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Group Colleges Australia Pty Ltd: Shorten Registration and Vary and Impose Registration Conditions 02 April 2015

Report on registration

Shorten registration period, vary conditions and impose additional conditions on the registration of Group Colleges Australia Pty Ltd

 

TEQSA has determined, under Section 100 of the TEQSA Act, to shorten the registration of Group Colleges Australia Pty Ltd as a higher education provider by six months. The shortened registration will expire on 6 August 2016.

TEQSA has, under section 53(2) of the TEQSA Act, varied the second due date in the three conditions imposed on the registration of Group Colleges Australia Pty Ltd as a higher education provider. The varied conditions are as follows (with the variations in bold text):

a) GCA must by 6 February 2016 provide TEQSA with evidence from the previous year which demonstrates that GCA's Board:

  1. oversees the accountability systems for GCA's higher education operations
  2. provides input into and final approval of management's development of corporate strategy, including the strategic plan, and performance objectives, for GCA's higher education operations
  3. reviews, ratifies and monitors systems of risk management and legal compliance, including compliance with the Threshold Standards in respect of GCA's higher education operations
  4. ensures appropriate resources are available to ensure the achievement of GCA's higher education objectives and to sustain the quality of its higher education operations, including the Board's consideration of the Academic Board's recommendations in this regard
  5. accesses and uses appropriate internal and external expertise to meet Provider Registration Standards 3.2 and 3.8
  6. develops, implements, considers and regularly reviews financial, academic and managerial delegations and documents
  7. ensures the academic board and course advisory committees are properly constituted and able to fulfil their functions as stated in their Terms of Reference
  8. ensures Board members and senior management of GCA are familiar with the requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 (Threshold Standards) and of the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (National Code) and GCA's obligations under them.

Evidence to demonstrate the above which GCA is required to provide includes:

  • minutes of meetings of the Board and any relevant committees
  • reports to the Board
  • any internal or external reviews of GCA's higher education operations conducted in the 12 months prior to the relevant reporting date, along with the Board's consideration of the review(s).

b) GCA must by 6 February 2016 provide TEQSA with a report, in relation to the previous year, on GCA's progress in reviewing risks to GCA's higher education operations and addressing those risks (in accordance with Provider Registration Standard 3.4) and in considering GCA's performance against its strategic plan (in accordance with Provider Registration Standard 3.6).

c) GCA must by 6 February 2016 provide TEQSA with evidence which demonstrates that GCA's Academic Board:

  1. has implemented systems to protect academic quality and integrity to meet the requirements of Provider Registration Standard 4
  2. provides academic leadership, develops and oversees progress in implementation of a culture of scholarship at GCA, and on staff professional development
  3. ensures GCA has appropriate numbers of suitably qualified and experience staff for management and delivery of its higher education courses of study, in light of actual and projected enrolments in the courses
  4. ensures quality assurance is implemented effectively to drive improvement of GCA's higher education operations
  5. undertakes systematic monitoring, review and improvement of GCA's higher education operations, including through the collection and analysis of relevant data.

Evidence to demonstrate the above which GCA is required to provide includes:

  • minutes of meetings of the Academic Board and any relevant committees
  • reports to the Academic Board
  • external reviews, reports or assessments of GCA's higher education operations including course reviews
  • reports on the implementation and actions taken as outlined in the following initiatives described in the documentation provided to TEQSA:
    • GCA's Teaching and Learning Plan
    • the GCA 'Community of Practice'
    • the GCA Research Foundation
    • GCA's Teaching Staff Development Plan
    • Strategies to develop academic leadership and scholarship
    • Academic staff profile.

In addition, TEQSA has determined, under section 53(1) to impose the following additional conditions on the registration of GCA. By 1 May 2015, GCA is to:

  1. confirm the 2014 academic staff data previously submitted to TEQSA (including total headcount and Full Time Equivalence (FTE), by work contract and teaching function), and if necessary submit corrected data.
  2. submit aggregate academic staff data for 2015 (as at April 2015) using the template provided by TEQSA (Table A*).
  3. submit aggregate student data for 2014 (full year) and 2015 (as at April 2015), using the template provided by TEQSA (Table B*) and
  4. provide details of the 'Other Form of Testing which Satisfies the Institution' used to admit 284 students to higher education courses at GCA and an explanation for the 392 students who appeared to have been admitted with no English language testing (as at 3 March 2015).

*The Tables are provided in the Notice of Decision letter

Background to Decision

TEQSA has determined that Group Colleges Australia Pty Ltd has not yet met the conditions imposed on its registration in 2014.

Main Reasons for Decision

TEQSA has assessed the evidence submitted by GCA against the conditions imposed on its registration in 2014.

TEQSA considers that the decision to shorten the registration, vary the existing conditions and apply further conditions to GCA's registration is consistent with the basic principles for regulation in Part 2 of the TEQSA Act, as GCA is at risk of not complying with a number of the Threshold Standards.

  • The broad issues which relate to GCA's registration include:

    a) Corporate and academic governance and GCA's ability to develop and implement effective policies and measures to protect academic quality and integrity

    b) Risk management

    c) Staff development

    d) Benchmarking, and

    e) Student learning support.

TEQSA considers that the risks of non-compliance with the Threshold Standards involve a number of matters that may affect Group Colleges Australia Pty Ltd.'s capacity to manage and deliver its higher education awards.