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On 23 March 2011, the Australian government passed legislation to create the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) – the country’s new national regulatory and quality agency for higher education institutions. Such an agency has long been a key higher education reform component for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who outlined the creation of such a national agency back in 2009 in her previous posts as Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, March 2009). TEQSA will combine the regulatory duties currently performed in the country’s states and territories with the quality assurance activities overseen by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA). In turn, the newly created TEQSA will streamline the quality sector and reduce the number of related agencies from nine to one.
TEQSA’s primary function will be to standardise and monitor quality within the Australian higher education sector, which includes universities and non-universities. In addition, TEQSA will register providers, carry out evaluations of standards and performance, protect and assure the quality of international education and streamline current regulatory arrangements. TEQSA represents one of the four elements of the new quality and regulatory arrangements for Australian higher education. The others include:
These reforms come at a significant moment in time, as Minister for Tertiary Education, Chris Evans, announced that 50 000 more students are currently enrolled in Australian higher education institutions as compared to 2009 figures.
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)
Regulatory and Quality Arrangements Diagram – TEQSA