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Date published: 3 May 2010

Australian Defence Force announces education partnership with Open Universities Australia

Corporate education moving forward: The push for online education

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Open Universities Australia (OUA) today announced an agreement for OUA to deliver higher education and Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications to ADF members.

Under this partnership, ADF personnel will be able to access over 1000 units and 90 qualifications from 18 leading tertiary education providers in Australia. ADF members will receive study materials online giving them the freedom to study at a time and place that suits them.

Together, Open Universities Australia and the Australian Defence Force will support the learning and development needs of the Australian Defence Force members. The shared mission is to support ADF members with ongoing strategic and capability development through higher education opportunities that meet their unique educational goals.

CEO of Open Universities Australia, Stuart Hamilton said, "Studying through OUA will give ADF members easier access to training and development opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge they need. We are delighted that our partnership will enable them to experience the convenience and flexibility OUA offers."

Director General Defence Education Training and Development Branch of the Australian Defence Force, Brigadier Peter Gates said, "Our aim to deliver first-class education and development that will prepare our members for their careers inside and outside of Defence. This agreement with OUA is an example of how Defence is working with its education sector partners to provide opportunities for its members, whilst achieving a work life balance."

OUA is a key member of the Australian Defence Force Higher Education Advanced Standing (ADFHEAS) Scheme. The Scheme recognises ADF training, experience, and creates paths for all Defence members to achieve higher education goals.

The OUA agreement recognises the Defence issued Certificate of Eligibility as the equivalent of a tertiary qualification. In addition, Defence qualifications are considered for advanced standing in the higher education courses offered through OUA. OUA will assist the 10.6% of ADF personnel currently studying tertiary qualifications (Defence Census 2007). In the ADF, there are 17% of personnel who hold a tertiary qualification which compares with Australia's population (15 years and over - Census 2006), where 7.2% hold a tertiary qualification.

Brigadier Peter Gates said, "This shows how ADF is working to provide our members with opportunities that recognise their existing training and experience. Providing courses through OUA will help us to attract and retain members, minimise unnecessary training through recognition of their existing skills, and maximise future job opportunities."

Mr. Hamilton added, "The primary mission of our partnerships is to expand access to higher education in Australia. With a focus on students from non-traditional pathways, we strive to ensure that everyone has access to opportunities, based on their achievements and capabilities, to undertake studies and drive their own career development."

About Open Universities Australia

Open Universities Australia (OUA) is the national leader in providing open and flexible access to quality tertiary education enrolling over 120,000 students since 1993. We provide access to over 1000 units and 90 qualifications taught by 18 leading universities and other tertiary education providers around the country in: Arts & Humanities, Business, Education, Health, Law & Justice, Information Technology, and Science & Engineering. For more information on Open Universities Australia, please visit

About Australian Defence Force Higher Education Advanced Standing (ADFHEAS) Scheme

ADFHEAS is a Scheme where defined, completed education and training provided by Defence may be accepted as 'advanced standing' or 'credit' towards specific university-awarded qualifications. For further information, please visit:


For further information, please see the contact information on the right.