South Australia, AustraliaRanked among top 20 universities in AUS
Established in 1991, the University of South Australia (UniSA) happens to the largest institution of higher learning in the South Australia and one of the most innovative in the Australian continent. The University that dates back to more than 150 years is a progressive and modern unit known for enhancing the academic experience of students by cultivating their creative and research skills.
The university attracts scholars not just from Australia but across the globe. UniSA has a vibrant international community with 36,000 students including 6,000 from overseas, especially Asia.
For a young institution, UniSA has impressive statistics and quite a global reputation. It has been listed by several of the world’s most important ranking institutions. The University ranked in the top 3% of more than 10,000 universities worldwide in the 2015 QS World University Rankings. It also made it the coveted list of the top 50 global universities which are under 50 years old. Other feathers in its plume include the 56th position in The Times Higher Education 100 most international universities in the world 2015. UniSA’s MBA program was bestowed a 5-Star rating by The Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA).
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UniSA has six campuses (City West, City East, Magill, Whyalla, Mawson Lakes, and Mt. Gambier) which include four across Adelaide and two in regional South Australia. Though a small city with a calm environment, Adelaide is a perfect fit for newcomers with plenty to explore. It is a charming locale surrounded by lush green parks, rivers, creeks and stunning beaches.
The city is also touted as the food and wine capital of Australia and has some interesting bars, clubs and restaurants. It has a lively vibe and is called Festival State since it hosts over 400 events in summer. Adelaide is a relatively inexpensive place which is an added benefit for students as it doesn’t dent their budget. Moreover, Adelaide is a compact city with a great public transport system connecting all main sites of the city.
The University of South Australia offers a broad range of academic courses for undergraduate and postgraduate programs under four faculties namely Business school, Health Sciences, Education, Arts and Social Sciences and IT, Engineering and the Environment.
Apart from the academic infrastructure, the University of South Australia has wonderful libraries on five campuses with more than 3 million online articles, eBooks, databases, images, printed books and journals. UniSA also operates a number of clinics (UniSA Medical Clinic, the Physiotherapy Clinic Podiatry Clinic and the Mammography Clinic) for students, staff and the general public. All the campuses are equipped with 24-hour computing facilities, quick and free wireless network connections, department labs and research centers. There are open learning spaces, sports facilities, cafés and restaurants. The University also boasts of state of the art audiovisual equipment, lecture/seminar theatres and interview rooms.
In terms of housing, the University does not offer on-campus accommodation but assists students in finding residential facilities as per their campus location and budget. There are plenty of options available ranging from hostels, residential colleges, student apartments (with all basic amenities like kitchen, bathroom, living area and laundry on sharing basis), homestay as well as private rentals.
Students can enjoy a Mediterranean climate in Adelaide with warm sunny summers for a major part of the year with temperatures hovering between 25-35°C. Sunburn and extreme heat are the two climatic hazards students need to be prepared for. Keep hats, sunblock and plenty of water handy when visiting beaches. Winter are mild (June to August) with temperature in the range of 8°C to 15°C. Adelaide experiences moderate rainfall mainly in winter.
The teaching staff at UniSA is knowledgeable in their respective fields and actively engaged in various research programs. Class sizes are small with ample scope of interaction. Some lecturers are passionate about students and quite friendly but there are many who are unapproachable, do not respond to e-mails and are more focussed on their research paper and their own deadlines. Courses are well-designed but schedules are tight which can be sometimes frustrating. Selection of subjects is flexible with external and internal modes that facilities independent study. Tutorial, lecture notes are available online and there are also forums and discussion boards. There are too many foreign tutors and lecturers which make it hard to understand their English accent.
Since the University’s focus is on churning out bright professionals, the programs incorporate a fair amount of practical work, projects, assignments and real work experience which allows scholars to develop interactive and communicative skills.
UniSA offers nearly 2500 students millions of dollars in scholarships annually. These grants are given in different categories, like merit or to ease the burden of students facing financial constraints. The university also has schemes to make study in UniSA affordable for oversea students.
UniSA holds a number of discipline-oriented career fairs and events on the campus for graduates to interact with prospective employers. The university has a Work Placement Scheme and strong ties with the industry, high profile business houses and professionals. However, all this just gives students an insight of the industry but does not necessarily translate into good jobs.
UniSA has a great multi-campus layout, easy to get and walk around with everything from parks to cafes and supermarkets within a few kilometres. It is a great community, medium paced with a fun and relaxed environment. On the flip side, UniSA allows entry to almost anyone and is enrolling way too many students. Though the university enjoys the reputation for providing great education opportunities it needs to be more accountable for helping student find jobs.
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