Offshore CampusesAt National Council 2011, the NTEU was asked to 'maintain vigilance regarding rights and conditions of staff across onshore and offshore campuses, and with respect to prevailing national industrial regimes' and to 'gather information based on experiences of staff engaged in transnational teaching and learning, especially with respect to workload impacts.'
Over the course of 2003 and 2004, NTEU Policy and Research Unit undertook extensive research into the scope and nature of Australian universities offshore teaching arrangements, including teaching at Australian offshore campuses as well as other through other arrangements such as through offshore joint ventures. The research resulted in the publications Working Offshore and Excess Baggage. Read more about these publications...
The following list of offshore campuses has been compiled from information contained on the MyUniversity website (as at 17 June 2012).
- James Cook University – Singapore.
- Charles Sturt University – Ontario Canada.
- Curtin – Sarawak, Malaysia and Singapore.
- Monash – Johannesburg, South Africa; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Mumbai, India; Prato, Italy.
- Murdoch – Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore.
- RMIT – Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.
- Swinburne – Sarawak, Malaysia.
- Uni Adelaide – Singapore (Ngee Ann).
- UNSW – Hong Kong, Hyderabad India.
- Newcastle – Singapore.
- Wollongong – Dubai .
Programs Offered at Offshore campuses
A list of the various programs offered by Australian universities at offshore campuses including the year in which they first commenced has been extracted from Universities Australia’s (UA) Australian Universities Offshore Linkages (2012)
This list of offshore campuses programs which can be downloaded from is contained in:
Trends in Overseas Student Enrolments 2004 to 2011
An analysis of the latest student statistics shows that in 2011 there were 308,234 overseas students enrolled at Australian universities, of whom:
- 228,408 (74%) were enrolled as onshore students; and
- 79,826 (26%) were enrolled as offshore students.
There were 80,035 more overseas students enrolled at Australian universities in 2011 than there were in 2004 which represents a 35.1% increase in numbers over that 8 year period. When broken down this translates into:
- 64,212 (39.1%) more onshore students; and
- 15,822 (24.7%) more offshore students.
International Enrolments and Expenditure
There has been much publicity (predominantly negative) about the impact of falling international student numbers. However as the analysis contained in:
The analysis shows that the higher education sector has not been as not been as severely affected as other education sectors. Indeed even despite a relatively small reduction in higher education enrolments, fees paid by overseas higher education students has continued to rise.
Quality Assurance of Offshore Activities
Following a number of concerns raised in its first round of quality assurance audits the (now defunct) Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) specifically targeted universities offshore activities as part of its round 2 audits. These audits provide a valuable source of information not only about the nature and history of various universities offshore activities (including offshore campuses) it also identifies ongoing risk to quality.
Copies of the AUQA Round 2 Audit Reports tcan be downloaded from TEQSA website at:
In order to gather information about the conditions and experiences of staff employed at Australian universities offshore campuses, the NTEU is currently undertaking a number of case studies of:
- James Cook University – Singapore
- Curtin University, Sarawak and Singapore
- RMIT University, Vietnam
- University of Newcastle, Singapore
- Charles Sturt University, Ontario Canada.
The case studies will explore the following issues:
- The legal / organisational status of offshore campus(es)
- Where students at offshore campuses are officially enrolled
- The number of research and administration staff at each offshore campuses
- The number of staff that are Australian based staff on secondment or some other arrangements and the ‘industrial’ instrument which covers their employment (i.e EBA or other)
- The industrial instrument or other arrangements which determines the pay and conditions of staff employed directly by offshore campus
- Arrangements to protect and promote academic freedom for all staff employed at its offshore campuses?.
- The extent and conditions under which offshore staff are engaged in any activities (teaching, research and or administrative) on the university’s Australian campuses
Any individual who is currently working for one of Australia’s offshore campuses who would be willing to share their experiences with the NTEU is invited to contact Paul Kniest (email@example.com) or Jen Tsen Kwok (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Policy and Research Unit.