Re-registration 17 October 2013

Provider: Polytechnic West

Renewal of registration

Report on renewal of registration of Polytechnic West

TEQSA has determined, under Section 36(1) of the TEQSA Act, that registration of Polytechnic West as a higher education provider be renewed for a period of three years to 17 October 2016 in the provider category of 'Higher Education Provider'. TEQSA has, under subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act, imposed three conditions on the registration of Polytechnic West as a higher education provider.

Condition 1:

For each of the fields of study in which Polytechnic West offers higher education courses, complete the recruitment of senior academic leaders with experience in higher education, scholarship and professional practice (by 31 December 2013);

Condition 2:

That the appointed academic leaders for each field of study review all existing course materials and PWA reports back to TEQSA by the 31 March 2014, in such a way to ensure that:

  1. Each course presents the required level of intellectual inquiry to engage students with advanced knowledge and critical reflection of material and issues pertinent to the field of study and AQF level; and
  2. The graduate attributes and employment opportunities stated in material made available to students and prospective students for each course of study ensure accurate advice is provided to current and prospective students; and

Condition 3:

Progressive implementation of the Institute's Research and Scholarship Strategy 2012-2017 to meet the requirement in Category Standard 1.4 for academic staff to be active in scholarship that informs their teaching, with reporting of the implementation made to TEQSA on an agreed timeframe that is consistent with the provider's planning and review schedule.

Background to Decision

Polytechnic West submitted an application for renewal of registration in the category of 'Higher Education Provider' under Section 35 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act). Subsection 36(4) of the TEQSA Act enables TEQSA to renew a provider's registration for a period not exceeding seven years.

Main Reasons for the Decision

As part of the registration process, TEQSA has assessed the application submitted by Polytechnic West against the Threshold Standards. The scope of the assessment included all its Australian sites.

TEQSA considers that the decision to apply conditions to the application from Polytechnic West for renewal of registration is consistent with the basic principles for regulation in Part 2 of the TEQSA Act, as there are concerns about the Institute's compliance with a number of Threshold Standards, particularly those relating to academic leadership, course design, engagement with advanced knowledge and inquiry, and level of scholarly activity, and consequently, the ability to maintain academic quality.

TEQSA considers that the risks of non-compliance with the Threshold Standards involve significant matters that may affect Polytechnic West's capacity to manage and deliver its higher education awards consistently with the Threshold Standards. The conditions noted above are intended to allow Polytechnic West a reasonable period of time to demonstrate it can sustain improvement, while mitigating the potential risk to students resulting from uncertainty about whether it has the capacity to improve performance and place Polytechnic West's higher education operations on a sustainable footing.

Similar concerns have also resulted in the shortened period of registration of three years deemed necessary to address the risk that Polytechnic West may not develop the required higher education teaching and learning and scholarly environment in the medium term. The five year period will allow Polytechnic West sufficient time to demonstrate it is addressing the conditions, and that it is meeting the requirements of the Threshold Standards.

In accordance with sections 34 of the TEQSA Act, TEQSA may vary or revoke a condition imposed on the registration of a higher education provider, either on its own initiative, or upon application by the provider for variation or revocation.