Sheridan College Inc.: Re-registration and Re-accreditation 6 June 2019
Renewal of registration
Report on renewal of registration of Sheridan College Inc
On 6 June 2019, TEQSA:
- renewed, under section 36 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011(TEQSA Act), the registration of Sheridan College Inc in the category of Higher Education Provider, for a period of three years until 6 June 2022.
- renewed, under section 56 of the TEQSA Act, the accreditation of the following courses offered by Sheridan College Inc, for a period of three years until 6 June 2022:
- Graduate Certificate of Business Administration
- Graduate Diploma of Business Administration.
On 19 June 2019, TEQSA:
- imposed, under section 32 of the TEQSA Act, four conditions on the registration of Sheridan College Inc.
Condition 1: Independent Review of Governance
- By 31 October 2019, the College must engage suitably qualified independent academic and corporate governance expert/s with experience in the higher education sector to do the following:
- complete an evaluation of the Board's and Academic Council's performance and effectiveness, with the aim of identifying opportunities for the College to improve its governance capabilities and ensure it continues to meet its requirements under the TEQSA Act as well as its broader compliance obligations
- report on the areas of governance requiring improvement and deliver a detailed action plan to support the College to address any deficiencies identified
- improve the College's risk register and risk management framework
- develop and implement a compliance register to ensure the College understands, monitors and continues to meet its compliance obligations.
- The College must propose the suitably qualified governance expert/s to TEQSA at least 30 days prior to any appointment of the independent governance expert/s for approval by TEQSA. Once approved and appointed, the College must grant TEQSA opportunity to engage with the appointed governance expert/s, to seek any clarification or update considered necessary by TEQSA.
- The report and action plan specified at paragraph a(ii) is to be reported to the College's Academic Council, Board of Directors and TEQSA by 20 December 2019.
- The College is to report to TEQSA on the implementation of the Action Plan (specified at para a(ii)) by no later than 30 June 2020 in the first instance and then every six months until all actions are complete.
- The College is to provide TEQSA with its improved risk register and risk management framework by 20 December 2019.
- The College is to provide TEQSA with its compliance register and compliance framework by 20 December 2019.
Condition 2: Develop a strategy to improve retention, progress and completion
- The College must establish an ongoing process for analysis of its student attrition, progression, completion and absent failure rates for all of its higher education courses. The analysis must rely on accurate data and attempt to identify the drivers behind each of these rates.
- Based on the data analysis specified at paragraph (a) the College must develop a practical strategy with the aim of improving student retention, progression and completion rates, including use of the data to inform admission criteria and approaches to course design, teaching, learning and academic support. As part of this process the College must consider the Higher Education Standards Panel Report "Final Report - Improving retention, completion and success in higher education" https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/final_report_for_publishing.pdf
- The following must be provided to TEQSA by 18 December 2019:
- the detailed analysis specified at paragraph (a)
- the strategy specified at paragraph (b)
- an explanation of the systems and processes put in place to ensure this analysis is on-going and the strategy is implemented with adequate oversight of the Academic Council and Board of Directors.
Condition 3: Reporting obligations
By 31 July 2020, the College must provide to TEQSA copies of the following for the previous six-month period:
- each report to the Academic Council and the Board of Directors on student performance, including progress, attrition and completion rates and the implementation of the College's strategy to improve retention, progress and completion
- each report to the Board of Directors on review of the risk register and risk framework
- each report to the Board of Directors on review of the College's Compliance Register and Compliance Framework
- all minutes relating to the Board's consideration and endorsement (or otherwise) of the reports specified in (a), (b) and (c).
Condition 4: English language and student support
- The College must immediately delete the following condition from the student agreement: 'If Sheridan College determines, on the basis of your academic performance, that further academic English language support is necessary, you will be required to enrol in English support classes in addition to your normal coursework and at your personal expense.'
- By 31 July 2019, the College must revise (to TEQSA's satisfaction) all of its marketing material and student information (including both printed and online material) to clearly and accessibly provide prospective and current students with advice about:
- the English language requirements for admission to its courses
- the potential need for additional study in English and any additional costs associated with this further study
- the counselling and personal support services available to students. This information on counselling and personal support services must include at a minimum: service contact details; whether or not these services are outsourced to third parties or provided in-house; and any additional costs involved in accessing these services.
Main reasons for the decision
The decisions were made on the basis that TEQSA was not satisfied that Sheridan meets the following provisions of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 ('the Threshold Standards'):
- Standards 6.1.3, 6.3.1 and 6.2.1 in relation to corporate and academic governance; and
- Standards 1.1.1, 2.3.2 and 7.2.1 in relation to risks to students, and provision of appropriate support and information to students.