The Australian Center for Advanced Studies (ACAS) is the forerunner institution, bringing nearly twenty years of history as an accredited institution conducting various programs, including graduate and international programs.
ACAS was originally incorporated in December 1994, as the Australian Center for Cross-cultural Studies Inc., a not-for-profit organization with income-tax-exempt charitable status. It gained Deductible Gift Recipient status in 2011. It was originally founded specifically to support students and related organizations in Indonesia. During the mid 1990s, it offered a graduate school program through a consortium agreement. In 1999, it became accredited in its own right in Australia with its own Graduate Diploma in Cross-cultural Studies.
In 2000, it changed its name, direction, and structure. It became the Australian Centre for Advanced Studies, adopted a "member college" structure like that of the University of London, broadened its scope of offerings, and spread its geographic scope more widely in Australia.
ACAS has since grown rapidly. Instead of being only a graduate school, it grew to offer many programs ranging down to the lower certificates, and now has about 3,000-4,000 enrolled students each year with activities spread over three countries. Its programs presently run at various locations across Australia, with many more high schools also offering ACAS qualifications.
Besides spreading geographically, ACAS offered a wider variety of study areas, and specific courses vary from year to year. It has offered the following:
As a new institution, WU continues to expand this tradition, starting with a suite of carefully-focussed programs that address the specific needs that led to its establishment. Worldwide University is an higher education initiative of ACAS.