Review of the impact of the TEQSA Act on the higher education sector

For: 

A review of the Impact of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 on the higher education sector was completed in March 2017

Release of the Government's response to the review

The Government has released its response to the report on the review of the impact of the TEQSA Act on the higher education sector.

Deloitte Access Economics undertook the review between July 2016 and March 2017, with oversight from the Higher Education Standards Panel. The review was a substantial body of work, with 36 written submissions received, 33 stakeholders were interviewed, and the provisions of the TEQSA Act extensively analysed.

Overall, the review was positive about the establishment of TEQSA as the national regulator in 2012, and noted that the TEQSA Act is broadly operating effectively and as intended. The review did not recommend changes that would significantly alter the regulatory framework or the role of TEQSA.

The Government's response addresses each of the review's recommendations in detail, including where amendments will be needed to the TEQSA Act. The Government will develop a bill to give effect to these proposed amendments which will improve the Act's administration, strengthen TEQSA's regulatory role and better reflect the evolution of the role of the Higher Education Standards Panel statutory advisory body.

Background

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia's national regulatory body. It was established in July 2011 and began its regulatory function from 29 January 2012. Section 203 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 required the Minister to cause a review to be started of the impact on the higher education sector of the TEQSA Act before 1 January 2016. The Minister determined terms of reference on 12 December 2015 and indicated his agreement to the Higher Education Standards Panel overseeing the review.

Terms of Reference

The review assessed the impact on the higher education sector of the TEQSA Act by examining:

  1. what has changed for the sector in moving to a single national regulatory framework from multiple state- and territory-specific arrangements
  2. the extent to which the TEQSA Act has contributed to improved quality in the delivery of higher education
  3. the extent to which the TEQSA Act has contributed to improved regulation
  4. whether there is unnecessary overlap with other legislation, for example, the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 and the Higher Education Support Act 2003
  5. whether there are amendments to the TEQSA Act or other changes that would enhance the Act's impact or its administration whether the required functions of the Higher Education Standards Panel are adequately reflected in the TEQSA Act.