The University of South Australia was formed with the merger of the South Australian Institute of Technology (SAIT) with three of the campuses (Magill, Salisbury and Underdale) of the South Australian College of Advanced Education (SACAE) in 1991. The two other SACAE campuses, City and Sturt, were merged with the University of Adelaide and Flinders University respectively. To the former SACAE campuses of Magill, Salisbury and Underdale, SAIT added to the merger its three campuses at City East, The Levels (now known as Mawson Lakes) and Whyalla.
Salisbury campus was vacated in 1996, but its sale was held up for many years by litigation. In 1997, a new campus was opened at City West. In 2005, the campus at Underdale was closed as part of the Blueprint 2005 project, and its programmes were moved to other campuses. Some services still reside at Underdale such as Document Services. Blueprint 2005 also involved a number of new buildings, in particular at City West and Mawson Lakes.