Friday, 04 December 2020 Sydney

Innovation is key to economic growth and competitiveness and is the basis of long term economic prosperity - Professor Lloyd::

By Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor & President of the University of South Australia
Innovation is key to economic growth and competitiveness and is the basis of long term economic prosperity. Innovation is a combination of information, imagination and initiative - and it grows best when industry and higher education collaborate.


Educating Professionals


Even though we’re less than 25 years old, the University of South Australia (UniSA) has created more than 2000 partnerships with industry, the professions and our own peers to foster innovation and entrepreneurship and to build opportunities for sustained economic prosperity.


We are young, agile and innovative in our approach to educating tomorrow’s professionals and solving today’s challenges. As a university of enterprise, our efforts are focused on providing economic and social benefits to the nation and the world and educating our students for global careers.


We are the university of choice for students wanting professional careers. We offer innovative programs, including professional development and upskilling, in areas aligned to our key strengths and the needs of society.


We engage with our peers, with industry and with the community to undertake research that is leading edge and relevant.


We graduate the new professionals who will drive the national and international economy through their skills, capabilities and innovation potential.


Formed in 1991, UniSA quickly established a global reputation for the quality and creativity of our graduates and the innovative, outcomes-focused relevance of our research.


Our global reputation continues to grow. We are Australia’s youngest university to be ranked in the Times Higher Education’s top 50 of world universities under 50 years old. We are also ranked in the QS Top 50 under 50. These rankings reflect the dynamism of the university.


With almost 34,000 students, around 6,000 of whom are international students, we are South Australia’s biggest university, and offer undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in business, education, arts, social sciences, health sciences, information technology, engineering and the environment. Programs are designed with strong professional emphasis and in partnership with industry.


The partnerships we have developed with industry allow us to offer opportunities for practical experience in all of our programs so that students learn how their chosen industry actually works and are ready to make an immediate contribution once they graduate.


Our many partnerships include collaborations with Hewlett Packard where we are working together on a new 4-year Honours program in IT and Business Informatics; with Hills Limited to develop innovative product design and technology in a range of industries from aged care and health to security and safety; with the Centre for Cancer Biology to research genomics and personalised medicine and with the Port Adelaide Football Club to develop high performance in sport.


Because of our focus on practical experience, we are South Australia’s leading university for graduate careers. The 2014 Good Universities Guide ranks us as South Australia’s best for the employment rate of our graduates and the MyUniversity website ranks us as the State’s leading university for graduate careers. And, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Graduate Destinations Survey, ninety-one per cent of our graduates going on to full-time work are employed in a professional occupation within four months of completing their degree.


The University of South Australia maintains a strong commitment to teaching and learning, and ranks in the top 10 nationally for the proportion of our staff with a doctorate (69 per cent compared to a national average of 64 per cent). Our MBA program consistently ranks amongst the best in the country, holding a five-star rating for seven consectutive years (as awarded by the Graduate Management Association of Australia).


An extensive building program, a thorough curriculum review and a multimillion dollar investment in our digital learning strategy which blends online and face-to-face learning, positions UniSA as the go-to university for ambitious students and industries looking for new ways of growing.



Creating and Applying Knowledge


The university continues to develop a strong research environment and has active collaborations with industry in searching for solutions that will lead to global economic and social wellbeing. We foster an intellectually rigorous research environment and have the multidisciplinary capacity and agility to address research questions across a range of priority areas including materials and minerals science, sustainability, advanced manufacturing and social science research.


Having a clear understanding of the needs and priorities of our partners is central to our approach to building valuable, long term and productive partnerships.


The university is actively engaged in over 500 international research collaborations across 45 countries and has been a key partner in major national and state-based research initiatives, including the Australian Mineral Science Research Institute and Water Quality Research Australia. These collaborations and partnerships, and the outcomes they deliver, demonstrate our ability to connect our research talent across diverse disciplines to deliver transformative outcomes.


The university engages meaningfully and creatively with our peers, industry and the community. We foster frontier thinking that is informed, leading edge and relevant, with a focus on the quality and impact of our research outputs. We understand what our assets are and how they can be combined in useful ways to deliver value to our partners.


Our unique, flexible and responsive approach to engagement has resulted in the development of unique programs and partnerships with external partners, locally, nationally and internationally. We have partnerships with local governments to transform regional economic policies, connecting UniSA’S knowledge, research and skills with individual organisations in the region. We have co-investment models focussed on developing new research relationships between the university and industry. We have corporate partnerships with individual companies that focus on leveraging a wide range of university assets for the benefit of the partner, including student placements, research programs and projects and knowledge partnerships, acting as fluid exchange of people between the university and the partner organisation. We also support community and key stakeholder engagement programs that connect the university with key issues of social and community importance in key contemporary areas.


The University of South Australia ranks in the top one-third of Australian universities for research income, and in the Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 evaluation, more than 86 per cent of our assessed research was deemed to be of world-class standard or above.


No matter how valuable our work is to the national and state economies, we know that it is essential for any university that wishes to remain at the forefront of the disciplines in which it teaches and researches to have sustainable and deep collaborations with the science, technology, biotech, cultural and economic powerhouses of the world – especially in Asia – that are becoming increasingly dominant.


The international research partnerships that we have already instituted include the China-Australia Centre for Health Sciences Research with China’s Shandong University; the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development with China’s Tianjin University; a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) which brings TCD’s Long Room Hub and UniSA’s Hawke Research Institute together to collaborate on humanities research; an MOU with Japan’s Keio University will bring further collaboration on social theory and cultural studies; In collaboration with UniSA the European Union has funded the new Hawke European Union Centre for Mobilities, Migrations and Cultural Transformations at the Hawke Research Institute to study how to maintain cultural change and community cohesion in times of great uncertainty, ensuring that Australia's expertise and experience with large scale immigration and social change is considered in developing a global response.


As we head into our 25th year we’re firmly focused on continuing to be the university which engages fully with the professions and industry globally, whose research is informed, leading-edge and relevant, and whose graduates are the new professionals driving the national and international economy through their skills, capabilities and innovation potential.


We are, and will continue to be, a student-focused university producing problem-solving, globally employable graduates and producing research that helps solve grand challenges and local and global socio-economic needs. We are Australia’s University of Enterprise.