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How does TEQSA monitor risks to students?

Group of students looking at computer

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011, which established TEQSA as an agency, calls for us to protect students undertaking, or proposing to undertake, higher education in Australia by requiring the provision of quality higher education. In line with this requirement, 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. These annual risk assessments are organised by the following themes:

  1. Student enrolments, outcomes and experience.
  2. Staff resources and profile.
  3. Financial viability and sustainability. 

During these assessments, we review relevant evidence against the requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework). Higher education providers must meet the requirements of the HES Framework at all times to remain registered.

A core aspect of annual risk assessments involves assessing providers’ financial viability. The HES Framework specifically requires providers to have the financial resources and management capacity needed to keep operating.

If we identify issues with providers' operations that relate to their ability to meet the HES Framework, we will raise these concerns, and take further action where necessary.

What happens if a provider closes?

All higher education providers are required by the HES Framework to have plans and safeguards in place to protect the interests of students if they are forced to stop operating, experience financial difficulties, or are unable to effectively deliver higher education. 

Domestic students

If you are a domestic student studying with an Australian higher education provider (or studying overseas with a provider delivering an Australian higher education course of study/degree) who is forced to close, we will work with the provider and/or other government agencies to assist you in pursuing your studies.

International students

If you are an international student studying with a provider who is forced to close, the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) will assist you to either complete your studies with another provider, or have your unspent tuition fees refunded.