Adelaide's independent news


University merger dead after UniSA abandons talks with Adelaide


UPDATED | The proposal to create a super-university in SA has been killed off after the University of South Australia decided it was not in its interests to merge with the University of Adelaide.

Comments Print article

In June, the two universities announced they were in discussions to become a single university.

But they confirmed this morning that the merger is off, after both universities’ councils met separately yesterday.

The University of Adelaide maintains that a merger would have been in the best interests of the state.

But in an email to UniSA staff this morning, Vice-Chancellor David Lloyd said that after weighing the costs and benefits of a merger, there was “not a compelling case to support a merger of the two universities and that consequently, the process of exploring a merger should cease”. 

“Our university has been cautious never to allow the light of optimism or ambition to blind robust and evidence-based projection and planning,” the email reads.

“We have arrived at an outcome which may be reflected on by some as a missed opportunity and equally by others as the outcome of choice – such is the nature of debate and investigation on matters of importance and where both heads and hearts are invested in the result.”

The email says both universities considered an interim report on the merits of a merger by Nous Consulting group, but that UniSA also considered:


An email from University of Adelaide Chancellor Kevin Scarce to all staff, shared on social media, says “different views” meant the universities “have therefore been unable to reach agreement”.

“The University of Adelaide’s Council remains confident that such a merger would be in the long-term best interests of the State,” the email reads.

“Nevertheless, as of yesterday, the discussions on the merger have now come to an end.”

A joint statement from Scarce and UniSA Chancellor Pauline Carr, released through a PR agency this morning, reads: “Right from the start, our universities identified key threshold issues and strategic risks which required agreement from both sides.”

“Ultimately, our universities were unable to reach agreement on the threshold issues and strategic risks.

“Rather than engaging in further exploration of a potential merger, we feel it is in each university’s best interests to bring our discussions to a close at this time.”

The statement does not identify any specific issues that prevented agreement.

According to another email, sent to University of Adelaide students this morning, also shared on social media, the university councils’ discussions were focused on an interim report on the merger which described the “key threshold issues and strategic risks”.

But the PR spokesperson said the interim report would not be made public.

More to come.

We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.

InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.

Powered by PressPatron


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More News stories

Loading next article

Subscribe to InDaily – it’s free!

South Australia’s locally owned, independent source of digital news.

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe free here

*Terms and conditions apply

Welcome back!

Did you know it’s FREE to subscribe?

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!


*Terms and conditions apply