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FAQs

17 October 2017

About Us

What is TEQSA?

We’re Australia’s higher education regulator. 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 2011 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. 

International higher education

How does TEQSA regulate international higher education providers?

TEQSA assesses all regulated entities under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency 2011 (the TEQSA Act) against the requirements of the TEQSA Act and the Threshold Standards.

The extent to which an entity is regulated by TEQSA varies based on matters including whether an entity is an Australian or overseas entity. The TEQSA Act only applies to the operations of overseas higher education providers where the overseas provider offers or confers a higher education award for a course of study “provided wholly or mainly from Australian premises.” 

What options exist for an overseas provider of higher education to deliver higher education in Australia?

Overseas providers of higher education seeking to offer higher education in Australia may wish to either:

  1. establish campuses at which students will complete their entire course of study for a higher education award

  2. establish an Australian subsidiary to solely or jointly confer the relevant awards
  3. enrol Australian students in online courses provided from overseas premises or
  4. offer students the opportunity to take classes for shorter periods of time at Australian premises operated by the provider, either as part of a course of study towards an award that is completed mainly overseas or as a stand-alone course which does not involve conferral of an award
  5. establish arrangements with an Australian registered higher education provider where the Australian provider confers the higher education award if the overseas provider’s students undertake the majority of their course in Australia.

Options (a) and (b) would generally require the overseas provider to obtain registration with TEQSA. Option (c), (d) and (e) would not require the overseas provider to be registered with TEQSA, but option (e) would require an arrangement with another entity that is registered with. 

Are overseas providers required to register with TEQSA?

Overseas providers (providers established outside Australia) are only required to be registered with TEQSA if they offer or confer a higher education award for a course of study “provided wholly or mainly from Australian premises.” Australian providers (providers established in Australia) are required to be registered with TEQSA where they are a “regulated entity” within the meaning of section 5 of the TEQSA Act.