What are Offshore Learning Centres? How You Can Study an Australian Degree From Around the World

This article is sponsored by University of Technology Sydney

Offshore Learning Centres assist overseas students enrolled at Australian universities by providing extra study support.

Offshore Learning Centre refers to a physical learning space located on a university campus outside of Australia, offering additional support for international students currently studying online at an Australian university. 

The vision for Offshore Learning Centres is to support international students’ online study experiences and provide a university community before arriving at an Australian university campus. You’ll be assisted both socially and academically. 

An on-campus university experience allows students to access in-person support from learning facilitators and study facilities including quiet study spaces and internet connection. You can also engage with other students for study support and social activities. 

What is it like to study at an Offshore Learning Centre?

To find out more about studying at an Offshore Learning Centre, we interviewed two students currently enrolled at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and attending a UTS Offshore Offshore Learning Centre in China.

Xuan Pei Liu is completing a Bachelor of Business at UTS and is continuing his five-year Australian education online in China at UTS / Southwest University (SWU).

Luyue Zhang is completing a Master of Strategic Supply Chain Management at UTS / Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NJUTS).

Both Xuan Pei and Luyue have enjoyed their Offshore Learning Centre experiences and strongly recommend it to others.

“If we have questions about academic professional courses, we can consult the [Offshore Learning Centre Learning Facilitator]. When there is a problem in life, we can ask our [onsite admin staff]. They have brought me a lot of help in my studies and life,” Xuan Pei explains.

Luyue agrees, saying that the Learning Facilitators respond quickly to communication about any problems in either learning or life more generally. Their facilitators and counsellors are like friends, and she really enjoys communicating with them.

What are the benefits of studying at an OLC?

While some students may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with online learning, Xuan Pei believes that participating in an Offshore Learning Centre is the best solution.

“[Offshore Learning Centres] are a very good choice for students who are not used to online classes,” Xuan Pei shares.

Common disadvantages of online learning can include decreased participation and motivation, and reduced communication between students. However, connecting with your peers while studying online is important for academic success. By face-to-face contact with peers and Learning Facilitators, Offshore Learning Centres assist with participation and motivation.

According to Xuan Pei, making friends (a very important part of her university life) is easier and she finds it more efficient to study and complete her assignments.  

“The study room has a stronger learning atmosphere than studying at home, which also improves my enthusiasm for school.”

For Luyue, it’s all about the authentic on-campus experience.

“You can enjoy the delicious food of the canteen and use the classroom, library and outdoor facilities like a local student… [Offshore Learning Centres provide] a complete campus life experience, which enabled me to pass my exams in the first session”.

Can I study at an Offshore Learning Centre?

More and more universities have opened offshore learning programs, providing an alternative international student experience. 

At UTS, students will participate in UTS subjects in the same way as other students. They are taught by UTS staff and interact with other students (from all over the world) in classes and have access to all UTS support services provided remotely. 

If you’re located overseas but want to study at an Australian university online, we recommend that you contact your desired education provider to ask if they have offshore learning options and to find out more about them. 

UTS Offshore Learning Centres provide physical learning spaces and extra support for coursework students enrolled at UTS who are currently studying online in China, Indonesia and Vietnam.