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Corporate and academic governance a key focus for TEQSA

12 September 2018

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has released a new report, which analyses the outcomes of regulatory applications made to agency prior to the introduction of the new Higher Education Standards Framework (HES Framework) in January 2017.

The Assessment Insights report shows that the majority of the agency’s decisions to reject applications for both initial and renewal of registration as an Australian higher education provider, were made due to serious concerns about the adequacy of applicants’ corporate and academic governance arrangements.

The report also identifies a link between the time taken to reach a regulatory decision and its outcome, showing, perhaps unsurprisingly, that adverse decisions generally took the agency longer to make.

TEQSA CEO Anthony McClaran said that the report was intended to offer guidance for both prospective and current higher education providers on how they might improve the outcome of applications made to the agency.

“TEQSA and the legislation we administer has always set a ‘high front gate’ for entry to the sector, and these stringent requirements remain consistently in place once registered to protect student interests and the reputation of Australian higher education”, said Mr McClaran.

“Reports such as this, and our guidance notes on key sections of the HES Framework, are a sign of TEQSA’s commitment to operating transparently and working with providers to improve application outcomes and legislative compliance”. 

The report also found that the number of applications for initial registration as an Australian higher education provider approved by the agency remained relatively consistent, with between five and seven applications approved per year between 2015 and 2017. This finding was despite a large increase in the number of applications made to TEQSA before the introduction of the new HES Framework. 

The Assessment Insights report offers an overview of TEQSA assessment outcomes with analysis organised under five key themes of year and type, differences in outcome by provider type, time taken by the agency to reach regulatory decisions, the prevalence of particular sets of issues and the relationship between regulatory risk and adverse outcomes.

View the Assessment Insights report from the TEQSA website.

Key findings

Reasons for adverse outcomes

Reasons for adverse outcomes infographic


Initial registration assessments

Despite a major increase in the number of applications for initial registration in 2016 and 2017, the number of approvals remained relatively consistent.

Initial registration assessments infographic

Media enquiries

Raphael May, Assistant Director, Communications: raphael.may [at] teqsa.gov.au, 0437 143 012 or (03) 8306 2536.