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Australian College of Theology Limited: Change of provider category 19 June 2019

Application for change of provider category

Report on application to change provider category to 'Australian University of Specialisation'

On 19 June 2019, TEQSA rejected, under section 38 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), the application by the Australian College of Theology to change provider category to 'Australian University of Specialisation'

Main reasons for the decision

TEQSA made this decision on the basis that it was not satisfied that the Australian College of Theology meets the following provisions of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011:

  1. Provider Category Standard (PCS) 4.5, on the basis that ACT does not demonstrate sustained scholarship that informs teaching and learning in all fields in which courses of study are offered;
  2. PCS 4.9, on the basis that ACT does not have systematic, mature internal processes for quality assurance and the maintenance of academic standards and academic integrity.

Further, the TEQSA Act also permits other relevant matters to be taken into account, including the objects of the TEQSA Act, which include the protection and enhancement of Australia's reputation for quality higher education and training services; and excellence, diversity and innovation in higher education in Australia.

TEQSA found that while ACT's history of scholarship and research suggests pockets of strength among its affiliates, the scale and scope of its scholarship, and its research activity in its only field of study, has been substantially below the standard of existing universities active in the field, having regard to its research and scholarly outputs, quantum of researchers and number of research active supervisors.