Adelaide uni merger proposed – again

South Australian Labor leader Peter Malinauskas says SA is the only mainland state without a university in the world “top 100” – but he has a plan!

Mr Malinauskas says that if Labor wins the 2022 state election he will establish “a university merger commission, “with the objective of creating an internationally recognised top 100 university and driving the state’s economic growth for decades to come.

“The harsh truth is that each of our universities are too small and too under-capitalised to make it into the list of top international universities. They simply don’t do enough large-scale research to be recognised as world leading and that is holding our state back.”

It’s an idea that Adelaide has heard before and before and before. In 2018 Unis Adelaide and SA talks failed, it is widely assumed due to the ambitions of (insert rumour of choice here). Another problem was that back-end savings that were supposed to drive the deal did not stack up.

There is a way to settle this, if not once and for all, then at least an election cycle. Premier Marshall could refer rationalising public HE providers to the SA Productivity Commission. It is already inquiring into the state of health and medical research (CMM September 7) and the SA R&D system (CMM October 27) so a bunch of work on Mr Malinauskas’s concern with research is underway.