Open Colleges

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Open Colleges Australia
Open Colleges Logo.png
MottoEmpowering people
Administrative staff
Headquarters in Sydney
CampusOnline Distance Learning
AffiliationsEarly Childhood Australia, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, Association of Accounting Technicians, National Safety Council of Australia, International Council for Open and Distance Education

Open Colleges Australia (Open Colleges) is an online vocational education organization based in Australia. It was previously known as Cengage Education, formerly International Correspondence Schools (ICS), the first distance education provider registered in Australia.

The majority of enrolled students are based in Australia. All courses are delivered online with the option to receive printed study material. Some courses require work placement as part of the courses.

The organization has a wide range of qualifications available online including courses provided through the Australian national qualification framework.


Originally operating as the International Correspondence Schools in Australia, the company was bought by Harcourt Learning Direct in 1997,[1] and then by Thomson Education Direct in 2001[1] and became a part of Thomson Learning. The company name was changed to Thomson Education Direct.

In 2007, Thomson Learning was acquired by a private equity consortium consisting of Apax Partners and OMERS Capital Partners and the name was changed to Cengage Learning in July 2007.[2] Thomson Education Direct got renamed to Cengage Education.

In November 2010 Cengage Learning entered into an agreement with the Open Colleges Group for the sale of Cengage Education.

In December 2013, Apollo Group acquired a majority stake in Open Colleges Group.[3][4]


Open Colleges has developed 3 distinct subsidiaries upon acquiring Cengage Education in 2010

  • Australia College of Journalism (ACJ) is specialising in journalism and photojournalism courses.
  • Integrated Care & Management Training (ICMT) is a provider of education and training in the Health and Community Services sectors
  • The College of Fashion Design provide training in the field of fashion and clothing design.


  1. ^ a b About us: Our History, Open Colleges Group
  2. ^ Cengage Learning Press Release. 2004-02-24. Thomson Learning Announces New Name - CENGAGE Learning. Retrieved 2009-12-11
  3. ^ "Apollo Global in $150m deal to acquire majority stake in Open Colleges". The Australian. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Apollo Global Agrees to Acquire Majority Interest in Open Colleges Australia". Retrieved 13 January 2014.

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