Those seeking to operate in Australia's external Territories as a higher education institution (such as a university) or to offer courses leading to higher education awards must seek approval from the Commonwealth Minister for Education. The Australian external Territories are:
- Christmas Island
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- Norfolk Island
- Ashmore and Cartier Islands
- Coral Sea Islands
- Australian Antarctic Territory
- Heard and McDonald Islands
Approval and Accreditation
Under the requirements of the National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes all entities wishing to operate as higher education institutions must undergo an approval process. This is a process of independent review to assure the public and the higher education community that the proposal meets or exceeds stated criteria of educational quality and is equivalent in standard to the higher education offered by existing Australian institutions. The term ‘accreditation’ is sometimes used in relation to all higher education approval processes. It is used here in relation to courses of study, while the term ‘approval’ is used for self-accrediting entities such as universities.
Authority for Approval and Accreditation
The Minister for Education is responsible for protecting the use of the term 'university', for approving applicants as Australian or overseas self-accrediting entities and for accrediting courses for delivery in an Australian external Territory.
The Higher Education Group in the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Tertiary Education provides the support to assist the Minister in the role of approval/accrediting authority. For further information about accreditation or the registration of a company or business name in the Australian external Territories using the word university, contact:
Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Tertiary Education
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT 2601