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Melbourne Institute of Technology Pty Ltd: Renewal of Registration 25 September 2014

Renewal of registration

Report on renewal of registration of Melbourne Institute of Technology Pty Ltd

On 25 September 2014, TEQSA determined, under subsection 36(1) of the TEQSA Act, that registration of Melbourne Institute of Technology Pty Ltd (MIT) as a higher education provider be renewed for a period of four years until 25 September 2018 in the provider category of Higher Education Provider

On 25 September 2014, TEQSA imposed, under subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act, six (6) conditions on the registration of MIT as a higher education provider.

On 20 November 2014, TEQSA varied, under subsection 32(2) of the TEQSA Act, the conditions imposed on Melbourne Institute of Technology Pty Ltd on 25 September 2014. The revised conditions are set out below.

Condition 1:

MIT must:

a) present accurate in-depth student attrition, completion, progression and grade distribution data, and undertake a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of the probable causes for observed rates and trends for student attrition, progression and minimum time completion rates and failure grades, for each accredited higher education course it offers, and each year, for the period 2009 to 2013 inclusive. This analysis is to be provided to TEQSA by 31 January 2015 and must include (to the extent that MIT has access to, or has kept record of, the data) particular reference to analysis by:

  1. entry path (comparing students admitted under the standard criteria to those admitted under the non-standard admission approach);
  2. recognition of credit (comparing students admitted without recognition of prior credit to students admitted with credit for up to a third of the course, up to half of the course and up to two thirds of the course);
  3. equivalent full time study mode (comparing students who take less than equivalent full time study load, exactly an equivalent full time study load or greater than an equivalent full time study load, where equivalent full time study load is equal to 120 credit points in a calendar year);
  4. place of study;
  5. whether students are domestic or international students;
  6. referral to and uptake of student support (including participation in formal study support programs); and
  7. student achievement (including progression, grade distribution and completion) in similar courses at other higher education providers.

b) develop and provide to TEQSA by 30 April 2015, a detailed strategy, having regard to the comprehensive diagnostic analysis required under (a) above, which:

  1. includes specific targets for improvement of student attrition, completion and progression rates and failure grades for each course and each year over the forward accreditation period; and
  2. gives consideration to admission practices and standards, study load of students, the identification of students at risk of not progressing academically, and the adequacy and effectiveness of student support.

c) revise the targets determined in accordance with (b) above if and as directed by TEQSA.

d) demonstrate progress, with reference to the targets to be established under (b) and (c), overall and for each course of study, through annually reporting to TEQSA on these rates by 31 January each year (for the rate in the previous calendar year) throughout the period of registration, with these reports to commence on 31 January 2016.

Condition 2:

MIT must:

a) by 31 January 2015, provide to TEQSA a plan which outlines how MIT will compare its performance on student learning outcomes and graduate outcomes with other higher education providers. This plan must include a commitment to comparing the standards actually achieved by MIT students in each course of study with similar courses offered by other higher education providers, identify the particular performance indicators to be compared, the method of calculation and the partners against which MIT will benchmark.

b) revise this plan determined in accordance with (a) above if and as directed by TEQSA.

c) on 30 November 2015, 2016 and 2017, provide to TEQSA evidence that MIT has compared its performance indicators against those of its benchmarking partners, and that this comparison has been considered internally and used to inform improvement of MIT's higher education operations. Such improvements may include, but are not limited to, improvements or changes to: admission criteria, student support, and course design and delivery.

Condition 3:

MIT must provide to TEQSA, by 30 April 2015, a report detailing the scope, recommendations and outcomes of its planned review approach to the detection of plagiarism.

Condition 4:

MIT must provide:

a) by 31 January 2015, evidence that all persons who make decisions regarding admission and recognition of credit have documented delegated authority to make these decisions.

b) by 31 July 2015, evidence that its financial and managerial delegations documented in its Delegations Policy are observed and regularly reviewed.

Condition 5:

MIT must, by 31 July 2015, provide to TEQSA a report detailing the scope, recommendations and outcomes of its planned review of its approach to policy development, implementation and review.

Condition 6:

MIT must:

a) by 31 January 2015, provide to TEQSA a report detailing the outcomes of its planned review of its academic portfolios and templates.

b) before 31 July 2015 and 31 July 2016, provide evidence to TEQSA of implementation of its Scholarship and Research Plan, including evidence of progress of the collaborative research program proposed in that Plan.

c) by 31 July 2015, provide evidence that its staff participate in learning and development and professional development activities and are otherwise active in the scholarship of teaching and learning and discipline specific scholarship to the extent required by MIT under its Continuing Professional Education for Academic Staff policy and consistent with the requirements of Provider Category Standards 1.3 and 1.4 and Provider Course Accreditation Standard 4.2.

Background to Decision

MIT 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 Decision

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

TEQSA considered that the breadth of risks that MIT may not meet the Threshold Standards, and the potential for those issues to impact upon the experience of students, meant that a registration period of four years rather than the maximum seven years was appropriate. This shorter period will allow TEQSA to review MIT's progress in addressing these issues before a further decision is made about MIT's registration.

TEQSA identified a number of broad issues which relate to MIT's registration. These include the robustness of scholarship and teaching and learning, the monitoring of, and action taken to improve student outcomes and trends, the extent to which its performance, and the academic standards achieved by students is benchmarked, student advocacy and support for students at risk, delegation of authority, academic integrity matters and its policy development, implementation and review. These matters relate to Provider Category Standards (PCS) 1.3 and 1.4, Provider Registration Standards (PRS) 3.5, 3.8, 4.3, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 6.6, 6.8 and Provider Course Accreditation Standards (PCAS) 3.4, 4.2, 4.4, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6.

TEQSA considered that the risks of non-compliance with the Threshold Standards involve a number of matters that may affect MIT's capacity to manage and deliver its higher education awards.

TEQSA considered that these decisions are consistent with the basic principles for regulation in Part 2 of the TEQSA Act, as MIT is at risk of not complying with a number of the Threshold Standards.