What is TEQSA?
We’re Australia’s independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education. Our purpose is to safeguard student interests and the reputation of Australia’s higher education sector by assuring the quality of higher education providers through a proportionate, risk-reflective approach to regulation.
Our work is underpinned by encouraging, supporting and recognising effective quality assurance and enhancement in Australian higher education providers.
In carrying out our regulatory work, we evaluate the performance of higher education providers against the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 which aims to safeguard the interests of current and future students.
When was TEQSA established?
In 2012 after a review of Australian higher education (the Bradley Review) recommended an independent national regulator for all types of higher education be established.
The Australian Government’s response to the Bradley Review was a landmark reform package for higher education, which expanded the system and created new opportunities for all Australians to reach their education potential.
How does TEQSA operate?
As a standards and risk-based regulator. Our standards based regulation is centred on the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 that all providers must meet, and continue to meet, in order to be registered with TEQSA as an Australian higher education provider.
Operating as a risk-based regulator allows us to ensure that our resources are directed to areas of higher risk, based on quality intelligence about a higher education provider’s operations.
What is the legal framework that governs Australian higher education?
- The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act) which calls for TEQSA to regulate higher education using a standards-based quality framework and principles relating to regulatory necessity, risk and proportionality.
- The Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework) which applies to all higher education providers. Set by the Minister for Education, on the advice of a panel with expertise in the delivery of higher education, they are the minimum level of achievement that a provider must meet (and maintain) to be registered to deliver higher education courses of study.
- The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) which applies to providers offering higher education courses of study to students in Australia on student visas. These include:
- higher education courses
- Foundation Programs (except those delivered by schools)
- English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) programs delivered by higher education providers.
- The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code 2018) provides nationally consistent standards for the conduct of registered education providers and the registration of their courses. The National Code also identifies the roles and responsibilities of the Australian, state and territory governments in discharging their regulatory functions.
What is the National Register of Higher Education Providers?
Also known as the National Register, it’s the authoritative source of information on the status of Australia’s higher education providers. You can search for registered higher education providers and their accredited courses of study. More information is available from our National Register of higher education providers
What is the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015?
A legislative instrument, also known as the HES Framework, set by the Minister for Education and Training on the advice of a panel of experts in the delivery of higher education. The HES Framework consists of two parts:
- Part A: Standards for Higher Education – which represent the minimum acceptable requirements for the provision of higher education in or from Australia.
- Part B: Criteria for Higher Education Providers – which enables categorisation of different types of provider and whether a provider is responsible for self-accreditation of a course(s) of study it delivers.
The Standards in the HES Framework are intended to be useful to higher education providers as a framework for internal monitoring of the quality of their higher education activities.
What does the higher education sector consist of?
It consists of higher education providers, Australian universities, Australian universities of specialisation and overseas universities.
You can search for a higher education provider, or their courses, on our National Register of higher education providers.
What is a higher education provider?
All providers of higher education registered by TEQSA, through meeting the requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework), become ‘higher education providers’. This title signals that the provider is a bona fide provider of quality higher education in Australia.
What is a higher education qualification?
Higher education qualifications span Australian Qualifications Framework levels 5-10, and include:
- undergraduate awards
- bachelor honours degrees
- bachelor degrees
- associate degrees
- advanced diplomas
- postgraduate awards
- higher doctoral degrees
- doctoral degrees
- masters degrees (by research)
- masters degrees (by coursework)
- masters degrees (extended)
- graduate diplomas
- graduate certificates.
How many students study in Australian higher education?
Around 1.5million in 2016. For more information on sector statistics, view our Statistics report on TEQSA registered higher education providers from the publications section of our website.
The Department of Education and Training collects data on all higher education providers approved under the Higher Education Support Act. To view these statistics visit the Department of Education and Training’s Student Data web page.
Who can I contact if I have an issue with FEE-HELP?
For information about government assistance for financing higher education, visit the StudyAssist website.
Who can I contact if I have an issue with my student visa?
The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for student visas. For more information visit the Department of Home Affair’s information for students page.
Can I make a complaint to TEQSA about my higher education provider?
Yes. Complaints about higher education providers help us to gather information that assists us in the regulation of the sector. For more information visit our Complaints section.
How do I make a complaint about my higher education provider?
You should access the policies and procedures they have established to resolve complaints. These policies and procedures should be easily accessible, consistent, fair and confidential and provide advice and support.
In most cases, your complaint should be resolved locally and informally. However, you may need to use your provider’s formal complaints procedures. For more information visit our Complaints section.
How does TEQSA monitor risks to students?
We carry out annual risk assessments of all registered higher education providers, which examine the delivery of quality higher education and look for a range of possible risks to students. For more information visit our Student section.
Why do higher education providers with international students have to pay CRICOS fees?
To cover costs associated with reviewing providers’ request for CRICOS registration, ensuring the integrity of the data on CRICOS. This allows CRICOS to meet its objective of being a reliable source of information on higher education courses for international students wanting to study in Australia.
Where can I find more information on TEQSA’s fees?
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act) – Determination of Fees lists all of our activities which attract fees, including the amount charged.
I am having difficulty determining the fee I have to pay. Who can I talk to?
You can contact your case manager or email enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au
Can I withdraw an application for accreditation/registration?
Yes, but our fees are non-refundable.
Are there alternate payment options?
Do TEQSA’s fees attract GST?