Claire Field on Australian opportunities for international HE providers


There was quite a response to last week’s article on the private university/non-university higher education sector

One colleague asked the very good question – why is Carnegie Mellon University included in Australia’s higher education statistics but not New York University?

The answer is that unlike NYU which has a study-abroad focus in Sydney, CMU offers masters and graduate certificate programmes in Australia (as well as study abroad). It is therefore regulated by TEQSA, albeit with full self-accrediting status.

So, unlike NYU, CMU is directly involved in the Australian postgraduate education landscape.

It is also not the only major overseas higher education institution in Australia.

Earlier this year Torrens University and Think Education passed from one overseas owner, Laureate Universities, to another, US-based Strategic Education.

Among the non-universities there is also considerable overseas ownership – as both educators and investors recognise the opportunities in the Australian tertiary education sector. They include:

  • US-owned Kaplan Higher Education and Kaplan Business School
  • Indian-owned SP Jain School of Global Management
  • Study Group (started in Australia and now headquartered in the UK)
  • Top Education Group (listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange)
  • EduCo Global (owners of CIC Higher Education)
  • NZ’s UP Education (owners of International College of Hotel Management)
  • China Education Group (owners of Australian Institute of Business and Management)
  • LCI Melbourne (part of the LCI Network, headquartered in Canada)

A number also operate pathways colleges for various Australian universities.

What does this mean for the public university sector?

If the Job-Ready Graduates legislation passes then student contributions of $14,500 pa will make private institutions more attractive. If the legislation fails then these institutions are well placed to meet the expected levels of unmet demand for tertiary places.

Either way, these institutions are a significant, growing part of the Australian tertiary education landscape.

Claire Field is an advisor to the tertiary education sector