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Charles Sturt University: Re-registration 3 April 2019

Renewal of registration

Report on renewal of registration of Charles Sturt University

On 3 April 2019 TEQSA:

  • renewed, under section 36 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), the registration of Charles Sturt University (CSU) in the category of Australian University, for a period of four years until 3 April 2023.
  • imposed, under section 32 of the TEQSA Act, six conditions on the registration of CSU.

Condition 1: Academic Risk Management

By 28 February of each year of registration, CSU must provide TEQSA with a copy of the approved minutes of each meeting of the Council for the previous 12 months. The meeting minutes must demonstrate that the Council has:

  1. ensured the identification of academic risks to the higher education operations of the University, including academic risks inherent in third party arrangements
  2. ensured that academic risks are managed and mitigated effectively.

Condition 2: Student Performance Reporting

By 28 February of each year of registration, CSU must provide TEQSA with a copy of the approved minutes of each meeting of the Academic Senate for the previous 12 months. The meeting minutes must demonstrate that the Academic Senate:

  1. regularly receives a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of rates and trends in student performance including attrition, progression, minimum course completion times, and variations in the attainment of course learning outcomes and grade distributions. The diagnostic analysis must include (but is not limited to) calculations for attrition and progression rates as defined in the TEQSA Risk Assessment Framework, and include analysis of student performance by:
    1. course of study
    2. study periods
    3. entry pathway (comparing students admitted under each entry pathway including through third party arrangements)
    4. study mode
    5. location of study (including sites operated by third parties)
    6. education agent
    7. country of origin
    8. student achievement in similar courses at other Australian universities
  2. ensures the development of comprehensive action plans to address any issues identified through the diagnostic analysis done in accordance with Condition 2a, and undertakes periodic monitoring of the effectiveness of any interventions
  3. reports outcomes of Condition 2a and 2b to the Council for consideration and action.

Condition 3: Academic Governance Processes

By 28 February of each year of registration, CSU must provide TEQSA with a report on the implementation of the recommendations arising from the 2018 external review of academic governance. The report must demonstrate progress toward implementation of the recommendations against deadlines.

Condition 4: Academic Misconduct

By 28 February of each year of registration, CSU must provide TEQSA with a report analysing instances and causes of academic misconduct, and the effective management and mitigation of the identified academic misconduct during the previous 12 months. The report must consider trends in academic misconduct (covering at least three years) as well as actions taken with reference to course of study, student cohort, entry pathway, location of study (including any third party delivery sites), mode of study, country of origin, status of actions, outcomes and time taken.

Condition 5: Academic Integrity and Quality at the CSU Study Centres

CSU must:

  1. from the date it is notified of this decision, not enrol any commencing student in a course of study to be delivered at the CSU Study Centres operated by Study Group Australia (SGA) or offer a student a place in a course of study to be delivered at the CSU Study Centres operated by SGA, and the University must maintain this restriction until it is notified that TEQSA is satisfied that the University has implemented controls to ensure academic integrity and quality at the CSU Study Centres operated by SGA
  2. provide TEQSA by 1 August 2019 with evidence that the University has established controls at the CSU Study Centres operated by SGA that are directly overseen by CSU academic staff. The controls must:
    1. ensure the maintenance of academic integrity
    2. ensure reliable and valid assessment of student achievement and recording of student marks
    3. be considered and approved by the Academic Senate and the Council
  3. provide TEQSA by 1 August each year of registration after 2019 with evidence of a comprehensive analysis of breaches of academic integrity (in accordance with Condition 5b) at the CSU Study Centres operated by SGA, and proposed actions to address underlying issues and to ensure academic quality. This evidence must demonstrate that the analysis and the actions have been considered and approved by the Academic Senate and the Council.

Condition 6: Scholarship Activities of Staff at the CSU Study Centres

CSU must:

  1. by 30 August 2019, conduct an external and independent review of the scholarly outputs for all teaching staff and staff with oversight of teaching at the CSU Study Centres operated by SGA. The name and details of the professional experience of the proposed external reviewer along with the terms of reference and timeframe for the review are to be provided to TEQSA for approval within 30 days from the date CSU is notified of this decision
  2. by 29 November 2019, provide TEQSA with a copy of the report of the external review of scholarly activities of staff at the CSU Study Centres operated by SGA and matching action plan as approved by the Council
  3. by 30 August of each year of registration after 2019, provide TEQSA with a progress report on the implementation of the action plan in Condition 6b.

Main reasons for the decision

TEQSA made these decisions in light of risks that CSU may not meet, or continue to meet, the following provisions of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011:

  1. Provider Registration Standards (PRS) 3.4, 3.7 and 3.8 in relation to corporate and academic governance
  2. Provider Registration Standard (PRS) 4.3 in relation to protecting academic integrity through effective prevention, detection and management of academic misconduct
  3. Provider Registration Standard (PRS) 4.5 in relation to managing and quality assuring course delivery via third party arrangements, specifically in the context of the CSU Study Centres operated through a third party arrangement with Study Group Australia
  4. Provider Registration Standards (PRS) 5.6 and 6.5 in relation to the monitoring of and reporting on teaching and learning outcomes to inform decision making on improvements to its higher education operations and identification of the learning needs of varying student cohorts
  5. Provider Category Standards (PCS) 1.4 and 2.5 in relation to the scholarly activities of teaching staff at the CSU Study Centres operated through a third party arrangement with Study Group Australia.