Foreign Branch Campuses

  • Relevant legal structure: Each state and territory in Australia has responsibility for registering, regulating, and accrediting foreign Higher Education Providers that wish to operate a branch campus in Australia. Tertiary education providers that are not universities must register with a state or territory government as a Registered Training Organisation if they intend to offer certificate, diploma or degree qualifications included in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). As long as the Higher Education Provider complies with the nationally-agreed Standards for Registered Training Organisations, no distinction is made between local and overseas-based providers, although foreign Higher Education Providers may be required to establish local subsidiaries with a head office in the state granting registration.

According to the Australian National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes, foreign Higher Education Providers wishing to operate in Australia must offer “courses which have been properly accredited either through appropriate, authorized self-accreditation or by an overseas accreditation authority which, in the opinion of the Australian jurisdiction’s decision-maker, has appropriate standing and authority.” The Higher Education Providers must also provide proof that they are legally established in one or more foreign countries, that their primary mission is higher education, and that they are adequately set up to deliver quality higher education. Australia also permits its own Higher Education Providers to establish branch campuses on foreign soil so long as they abide by Australian and local regulations.

  • Institutional support available: Relevant contact information for the state/territorial authorities in question is available at the AQF’s website.
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