The Commonwealth government established the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) in 2011 to regulate and assure the quality of the higher education sector in Australia. TEQSA replaced the previous national quality agency, the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA).
In 2012, TEQSA commenced its functions to “register and evaluate the performance of higher education providers against the new Higher Education Standards Framework”. The first component of this process for Australian universities is an environmental scan to determine general compliance with the Standards Framework, and risk status against the Regulatory Risk Framework. On the basis of this evaluation, TEQSA will determine the timing of registration processes for all Australian universities, including their offshore operations.
More information about TEQSA and how the Standards Framework will operate at ECU is available from the Quality Unit.
AUQA, originally established in 2000, was responsible for undertaking five-yearly quality audits of the academic activities and quality assurance arrangements in Australian universities, including offshore partner providers. AUQA’s mission was “providing public assurance of the quality of Australia’s universities and other institutions of higher education, and assisting in enhancing the academic quality of these institutions”.
ECU has had two quality audits by AUQA – the Cycle One Audit in March 2004, and the Cycle Two Audit in October 2011. The Cycle One AUQA audits were whole-of-institution quality audits, while the Cycle Two audits concentrated on areas of academic risk by focusing on two themes. At ECU, the Cycle Two audit themes were Internationalisation and Engagement. TEQSA’s release of the Cycle Two Final Report signals the formal end of the Cycle Two Audit.