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Acknowledge Education Pty Ltd (formerly Stott's Colleges Pty Ltd): Re-registration 30 April 2020

Renewal of registration

Report on renewal of registration of Acknowledge Education Pty Ltd

On 30 April 2020 TEQSA:

  • Renewed, under section 36 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), the registration of Acknowledge Education Pty Ltd in the category of Higher Education Provider, for a period of four (4) years until 30 April 2024.

On 13 May 2020 TEQSA:

  • Imposed, under section 32 of the TEQSA Act, two conditions on the registration of Acknowledge Education Pty Ltd.
  • Condition 1 Governance and Quality Assurance

  1. By 1 February 2021, Acknowledge Education (AE) must obtain a report from an independent expert on its quality assurance framework and corporate monitoring and accountability.
  2. Prior to engaging the reviewer to perform the review in paragraph 1, AE must obtain TEQSA's approval for the identity of the reviewer and the terms of reference for the review. The reviewer's proposed terms of reference must be provided to TEQSA for approval by 1 September 2020, and must focus on (but need not necessarily be limited to):
    1. Terms of Reference of AE's corporate and academic governing bodies;
    2. Ensuring AE's quality assurance framework supports compliance with all elements of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework) (including in particular sections 6.3 and 5.3);
    3. Ensuring AE's governing body is adequately assuring itself that the entity is complying with legislative requirements;
    4. Ensuring realistic performance targets are established, performance against targets is monitored and action is taken to address underperformance;
    5. Ensuring processes are in place for risks to higher education operations to be identified and mitigated effectively; and
    6. Ensuring oversight of academic leadership requirements and adequate monitoring and support for scholarship within a framework that includes reporting systems that enable effective monitoring of scholarship activities.
  3. By 1 February 2021, and without prior review by AE, the reviewer must provide a copy of their review to AE's Academic Board, Board of Directors and TEQSA.
  4. By 1 June 2021, AE must report to TEQSA on the implementation of the outcomes of the independent review.

Condition 2 Student enrolments

The maximum number of higher education students to which Acknowledge Education Pty Ltd may deliver its accredited courses of study may not exceed 1500 students (headcount) at any time.

Main reasons for the decision

TEQSA made these decisions in light of substantial risks that Acknowledge Education Pty Ltd may not meet, or continue to meet, the following provisions of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015:

  1. Section 6.1 of Part A in relation to corporate governance and the extent to which the governing body assures itself that AE is operating effectively through obtaining required information and advice, and ensuring that the quality assurance processes are effective in ensuring the quality of AE's offerings.
  2. Section 6.2 of Part A in relation to corporate monitoring and accountability and the extent to which AE's quality assurance mechanisms enable effective monitoring, identification of risks, development of strategies for addressing risks and ensuring improvement.
  3. Section 6.3 of Part A in relation to academic governance and the extent to which processes and structures are established within AE to set and monitor institutional benchmarks and to ensure effective academic oversight of the quality of teaching and learning.
  4. Section 5.3 of Part A in relation to monitoring, review and improvement and the extent to which AE's quality assurance framework is fit for purpose, including having and implementing adequate mechanisms for monitoring and reporting on student performance outcomes from its multi-campus operations.
  5. Section 3.2 of Part A and Criteria B1.1.4 of Part B in relation to staffing and academic staff scholarship activities and the extent to which AE ensures its academic staff are engaged in scholarship that informs their teaching.

Application to withdraw conditions

In accordance with section 32 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.

Further information

Information on TEQSA's regulatory approach and public reporting is available at www.teqsa.gov.au.