Rise in universities’ use of for-profit course providers

Australian universities have dramatically increased their use of third-party, for-profit companies to deliver courses, writes Anne Davies for The Guardian Australia.

According to a Guardian Australia investigation, the companies, known as online program managers, or OPMs, offer a variety of services – from digital platforms for delivering courses through to total course management and support. In some cases they have assumed a central role in designing course material, teaching, marking, marketing and recruiting students, raising concerns about transparency, the quality of degrees and further casualisation of the higher education workforce.

Research by Professor Mahsood Shah, the dean of Swinburne University of Technology Sydney, has found that 33 of the 42 Australian universities had relationships with OPMs as of April 2022, and were offering more than 850 online courses via these partnerships.
Full report on The Guardian site