Internet Access for Persons under the Age of 18 Years
Any student under the age of 18 years who wishes to obtain access to the internet must ensure the consent form is signed by their parent or guardian and either hand delivered to Hub Central, located on North Terrace campus, or emailed/posted to the University Contact Centre. The student will be able to access the internet the following business day after receipt of the form. Read more on government content codes below.
Download the Under 18 Parental Consent Form.
Commonwealth Governement Content Codes and The University
In 1999, the Commonwealth government made several changes to the Broadcasting Services Act (1992) relating to the internet. The Act authorised the establishment of industry-developed Content Codes, and gave approved Codes the force of law.
Several codes have subsequently been developed and approved. They impose several obligations upon "internet service providers" (ISPs) and "internet content hosts" (ICHs), including the following restrictions relating to persons under the age of 18 years:
Content Code 1: Internet Service Provider obligations in relation to Internet access generally
5.1 ISPs will take reasonable steps to ensure that Internet access accounts ('access accounts') are not provided to persons under the age of 18 years without the consent of a parent, teacher or other responsible adult.
Content Code 3: Internet Content Host obligations in relation to hosting of content within Australia
7.1 To the extent applicable, each Internet Content Host will take reasonable steps to ensure that content subscription accounts for content hosted by the Internet Content Host ('subscription accounts') are not provided to persons under the age of 18 years without the consent of a parent, teacher or other responsible adult.
For some time there has been considerable debate amongst Australian universities as to whether or not the above Codes apply to universities. Conflicting legal opinions have been obtained, and the position is still not clear.
The University of Adelaide has decided to adopt a conservative stance. From 2003, students under the age of 18 years will not be granted access to the wider internet unless they have provided written consent from a parent, teacher or other responsible adult.
Students under the age of 18 years will still have access to University online resources. These include online education resources, library resources, email, and the student dialup facility. However, they will not be able to access external (ie, non University of Adelaide) internet sites unless they complete and return the consent form.
The University points out that students' access to the internet will by and large be unsupervised, though it may be monitored from time to time to ensure compliance with the University's policies and rules.