Kent Institute Australia Pty Ltd (formerly The Centre of Academic Excellence Pty. Ltd): Accreditation 26 May 2017
Course accreditation and conditions on registration
Report on accreditation of one higher education course of study offered by Kent Institute Australia Pty Ltd (formerly The Centre of Academic Excellence Pty Ltd)
TEQSA has agreed to orders made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) under which the Bachelor of Information Technology higher education course of study, under section 49 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act), be accredited to be offered by Kent Institute Australia Pty Ltd ('Kent Institute') until 1 June 2021:
These orders also involve the imposition of conditions on the registration of Kent Institute under subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act. A copy of the conditions is available at Attachment 1. The course accreditation covers delivery at all Australian sites.
Background to Decision
Kent Institute applied to TEQSA for accreditation of its Bachelor of Information Technology higher education course of study under Section 46 of the TEQSA Act.
A TEQSA delegate considered Kent Institute's application and made a decision to reject the application for accreditation, sending Kent Institute a Statement of Reasons setting out details of why the TEQSA delegate decided to reject the application for accreditation of the course of study.
The TEQSA delegate made this decision on the basis that they were not satisfied that the course met the following Provider Course Accreditation Standards (PCAS):
- PCAS 1.2, in relation to course development, including development and assessment of English Language Proficiency (ELP);
- PCAS 2.1 and 2.3, in relation to the adequacy of resources available to support students, taking into account expected growth; and
- PCAS 4.4, in relation to effective mechanisms to identify and support students at risk of not progressing academically.
The TEQSA delegate also determined that Kent was at risk of not meeting the following PCAS in relation to the course of study: 1.7, 2.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.3 and 5.4.
Kent Institute applied for an internal review of the decision to reject the application for accreditation of the course of study. No decision was made by TEQSA prior to the required date for internal review under subsection 186(2) of the TEQSA Act, meaning that TEQSA had taken to have affirmed the decision to reject the application for internal review.
Kent Institute applied for a review of TEQSA's deemed affirmation of the rejection of its application for accreditation at the AAT.
Main Reasons for Decision
After reviewing the material submitted by Kent Institute and participating in mediation with Kent Institute, TEQSA was satisfied that Kent Institute's Bachelor of Information Technology course of study meets the Threshold Standards. However TEQSA considered that there were risks in relation to:
- Development of the requisite levels of English language proficiency (PCAS 1.2), on the basis of concerns about Kent Institute's student perform;
- Engagement in intellectual inquiry consistent with the nature, level and expected learning outcomes of the course (PCAS 1.7), on the basis of an "ad hoc" approach to the presentation of theory and current controversies;
- Adequacy of the existing facilities to meet student demand (PCAS 2.1);
- Adequacy of library facilities (PCAS 2.2);
- Adequacy of staffing (PCAS 4.1);
- Staff scholarship (PCAS 4.2);
- Inconsistency in student outcomes between Melbourne and Sydney (PCAS 5.3);
- Monitoring and acting on student performance (PCAS 5.4).
On this basis, TEQSA agreed that it was appropriate to substitute TEQSA's initial decision to not grant the application with the decision to accredit the Bachelor of Information Technology until 1 June 2021 and to impose a number of conditions on Kent Institute's provider registration (see Attachment 1).
The conditions on registration are designed to address risks against the same Provider Course Accreditation Standards listed above in relation to TEQSA's reasons for initially deciding not to grant Kent Institute's application for accreditation of the Bachelor of Information Technology course of study.
TEQSA proposed to the AAT that the risks identified in the course accreditation be addressed by the imposition of conditions on registration. The AAT subsequently made orders in accordance with an agreement between TEQSA and Kent Institute to impose these conditions on registration.
Conditions imposed on the registration of Kent Institute pursuant to subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act:
Kent Institute must arrange for an independent and external review of the library and learning resources provided by Kent Institute for students of Kent Institute's higher education courses delivered in Sydney and Melbourne. Kent Institute must:
a) obtain TEQSA's approval of the identity of the reviewer before making an appointment.
b) provide TEQSA with the report arising from the review no later than 30 June 2017.
c) provide TEQSA with an implementation plan dealing with any recommendations from the review, together with evidence that the implementation plan has been discussed, considered and approved by Kent Institute's Academic Board by 31 July 2017.
Within three months of the date of the imposition of this condition, Kent Institute is required to provide TEQSA with a revised workforce plan for its higher education operations. The workforce plan must identify recruitment strategies, discipline needs, academic and career development strategies incorporating scholarly activity, appropriate full-time to casual staffing ratios and key implementation dates for the plan. Casual staffing ratios must be calculated based on the methodology set out on page 19 of the TEQSA Risk Assessment Framework (Version 2.1) document.
Within three months of the date of the imposition of this condition, Kent Institute must:
a) ensure that its course development and review policies explicitly provide for the development of a structured approach to engaging students in intellectual inquiry into theoretical developments and controversies consistent with the level and discipline of the course of study.
b) provide TEQSA with evidence of the application of this development of a structured approach in the context of at least one of Kent Institute's accredited courses of study. This evidence must include, but is not limited to, evidence that the approach has been considered, discussed and approved at a meeting of Kent Institute's Academic Board.