I am also from Australia, and you are right that is an odd attitude here. I am now working on my second distance degree from the University of New England. I am doing a Master of History which is only available online although many of the subjects can be studied on campus for other degrees. The only difference I can see between online and on campus students, in this type of situation, is that on campus students have to go to lectures and tutorials. Online students can listen to pod broadcasts if they wish. In most subjects the assessment for online and on campus students is exactly the same. The assignments have to be submitted electronically whether you live across the road from the campus or in another country. Most of the readings and research material is available online. In the last two trimesters I have not had to have visited a local university library once, everything I have needed has been online either as e-books or through JSTOR or such. What this means is that the line between distance and oncampus is well and truly blurred.