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TEQSA statement: National Student Safety Survey (2021)

24 March 2022

TEQSA thanks all students who participated in University Australia’s National Student Safety Survey (2021).

Like many in the sector and wider community, TEQSA is concerned that university students are continuing to experience sexual assault or sexual harassment while studying.

We’re also concerned that many students say they are unaware of how to access support services or complaints mechanisms within their institution.

It is a requirement of the Higher Education Standards Framework (2021) for all registered providers to have in place appropriate policies and procedures to prevent and respond to allegations, reports or incidences of sexual assault or sexual harassment involving their students.

TEQSA’s regulatory and quality assurance work is focused on the effectiveness of provider systems, processes, and approaches for preventing and responding to sexual assault or sexual harassment as part of our broader work to protect student wellbeing within Australian higher education.

This includes assessing and building sector capacity through education, support and quality assessments. As part of this work, TEQSA has supported establishment of communities of practice for providers, and developed resources such as our Good Practice Note, to share best practice approaches to sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention and response within Australian higher education.

TEQSA will continue to engage with the sector to ensure compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (2021), in particular standards 2.3 and 6.1.4 (student wellbeing) and standard 2.4 (student grievances and complaints) to safeguard student wellbeing.

We have been monitoring university responses to the survey, and encourage all registered providers to review their policies and procedures and ensure that information on sexual assault or sexual harassment prevention and response, including how students can access support services or institutional complaints frameworks, are shared with all their students.

While TEQSA is unable to investigate individual sexual assault or sexual harassment matters, we do look into concerns about how providers have responded to allegations, reports or incidences of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Any current or former students who have concerns about how a provider managed an allegation, report or incident can lodge a concern via our website.

 

Further information: