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Sydney Polytechnic Institute Pty Ltd: Registration and Accreditation 10 August 2022

Registration

Report on registration of Sydney Polytechnic Institute Pty Ltd

On 10 August 2022, TEQSA:

  • granted, under section 21 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), the application by Sydney Polytechnic Institute Pty Ltd for registration in the category of Institute of Higher Education, for a period of five years until 10 August 2027.
  • accredited, under section 49 of the TEQSA Act, the following courses for delivery by Sydney Polytechnic Institute Pty Ltd for a period of five years until 10 August 2027:
    • Graduate Certificate in Data Science
    • Graduate Diploma in Data Science
    • Master of Data Science
  • imposed, under section 32 of the TEQSA Act, the following condition on the registration of Sydney Polytechnic Institute Pty Ltd as an Institute of Higher Education:
    • Condition 1: Corporate Monitoring and Accountability
      For the first four years after registration, SPI must report to TEQSA if any of the following events occur, based on board accepted management accounts as of 30 June and 31 December:
      1. The Current Ratio, defined as Current Assets divided by Current Liabilities (excluding related party transactions), is less than 1.0.
      2. The Net Operating Cash Flow is less than it was projected to be in the revised sensitised forecast of SPI's finances by a margin of 10 per cent or greater.
      3. EBITDA, defined as Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortisation, are less than what they were projected to be in the revised sensitised forecast of SPI's finances by a margin of 10 per cent or greater.
      4. Closing cash balance falls below than projected in the revised sensitised forecast by a margin of 10 per cent or greater.
      5. Additional contingency funds used or drawn down.
      6. The number of commencing and continuing students (domestic and international), and the equivalent full time student load (EFTSL) falls below that projected in the revised sensitised forecast by a margin of 10 per cent or greater.

The reporting, if any of these events occur, must be within 60 days of 30 June or 31 December respectively, based on the board approved management accounts.

Content of reports

Where one of the events described above occurs, the report provided to TEQSA must:

  1. be based on SPI's board approved management accounts (which must be provided to TEQSA);
  2. include a business plan, revised financial and student projections;
  3. include plans of action to address the issues raised by the event within short timeframes;
  4. (where the report covers an event described in (e)), SPI must provide TEQSA with the board approved reasons for using its contingency funds along with an approved business plan and revised financial and student projections; and
  5. (where the report covers an event described in (f)), SPI must provide the actual figures for both the number of students enrolled and the EFTSL compared to those projected in the sensitised forecast, as well as the budget period. This information must be approved by SPI's board before it is provided to TEQSA.

For this condition, the 'sensitised forecast' is the forecast contained in the Statement of Reasons report provided with the Notice of Decision.

Main reasons for the decisions

TEQSA made these decisions on the basis that it was satisfied that SPI meets the Provider Registration Standards and the courses meet the Provider Course Accreditation Standards of the HES Framework. However, TEQSA considered that there remained a risk related to SPI's capacity to meet the Threshold Standards in the future.

On this basis, TEQSA decided that it was appropriate to register SPI for a period of five years until 10 August 2027, and to accredit SPI's Graduate Certificate in Data Science, Graduate Diploma in Data Science and Master of Data Science courses for the same period. The five-year period of registration and accreditation is consistent with the basic principles of regulation and reflects risks associated with an applicant for initial registration intending to offer a higher education course, but having no history in the provision of higher education.

TEQSA also decided it was appropriate to impose one condition on SPI's registration.

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.