How TEQSA protects student interests

TEQSA is the regulatory and quality assurance agency for all higher education providers in Australia. We work with the higher education sector and each provider in Australia to ensure that the interests of students are protected, and the quality of education is upheld.

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Our approach

TEQSA’s regulatory and quality assurance approach underpins our work to protect student interests, while also upholding the quality of higher education in Australia.

All institutions offering higher education courses in Australia must be registered with TEQSA. As part of this process, we look for evidence that the provider is able to meet the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.

The Threshold Standards have been structured to align with student experiences – from enrolment to award of qualification. They set out the standards that providers must meet to offer higher education in Australia. These standards exist to protect student interests while studying.

For providers that do not have self-accrediting authority, TEQSA is also responsible for accrediting courses. This requires TEQSA to ensure the course meets the criteria set out in the Threshold Standards.

Providers are registered for up to 7 years. Higher education providers must meet the requirements of the Threshold Standards at all times to remain registered.

TEQSA also undertakes annual risk assessments to examine the quality of higher education and look for a range of possible risks to students, including:

  • student enrolments, outcomes and experience
  • staff resources and profile
  • financial viability and sustainability.

During these assessments, we review relevant evidence against the requirements of the Threshold Standards.

We also undertake compliance assessments where we have concern that the Threshold Standards have been breached. This includes investigating complaints made by students. Visit making a complaint to learn more.

What happens if TEQSA finds an issue

If we find issues with providers' operations that relate to their ability to meet the Threshold Standards, we will raise these concerns, and take further action where necessary. The type of action we take is proportionate to the risk to students.

Requirements for providers offering courses to international students

There are added requirements under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) for providers that deliver courses to international students. These providers must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). TEQSA assesses CRICOS applications and ensures higher education courses delivered to international students are of high quality.

Sector-wide issues

TEQSA also works to protect student interests in relation to issues that exist at more than one provider. Examples of this include our work to strengthen academic integrity, supporting the response to generative artificial intelligence and improving the prevention and response to sexual assault and sexual harassment within higher education.

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