Staff sceptical about SA uni merger

Public university people across SA wonder about the proposed merger of Uni Adelaide and Uni SA

A poll by the National Tertiary Education Union of 1100 people at Flinders U, Uni Adelaide and Uni SA, found 21 per cent believe the merger will result in better education and 29 per cent that it will improve research.

Just a quarter support the merger overall.

The NTEU states 58 per cent of respondents aren’t union members.

Scepticism on research is especially significant given SA premier, Peter Malinauskas has long argued that size matters,  “the harsh truth is that each of our universities is 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,” he said in 2019 (CMM June 6 2022).

But NTEU state secretary Andrew Miller counsels caution, “there is no turning back once this decision is made.

““Staff are demanding concrete evidence the merger will deliver better quality education and better-quality research; full stakeholder engagement; and complete transparency and public oversight protections throughout.”

“Getting this wrong could be catastrophic for SA.”

In which case Uni Adelaide VC, Peter Høj and his Uni SA David Lloyd are just going to have to announce a model that is right for everybody.

Because the premier wants the merger to happen – he has a plan for merger commission ready to go if the two unis don’t come up with a way.