Students  >  Independent Advantages

High quality teaching, career skills and support to succeed

Independent providers focus more on outcome and student support, and less on processes. That’s why independent providers often score better, when students rate the quality of their higher education.


Independent providers play a vital role in the Australian higher education sector.

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of all Australian higher education enrolments are with independent providers, and this number is growing at a faster rate than public universities.


students are currently enrolled with an independent higher education provider, equivalent to 4.81 public universities.


of Australia’s 198 registered higher education institutions are independent providers, making it the fastest growing segment within the higher education sector.

Quality of Education

Independent providers offer Australia's best quality experience for students*

When students rate the quality of their education, independent providers were awarded the top 25 rankings for overall quality by students in 2022, and dominated the top 25 rankings for teaching quality, skills development, learner engagement and student support.

The reasons why students are more satisfied with independent providers:

  • Independent providers focus on outcome rather than processes
  • Smaller class sizes mean better student support, resulting in higher student satisfaction
  • Independents are specialised in their field, which means they can offer better learning opportunities
  • A focus on developing a student’s career skills, means better employability

The QILT survey program, including the Student Experience Survey (SES) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

*QILT Survey 2019.

Top 25 Providers (Quality of Entire Educational Experience)

Student Satisfaction

When students rate the quality of their education*, independent providers score better in:

The QILT survey program, including the Student Experience Survey (SES) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. 

*2019 QILT Survey, published: March 2020


The reasons why more and more students are choosing an independent provider:

Smaller class sizes

Smaller class sizes mean better learner engagement and allow for a high teaching quality.

Better Student Support

Better student support

Independent providers focus more on outcomes and less on processes. In combination with smaller class sizes and a supportive community, this allows our providers to better respond to a student’s individual needs and development.

Higher Student Satisfaction

Higher student satisfaction

When it comes to student satisfaction, independent providers out perform public universities. Students benefit from better service and a better learning experience.

Field Specialisation

Field specialisation

Independent providers are often committed to a specific niche. This means academic excellence in a field and close relationships with industry partners.

Better learning opportunities

Independent providers put their students at the centre. Modern teaching facilities and a supportive community contribute to a student’s learning experience and personal development.

Better employability

We understand that choosing an independent provider is an investment in the future. That’s why our members are deeply committed to helping their students develop the skills and attributes that prepare them for professional success.


All of our providers are fully accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency, TEQSA, the same regulator as Australian public universities.

Membership of IHEA is only open to providers that are registered with TEQSA. Membership is also conditional on continued compliance with IHEA’s Code of Good Practice. Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF) and Australian Quality Framework (AQF) also apply to all accredited higher education courses provided by IHEA members.

“Having studied at larger institutes, one of the things that set the Academy apart was the small, family-like class environments where we were driven by creative like-minded people to do our very best."

– Felisha Mina, Bachelor of Design Arts, LCI Melbourne


Our members are located across Australia and include independent universities, colleges and professional associations.

IHEA members educate students in a range of disciplines including Law, Engineering, Agricultural Science, Architecture, Business, Accounting, Tourism and Hospitality, Education, Health Sciences, Theology, Creative Arts, Information Technology and Social Sciences. IHEA members are higher education institutions with both for-profit and not-for-profit business models and they educate domestic and international students in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Are you an independent provider? Contact us for membership enquiries.