A new government agency is aiming to maintain the standards and quality of higher education institutions across Australia and enhance their global reputation.
Minister for Education Christopher Pyne announced the inception of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Advisory Council on April 22, outlining its role in Australian higher education and the impact it hopes to have on the sector.
The council will be chaired by Professor Peter Shergold AC, who also acts as chancellor of the University of Western Sydney. Members come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including some of the country’s leading experts in higher education and the legal sector.
One of the main goals of the council will be to cut down the red tape and regulation that is still holding back these institutions from their full potential, while making sure these efforts are “consistent with ensuring accountability for quality”.
A particular concern faced by universities today, according to the government’s Department of Education, is the need to invest more time in teaching students and facilitating world-leading research, and less time on reporting and compliance issues.
“I look forward to working with the council to uphold standards and quality in higher education while also reducing the regulatory burden, including excessive reporting requirements, where possible,” Mr Pyne stated.
“Easing the burden of unnecessary regulation while upholding quality is a practical expression of the government’s respect for university autonomy and our support for the competition that drives the excellence, diversity and innovation that we need.”
The flow-on effects from the council’s intervention are likely to be manifold. First and foremost, the slashing of red tape should lead to noticeable improvements in the quality of teaching and research in universities around the country.
In addition, the Department of Education states that the creation of the council will likely foster “innovation, competition and diversity” in Australian universities and enhance their status both here and abroad.
You can find out more on university structures, planning and strategy to governance, funding and innovation and excellence in teaching and learning and research at the 12th annual Higher Education Summit. It will take place on 20th and 21st May at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Adelaide. For more information about the event program and to register, please visit the Higher Education Summit website.