Why should US universities register in Australia?

American universities looking for great opportunities to expand branch campus services abroad should consider the opportunities presented in Australia.

The international education market has changed significantly in the 21st century. Having international higher education study options limited to spending a semester or a year abroad now seem quaint. Today’s higher education marketplace looks less like pursuit of knowledge and more like another global industry. Colleges and universities looking to compete for both quality and quantity of international students need to adopt flexible and innovative strategies to obtain advantages over other institutions and other countries.

Over one million Australians currently study at colleges and universities. What the Australian market lacks in numbers compared to other countries, it makes up for in quality and compatibility. Australian secondary school students study in schools rigorously regulated by the government for quality. In language and culture, they also make great matches for US study programs. To register as a higher education provider in Australia is a little different than in the United States, though.

The generation now coming into college, however, has much less interest in studying far from home. Regardless of their country or culture of origin, students look to find optimal international experiences that do not take them as far away. With this dynamic in place, American universities now have more incentive than ever to register as higher education providers in Australia.

Complying with Australian law and educational guidelines does pose a challenge. However, American universities will find benefits in operating in Australia that go beyond expanding student numbers. The shared ideas and experiences that these campuses would bring together create great opportunities for learning and engaging, fostering a more dynamic educational environment. The trends in international education over the past few years point to tremendous opportunities for US universities who look to establish branch campuses in Australia.

Australia: An Education Destination for Asia

Establishing a branch campus in Australia gives US universities an open door to students not only from Australia, but also from the entire Pacific Rim and South Central Asia. Half a million overseas students study in Australia every year, making international study one of Australia’s top drivers of gross domestic product. In 2015, international students contributed over $20 billion toward the Australian economy. This serves as the country’s third largest export. American universities can tap into this rich flow of students looking for the broadest possible higher education services and experience.

Many students specifically seek out an American style educational experience. Universities can meet that need by registering as a higher education provider in Australia. Also, those American universities that would register in Australia could offer an English speaking international experience to their own students who would never have to leave their program to study abroad.

In the past few years, American higher education institutions have looked to bring more Australian students into their programs. Students in Australia see some US programs as more rigorous when compared to some of the more well known schools in Australia. Also, some state legislatures granted permission to public universities to charge foreign students higher rates than domestic out of state tuition. This creates a strong incentive for many US universities to bring in more international students.

Starting Australian students in American universities on Australian soil gets the school a foot in the door to get overseas students into US campuses.

What a US University Must Do to Register?

What is the difference between registering as a university in the US and registering as a university in Australia?

Public universities in America answer to dual masters and have experience in compliance with laws, rules, and standards. Most of these institutions answer directly to state governors and legislators.

Most large state universities emerged after the US Civil War when Congress passed the Morrill Land Grant Act.

This provided a means whereby federal assets could help the establishment of colleges and universities in each state, known as “land grant schools.”

States also assisted in the creation of smaller regional schools. Private universities, separate from the state run systems also exist, including most of the Ivy League universities.

With the exception of a handful of religious and conservative schools, almost every university in the US must answer to the influence of the Federal Department of Education. The US Government provides funds to universities for a variety of purposes and can withhold them as well.

This situation puts US universities into a challenging situation where they already must face at least two sets of regulators.

Registering in Australia would add another layer of rules, but higher education consultants assist with higher education regulations and compliance.

While US universities have a lot of experience adhering to bureaucratic rules and guidance, Australia could pose a different set of challenges. American universities do not have to go it alone, however.

What should a US University do to register as a higher education provider?

Primarily, US universities establishing branches in Australia must adhere to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act of 2011, known as TEQSA.

According to the Australian Government, the purpose of TEQSA lies in accomplishing the following:

  • Provide for national consistency in the regulation of higher education
  • Regulate higher education using a standards-based quality framework and principles relating to regulatory necessity, risk and proportionality
  • Protect and enhance Australia’s reputation for, and international competitiveness in higher education, as well as the excellence, diversity and innovation in Australian higher education
  • Encourage and promote a higher education system that is appropriate to meet Australia’s social and economic needs for a highly educated and skilled population
  • Protect students undertaking, or proposing to undertake higher education by requiring the provision of quality higher education
  • Ensure that students have access to information relating to higher education in Australia.

Guidance on how higher education services comply with TEQSA comes from the Higher Education Standards Framework released in 2015.

Applying for registration under TEQSA requires that the institution establish that they are the following:

  • A constitutional corporation
  • A corporation established by (or under) a law of the Commonwealth or Territory
  • A person who conducts activities in a Territory.

The Government then provides a list of guidelines that each institution of higher learning must meet to register.

Although mandated by law to make decisions on registration within nine months, TEQSA occasionally does see backlogs that can hold the process up.

Higher Education Consultants explain TEQSA Registration

TEQSA’s guidelines may appear to impose government standards of conformity on Australian higher education, but the right help can prevent over-standardisation.

Academic freedom and innovation remains as important to Australian universities as American. TEQSA actually replicates many of the efforts of non governmental accreditation bodies in the US, although not always as efficiently.

They pursue the same goals of ensuring that a university degree has worth to the student and that the education earned offers value to potential employers.

Registering under TESQA and establishing a branch campus in Australia is a journey with many twists and turns. Like any worthwhile journey to a productive location, a map and good directions make the trip easier.

Professional and experienced TEQSA consultants can guide even a non-Australian higher education institution into compliance with the law and its guidelines by doing the following:

  • Decipher and understand regulations and compliance
  • Assist with teaching and learning
  • Boost internal operational performance
  • Support your governance board efforts and provide advice on shortcomings or areas that require improvement.
  • Assist with curriculum design and assessment
  • Smooth the transition phase of starting non Australian higher education services in the country

Not all TEQSA consultants are created equal. While some firms embrace bureaucratic standardisation, Darlo Higher Education works with universities and instructors to create a class that fits the individual style and goals of both instructor and institution.

Darlo Higher Education strives to help preserve academic freedom and institutional individuality while maintaining the standards of excellence demanded by the government and the taxpayers.

US University Branches in Australia Benefit Everyone

An American student experience remains popular and highly sought after. Students from all over Australia, Oceania, and Asia want that American experience with an American degree without actually traveling to America, at least not at first.

Students will benefit from exposure to a different culture and different ideals.

Australian higher education will benefit as well. American higher education institutions and instructors resist the “cookie cutter” dynamic that sometimes infuses Australian universities.

The American higher education culture will reinforce Australian institutions that appreciate the benefits of TESQA registration and accountability, but strive to preserve innovation, individuality, and academic freedom within the Higher Education Standards framework.

Working with consultants such as Darlo Higher Education who share these values will make establishment of American institutions much easier.

In short, the introduction and registration of US universities as higher education providers in Australia creates a powerful opportunity for a variety of cultures to create an educational ferment from shared ideas.

Most would agree, that represents one of the chief goals of higher education itself.

Australia and America share many attributes of the same spirit. The nations and peoples have served each other as natural partners in war and in peace, in depression and prosperity.

Just as naturally, the two countries’ educational systems can benefit from closer interaction and cooperation.

Darlo Higher Education can help America’s great academic institutions establish themselves and thrive in Australia.

Have a question about higher education registration? You can find us via the page: contact us.