The commencement of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) today marks the beginning of a new era of quality for Australian higher education.
Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, welcomed the establishment of TEQSA as a key reform of the Gillard Government’s agenda to transform Australia’s higher education system.
"TEQSA will be a new generation regulator, playing a pivotal role in ensuring the overall quality of our higher education system," Senator Evans said.
TEQSA has been established as the new national regulator and quality assurance agency for higher education. It brings together the regulatory functions previously undertaken by the states and territories and the quality assurance activities undertaken by the Australian Universities Quality Agency, reducing the number of higher education regulatory and quality assurance bodies from nine to one.
"The implementation of a single national regulator for the higher education sector is a key step in improving the quality and consistency of higher education regulation around the nation," Senator Evans said.
"It will see the foundations of the higher education system being based on quality, integrity and sustainability and will allow for universities and higher education provides to grow in response to their unique goals and missions."
TEQSA will regulate providers using a new national framework which will set out the threshold in which all higher education providers must meet in order to be registered and deliver higher education in Australia.
"This will provide the safeguards to ensure that growth does not come at the expense of quality," Senator Evans said.
TEQSA’s regulatory approach has been developed based on extensive consultation with the states and territories and the higher education sector.
The Government expects to make an announcement about the permanent appointments to TEQSA shortly. Until that time, Professor Denise Bradley AC will act as TEQSA’s Chief Commissioner, following on from her role as Interim Chair, and Mr Ian Hawke will become an acting Commissioner, following on from his role as Interim CEO.