The Chancellors of the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia have today announced that the two universities have concluded their discussions about a potential merger.
Since June 2018, the universities have been jointly exploring the opportunities and challenges of creating a new university for the State.
Late yesterday, the Councils of both universities met in parallel to consider an interim report on merger and their positions on key threshold issues and strategic risks. The merger discussions have ended at this time, rather than progressing to a decision in December.
Joint statement from the Chancellors, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, AC, CSC (Adelaide) and Ms Pauline Carr (UniSA):
“Speculation about a potential merger of universities within South Australia has existed for decades. For the first time and under our own initiative, our two universities agreed to seriously investigate a potential merger, advancing the concept much further than ever before.
“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.
“We acknowledge and respect the hard work that has been done by both of our universities to date in exploring the potential for a merger. We also acknowledge and thank our communities – our staff, students, alumni, business and industry stakeholders, and the broader community – for their invaluable input into this process.
“The consultation has helped to affirm the importance of higher education in this State. We will keep our focus on contributing to the further development of the State and nation as we pursue our separate missions as successful, individual institutions.
“As we said at the start of this process, both of our universities have unique histories and we have both evolved to meet the needs of each generation. Those histories will continue, and at this time we will pursue excellence and serve the needs of the community as two distinct universities.”