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Flinders Uni signs “University AUKUS” agreement with Universities of Manchester and Rhode Island

Adelaide’s Flinders University has signed agreements with leading nuclear science and technology universities in the United Kingdom and United States, the University of Manchester and the University of Rhode Island, to help in developing the specialist skills required for the nation’s largest ever infrastructure program.

Under this agreement, says South Australian premier Peter Malinauskas, South Australia will become a home for international nuclear expertise ahead of AUKUS submarine construction.

The University of Manchester, the lead university in the UK’s Nuclear Technology Education Consortium, has partnered with Flinders University for the Australian delivery of its nuclear masters programs and doctoral level research training.

The University of Rhode Island (URI) a leading US public research university known for its global programs and engagement, including an innovative international engineering program, has strong ties to the submarine manufacturing industry. The partnership agreement between Flinders and URI will foster collaborative research, explore cooperative educational opportunities and internships, and promote jointly hosted seminars and events.

These historic partnerships enable Flinders University to deliver a comprehensive suite of the world’s best nuclear education in South Australia as early as 2023, with the ability to rapidly scale course offerings in line with industry needs.

Home to Dalton Nuclear Institute, The University of Manchester boasts the most advanced academic civil nuclear science and technology capability in the United Kingdom and is amongst the leading institutions in the field internationally.

The University of Rhode Island is noted for its strength in the undersea domain, which includes a notable defence-focused university-industry partnership that collaborates with the U.S. Navy, and the 401 Tech Bridge program in the New England defence innovation ecosystem. URI also hosts the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center and is home to one of only 25 university-based nuclear reactors in the United States.

The agreements enable Flinders University to offer undergraduate and postgraduate studies to South Australian students, as well as unprecedented nuclear research collaborations, creating a highly skilled South Australian workforce ready and able to deliver this transformational project.

Premier Peter Malinauskas says some 5,500 direct jobs will be created to build the SSN-AUKUS submarines in South Australia when the program reaches its peak in 20 to 30 years, almost double the workforce that was forecast for the former Attack class program.

‘We’ve seen in the UK the massive depth and breadth of skills that are going to be required to build the most complex machines in history.

‘There’s no time to waste. We’ve already agreed to partner with the Commonwealth to deliver a Skills Academy, and an additional 800 university places over the next four years,’ Premier Malinauskas says.

“We should not underestimate the step-change these new skills will bring to our economy.

‘In the long run, it will mean more South Australians working in highly skilled, highly paid positions,” he added.

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