University of South Australia - Overview & Background

South Australia University (UniSA) is a public research university based in the Australian state of South Australia. It is a founding member of the Australian Technology Network of universities, and with approximately 32,000 students, it is the largest university in South Australia. The present form of the university dates back to 1991 with the merging of the South Australian Institute of Technology (SAIT, formed in 1889 as the South Australian School of Mines and Industries) with the Magill, Salisbury and Underdale campuses of the South Australian College of Advanced Education (SACAE, founded in 1856).

UniSA is one of the top universities in the world, ranked 26 in the Top 50 under 50 by THE Young University Rankings. It has two Adelaide city center campuses (both on North Terrace), two metropolitan campuses (on Mawson Lakes, formerly The Levels, and Magill), and two South Australia regional campuses (Whyalla and Mount Gambier).

The University is located in Adelaide, South Australia, and offers over 200 degrees across four academic divisions: business and law; education, arts and social sciences; health sciences; and information technology, engineering, and environment. The university also promotes challenge-inspired work, ensuring that it is connected to the needs of the industry and public.


1856 SA School of Arts
1889 SA School of Mines & Industries
1991 University of South Australia

Also Known As


University Type

Public Research University

University Motto

In the service of humanity

University City

Adelaide, Mawson Lakes, Whyalla and Mount Gambier, South Australia
Acceptance Rate


Employment Rate


Graduation Rate


Faculty to Student Ratio



A$610.8 million

Campus Size

156 acres

Official Website Link

University of South Australia 

Contact Details

+61 8 8302 6611


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University of South Australia Virtual Tour


In addition to the aforementioned academic infrastructure, South Australia University has wonderful libraries on five campuses with over 3 million online articles, eBooks, databases, images, printed books and journals. UniSA also runs a number of clinics for students, staff and the general public which include UniSA Medical Clinic, physiotherapy clinics, podiatry clinics and mammography clinics.

All campuses have 24-hour computing facilities, fast and free wireless network connections, department laboratories and research centers. Open learning spaces, sports facilities, cafes and restaurants are available. The university also has state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, lecture/seminar theatres and rooms for interviews.

The university also houses the following health research facilities: 

  • Cancer Research Institute
  • Clinical Trial Facility
  • Adelaide Biofilm Test Facility
  • Biophysical Characterisation Facility
  • SA NT DataLink

Residing Options

The University does not offer on-campus accommodation in terms of housing but helps students find residential facilities according to their location and budget on campus. The new urban UniSA Student Accommodation offers smartly designed, modern apartments based in the Adelaide CBD and centrally located between two urban campuses.

There are plenty of accommodation options available ranging from student hostels, residential schools, student apartments (with all basic amenities such as kitchen, toilet, living room and communal laundry) to homestay and private rentals. If a student needs temporary accommodation, there are different options to choose from: Homestay; Backpacker hostels; Hotels; Serviced apartments; Aboriginal hostels; Whyalla and Mount Gambier.

Financial Aid

A scholarship is a helping hand you need to make life at the university a bit easier for you. In addition to providing financial assistance, scholarships often include valuable work experience, mentoring opportunities, and even traveling abroad. South Australia University has a number of categories-including financial support for high achievers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, migrant students, low socioeconomic status students, and needy students.

This gives about $2500 million in scholarships to students every year. Different scholarships and grants are available for students from UniSA. You can apply for many of the equity scholarships through SATAC. For students with disabilities, mental health or medical conditions, various scholarships and grants are available.

The university also has schemes to make it affordable for overseas students to study at UniSA. One may be eligible for a private loan if one is a US student. GEMS is an existing private lender for US students. Also available are travel grants and other funding options. Students can use the online search engine to check their eligibility.

Jobs and Placements

In order to interact with prospective employers, UniSA conducts a variety of discipline-oriented career fairs and activities on campus. The university has a work-placement scheme and strong industry ties, high-profile business houses and professionals.

UniSA is deeply engaged in a broad range of partnerships with industry and businesses and that means our students make great connections with industry through mentorships, industry placements, master classes, and special projects,” said UniSA Vice-Chancellor Professor David Lloyd.

The University of South Australia alumni & graduates who work as IT & Software Development professionals followed by professionals from:

  • Financial Services
  • Sales & Business Development
  • Finance Control & Strategy
  • Programme & Project Management
  • Marketing, Product & Communications
  • Human Resources

are among the highest-paid in the industry. The best paying degree at the University of South Australia is an MBA, followed by Master degree graduates and Bachelor degrees.

UniSA also topped the State for employer satisfaction, with almost 86 percent of employers polled through the 2018 Employer Satisfaction Survey reporting that they were satisfied with the performances of the university graduates employed. This puts the university in the top 10 universities in Australia for overall employer satisfaction. The survey also reported that 87 percent of UniSA graduates were employed four months after graduation. 

Notable Alumni

Some famous alumni from University of South Australia include:

  • Tom Calma AO, Social justice campaigner
  • Andrea Mason, CEO NPY Women's Council
  • Phillip Coorey, Journalist
  • Sarah Cumming, Former Seven News presenter, and reporter
  • Dean Brown AO, Former Premier of South Australia
  • Robert Lau Hoi Chew (1942–2010), Malaysian Member of Parliament, and Deputy Minister of Transportation of Malaysia
  • Dana Wortley, ALP member of the Australian Senate
  • Penny Wong, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

University of South Australia Location

UniSA has a great multi-campus layout and is located within a few kilometers from parks to cafes and supermarkets. The university has a great, medium-sized community with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The university has access to all Metro trains and trams, and more than 80% of the bus fleet is accessible.

There are two free City Connector bus services running in the city centre and north of Adelaide; 98A and 98C connect the city with North Adelaide every 30 minutes, seven days a week, while 99A and 99C connect every 30 minutes on weekdays with the main city destinations. Fully accessible connector busses are available. The Free City tram ferries you all the way from the South Terrace tram stop to the Entertainment Center (via North Terrace and City West Campus).

The University provides a number of reserved on-campus accessible parking spaces to disabled persons with an Australian Disability Parking Permit. There are Access Taxi services for disabled passengers, especially those with wheelchairs and scooters.

Parafield Airport is situated on the outskirts of Parafield, South Australia's suburban suburb, 18 km north of Adelaide city centre and adjacent to the University of South Australia's Mawson Lakes campus. The closest major airport to UniSA in Adelaide Airport, Australia, and is about 7 km from the center of the University of South Australia.

Although UniSA is located in a quiet small town, it is a perfect fit for newcomers with plenty to explore. It has a charming location surrounded by lush green parks, rivers, streams and beautiful beaches.

University of South Australia Map Location

Address: 61-68 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia

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