Australia’s higher education system is underpinned by quality assurance arrangements including a national quality agency, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). But quality assurance must not come at the cost of constraining universities and colleges with unnecessary red tape and reporting. With greater choice comes a need to provide better and more accurate information. Giving students and their families sound information on which to base their choices is critical to their success as a student.
The Government’s initiatives include:
- Better information for student choice — this will provide a new source of information for students and their families on higher education institutions in Australia. It will comprise a suite of surveys that will cover students from commencement to employment, including the University Experience Survey, the Graduate Outcomes Survey and development of a new Employer Satisfaction Survey. Information from these surveys will be presented in an accessible web-based format, with an initial version of the website available later this year.
- Streamlining TEQSA— the Government has directed TEQSA to focus on its core quality assurance activities of registration and accreditation and conduct its activities in keeping with the principles of necessary, proportionate and risk-based regulation. The Government is also looking to decrease the administrative overheads of the agency and has therefore reduced its funding commencing on a staged basis from 1 July 2014 (saving $31.1 million over four years).