 million to support research centres of national importance, including the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, and the Australian Centre for Child Protection.


The University’s research and innovation framework 2013-2020 – ‘Excellence with Relevance’ – was released in 2012.


Teaching and Learning at UniSA


The University of South Australia offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the sciences, social sciences, health, business and arts. Our programs are designed to involve students in learning opportunities that maximise their understanding and application of both theoretical and practical knowledge. These opportunities include working in research-enriched environments with world-leading researchers, placement-based learning, and learning through service to the community.

UniSA ranks in the top 10 in Australia for the proportion of staff with a doctorate – 69 per cent compared to 64 per cent nationally. Its MBA program is one of only three in Australia to have held a five-star rating for five consecutive years (as awarded by the Graduate Management Association of Australia) and, in the 2011 International Student Barometer, UniSA received an overall ranking in the top five of 28 Australian institutions. A new $23.7 million Teaching and Learning Strategic Plan was introduced in 2012. In addition, UniSA’s new $A11 million Personal Learning Environment project was completed in 2011, and delivers state-of-the-art capabilities for on-line learning to students and staff.
The University comprises a diverse student body, and has a commitment to equity and excellence that complement one another in an environment characterised by uncompromising high standards. The quality of the student learning experience is reflected in the high employment rates of graduates, and in 2011 UniSA graduate employment rates were a full two percentage points higher than the national average. The University has around 35,000 students, and currently graduates more than 9,000 students every year.
UniSA offers the widest educational choice in South Australia, with undergraduate and postgraduate programs in fields such as physiotherapy, pharmacy, occupational therapy, law, commerce, business, management, nursing, education, computer and information science, engineering, materials and environmental science, visual arts, architecture and psychology.
Work is currently underway on a new $85 million building at the City West Campus (supported by a $30 million investment from the Federal Government), which will integrate smart learning spaces, learning resources and student support services. In addition, the University secured $18m in funding through the Commonwealth’s Education Investment Fund to further improve our regional facilities and technology at Whyalla and Mount Gambier
In 2011, the University formally opened UniSA College to provide opportunities for Australian students who have the capacity to take on tertiary studies but who, for a variety of reasons, have not had the opportunity to access university study.


Updated 23 January 2013

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