Open Universities Australia
|Type||Public university consortium|
|Location||Headquarters in Melbourne, Australia|
Open Universities Australia (OUA) is an online higher education organisation based in Australia. The organisation was previously known as the Open Learning Agency of Australia. The current chairman is Sam Weiss and the chief executive officer is Paul Wappett.
Seven Australian-based universities control the ownership of the organisation. A board of directors, consisting of nominees from the universities which own the organisation, governs OUA. In addition, there are also up to five independent directors on the board at any one time.
While the majority of enrolled students are based in Australia, courses are available to students globally. Most undergraduate courses offered have no first year entry requirements and there are no quotas for most courses.
The organisation has approximately 170 qualifications available online, which are provided by Australian universities and other education providers.
OUA is owned by seven Australian universities:
- Curtin University of Technology
- Griffith University
- Macquarie University
- Monash University
- RMIT University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- University of South Australia
OUA also has connections and partnerships with a number of other institutions, including:
- Australian Catholic University
- Charles Darwin University
- La Trobe University
- Learning Network Queensland
- Murdoch University
- Polytechnic West
- University of New England
- University of Western Australia
OUA is a member of the Elite Athlete Friendly University program (EAFU). A key factor in being part of EAFU is for the partner to support athletes to achieve academic excellence and recognise the challenges athletes face when combining education, career and a personal life with a high-performance sporting career.
Professional athletes studying with OUA come from a range of sports including all football codes, tennis, athletics and diving.
OUA also has partnerships with several Australian public and private organizations such as National Australia Bank, Westpac Group and the Commonwealth Department of Defence.
Open Universities Australia was formed as the Open Learning Agency of Australia Pty Ltd (OLAA or OLA) in late 1993 as a private company.
The organisation was originally owned by Monash University. In order to provide equal access to students across Australia’s regional areas, they created a partnership with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and eight other universities. At this time, the federal government provided funding for the project.
In 2004, OLA changed its name to Open Universities Australia (OUA), reflecting the changing demands and expectation of its students. In the same year, OUA students gained access to the new FEE-HELP scheme. FEE-HELP provides eligible students with deferred payment options for undergraduate and postgraduate units and courses and remains a popular option with OUA students.
In June 2012, IBM used the organisation as an IT case study after implementing a new IT strategy. The move was aimed at supporting student performance and retention, while also giving the organisation an insight into marketing and sales options.
In December 2012, the organisation placed a bid for a top level domain, .courses. The bid was made in a lottery draw, held by Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to help assign new generic top-level domains.
Open2Study was launched in March 2013 and is a teaching, learning and assessment platform. It enables universities to offer free courses online. It competes with global online learning platform providers such as Coursera and EdX. 
The learning platform provided by Open2Study consists of weekly modules, which are completed over a four-week period with online assessments at the end of each of the modules. Each course is self-contained, complete with interactive course content and resource materials. At the end of each module, students complete a multiple choice online assessment. In order to receive a certificate of completion, the student must average a score of 60% across the four tests for each course.
In July 2013, OUA acquired a 100 per cent interest in Interact Learning Pty Ltd, trading as e3Learning, an Australian online training and compliance provider based in Adelaide. Founded in 2001, e3Learning has 250 corporate customers across Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand and employs more than 70 staff.
- "Who we are". OUA.
- "Elite Athlete Friendly". OUA.
- "Open Learning Australia". OUA.
- "Open Universities Australia supports growth through business intelligence". IBM. 16 July 2012.
- "Open Universities Australia makes the cut in .courses domain bid". The Conversation. 19 December 2012.
- "Open Universities Australia embraces agile". IT News Australia. 8 August 2013.
- "Open Universities launches MOOC platform". The Scan. 22 March 2013.
- "How it works". Open2Study.
- "Open Universities Australia acquires e3Learning". OUA. 1 July 2013.