Go to top of page

Polytechnic Institute Australia Pty Ltd: Vary registration conditions 26 February 2019

Polytechnic Institute Australia Pty Ltd: Vary registration conditions 26 February 2019

Variation of Registration Conditions

On 9 May 2018, TEQSA: imposed, under section 32 of the TEQSA Act, six conditions on the registration of PIA. The original conditions are set out at Attachment A of this report.

On the 26 February 2019 the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) made the decision to substitute Conditions 1 to 6 that were originally imposed on the 9 May 2018 by TEQSA. The substituted Conditions are set out below.

Condition 1

By 31 March 2019, the Polytechnic Institute of Australia Pty Ltd (PIA) must provide TEQSA with evidence demonstrating consideration and approval of the following documents by the Board of Directors:

  1. reports monitoring progress against the targets set out in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan approved by the Board of Directors on 13 November 2018, including actions taken to correct and underperformance
  2. reports monitoring risks to PIA's higher education operations

Condition 3

By 31 March each year from 2019 until further notice, PIA must provide TEQSA with a copy of:

  1. a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of the probable causes for observed rates and trends for student attrition, progression, minimum time completion rates and absent failure rates, for each higher education course it offers. The analysis must include accurate data on student attrition, completion, progression, grade distribution and absent failure rates and include analysis by:
    1. entry path (comparing students admitted under each entry pathway);
    2. credit awarded (comparing students admitted with no credit awarded with students admitted with credit for up to a third of the course and between a third and two thirds of the course);
    3. education agent;
    4. basis for assessment of the student's English language proficiency;
    5. country of origin;
    6. referral to and uptake of student support (including participation in formal study support programs); and
    7. student achievement in similar courses at other higher education providers.
  2. evidence of the Academic Board's report to the Board of Directors on student outcomes and the quality of teaching and learning, which addresses issues identified in the diagnostic analysis at (a), and includes recommendations for improvement.
  3. Board of Directors meeting minutes demonstrating consideration of the report at (b) and action taken in response to recommendations in the report.

Condition 4

By 31 January each year from 2020 until further notice, PIA must provide TEQSA with an annual scholarship report to the Board of Directors which reports against the scholarship development plan previously approved by PIA's Board of Directors and submitted to TEQSA, and evidence of the Board of Directors' consideration of, and response to, the report.

Condition 5

No later than four weeks prior to the commencement of each teaching period, PIA must provide TEQSA with:

  1. the schedule of units of study to be delivered in the relevant teaching period,
  2. the name of each staff member proposed to teach and assess each unit of study,
  3. each staff member's qualifications in the discipline of the unit being taught.

Condition 6

The following restrictions apply to PIA's delivery of its accredited courses:

  1. PIA may deliver its accredited courses of study only from its Sydney campus.
  2. PIA may not exceed total student enrolment of:
    1. 350 students, between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019;
    2. 400 students, between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020;
    3. 450 students, between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021; or
    4. 504 students, on and after 1 January 2022.

Main reasons for the decision

After reviewing the further material submitted by PIA, TEQSA was satisfied that PIA met some requirements of the six conditions imposed on the provider's registration. However, TEQSA considered that there remained a number of risks related to PIA's capacity to meet the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015.

On this basis, TEQSA agreed that it was appropriate to vary the decision to impose six conditions on PIA's registration and to substitute the conditions set out above.

The conditions are designed to address the risks that PIA may not continue to meet the following provisions of the Threshold Standards:

  1. Standard 6.2.1 of Part A, in relation to further development and implementation by PIA of its corporate governance monitoring and accountability framework, specifically its risk management and strategy for determining its future directions in higher education with realistic performance targets.
  2. Standard 6.3.2 of Part A, in relation to further development and implementation by PIA of academic governance and quality assurance mechanisms relating to monitoring and reporting of student performance.
  3. Standard 3.2.3 of Part A and Criterion B1.1.4 of Part B in relation to academic leadership and development and implementation by PIA of a scholarship framework to ensure academic staff are active in scholarship that informs their teaching

ATTACHMENT A

Condition 1

By 31 March 2019, the Polytechnic Institute of Australia Pty Ltd (PIA) must provide TEQSA with evidence demonstrating consideration and approval of the following documents by the Board of Directors:

  1. revised strategic plan, and reports monitoring progress against targets, including actions taken to correct any underperformance.
  2. risk management framework, including reports monitoring risks to PIA's higher education operations.

Condition 2

By 31 August 2018 PIA must provide TEQSA with:

  1. a report from the Academic Board to the Board of Directors which addresses reasons for high failure rates and includes recommendations to improve student outcomes.
  2. Board of Directors meeting minutes demonstrating consideration of the report at (a) and action taken in response to recommendations in the report.

Condition 3

By 31 March each year from 2019 until further notice, PIA must provide TEQSA with a copy of:

  1. a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of the probable causes for observed rates and trends for student attrition, progression, minimum time completion rates and absent failure rates, for each accredited higher education course it offers. The analysis must include accurate data on student attrition, completion, progression, grade distribution and absent failure rates and include analysis by:
    1. entry path (comparing students admitted under each entry pathway);
    2. credit awarded (comparing students admitted with no credit awarded with students admitted with credit for up to a third of the course and between a third and two thirds of the course);
    3. education agent;
    4. basis for assessment of the student's English language proficiency;
    5. country of origin;
    6. referral to and uptake of student support (including participation in formal study support programs); and
    7. student achievement in similar courses at other higher education providers.
  2. evidence of the Academic Board's report to the Board of Directors on student outcomes and the quality of teaching and learning, which addresses issues identified in the diagnostic analysis at (a), and includes recommendations for improvement.
  3. Board of Directors meeting minutes demonstrating consideration of the report at (b) and action taken in response to recommendations in the report.

Condition 4

  1. By 31 January 2019, PIA must provide TEQSA with a scholarship development plan, approved by the Board of Directors, which includes targets for scholarly output for categories of scholarship recognised in TEQSA's Guidance Note on scholarship, to ensure academic staff are active in scholarship that informs their teaching.
  2. By 31 January each year from 2020 until further notice PIA must provide TEQSA with an annual scholarship report to the Board of Directors which reports against the scholarship development plan and evidence of the Board of Directors' consideration of, and response to, the report.

Condition 5

Not later than four weeks prior to the commencement of each teaching period, PIA must provide TEQSA with:

  1. the schedule of units of study to be delivered in the relevant teaching period.
  2. the name of each staff member proposed to teach and assess each unit of study.
  3. each staff member's qualifications in the discipline of the unit being taught.

Condition 6

The following restrictions apply to PIA's delivery of its accredited courses:

  1. PIA may deliver its accredited courses of study only from its Sydney campus.
  2. PIA may not exceed total student numbers of 300.