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Consultation: Draft legislative instrument

 Draft legislative instrument"

In February 2021, the Australian Parliament passed the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Provider Category Standards and Other Measures) Bill 2020. The Bill gives effect to the Australian Government’s decision to implement all 10 recommendations arising from the Provider Category Standards review conducted in 2019. 

Among other things, the Bill amends the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act) to allow TEQSA to make a determination of the matters which it must have regard to when assessing the quality of the research undertaken by a provider which is registered, or applies to be registered, in the Australian University category. By approval from the Minister, this determination becomes a legislative instrument.

TEQSA proposes to make a determination which sets out a number of matters which are relevant to an assessment of research quality. The list is non-exhaustive and does not specify benchmarks or thresholds for quality; it is a determination of considerations in an assessment of research quality.

Draft text for the proposed legislative instrument

  1. the volume of citations, and the quality of the publications in which those citations occurred, for peer-reviewed journal papers;
  2. whether publications have been peer reviewed and, where peer review has occurred, the nature of the peer review process and the results of that process; 
  3. results from Excellence in Research for Australia or any comparable evaluation in Australia, and from comparable national and international research assessment exercises;
  4. the regulated entity’s governance framework for research including:
    1. its policy framework for research;
    2. its financial support for the pursuit of research; and
    3. whether and how the governance framework for research is implemented.
  5. the extent to which there is a research community at the regulated entity, including:
    1. the number of researchers at the regulated entity;
    2. the relationship between individual researchers and the regulated entity;
    3. whether all researchers are engaged in the research community at the regulated entity;
    4. the extent to which research at the regulated entity is current or recent; and
    5. the supervisory and study environment for research activity at the regulated entity; and
  6. the success of the regulated entity in competitive research grant rounds and other direct funding for research.

TEQSA proposes to make this instrument in order to provide clarity about the matters which will be considered in its decisions regarding the Australian University category. 

Consultation process

TEQSA requests that feedback on the proposed text for the draft legislative instrument, along with any other relevant feedback, be submitted via email to standards [at] teqsa.gov.au.

Submissions close at 5:00pm [AEST] on Wednesday 28 April 2021.

Interested parties can also email standards [at] teqsa.gov.au with queries about this draft legislative instrument.

Please note that TEQSA intends to publish a summary of submissions received. If you do not wish your submission to be published in full or in part, please indicate this in your response. TEQSA may alter the format or content of submissions before they are published, or decline to publish particular submissions, having regard to the requirements for Australian Government website.

Frequently asked questions

Will TEQSA be proposing a legislative instrument for the University College category?

No. TEQSA’s power to make the legislative instrument is specifically tied to assessing the quality of research undertaken by a provider which is registered, or applies to be registered, in the Australian University category. As such, TEQSA can not and will not be proposing a legislative instrument for the University College category.