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Appendix A: Legislative Framework

The TEQSA Act is the primary basis of TEQSA’s powers. The objects of the Act are to:

  • provide for national consistency in the regulation of higher education
  • regulate higher education using a standards-based quality framework and principles relating to regulatory necessity, risk and proportionality
  • protect and enhance Australia’s reputation for quality higher education, the international competiveness of Australia’s higher education sector, as well as excellence, diversity and innovation in higher education
  • encourage and promote a higher education system that is appropriate to meet Australia’s social and economic needs for a highly educated and skilled population
  • protect students undertaking, or proposing to undertake higher education in Australia, by requiring the provision of quality higher education
  • ensure that students have access to information relating to higher education in Australia.

TEQSA assures the quality of registered higher education providers through nationally consistent regulation and meets the objects of the TEQSA Act through performing functions including:

  • registering providers and accrediting courses of study in accordance with the TEQSA Act
  • investigating whether the TEQSA Act has been or is being complied with, including by conducting compliance assessments
  • collecting, analysing, interpreting and disseminating information relating to higher education providers, regulated higher education awards, quality assurance practice and improvement in higher education and the HES Framework
  • cooperating with counterparts in other countries.

The agency also has responsibility under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) to register providers and courses on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and make changes to registration, including the addition of courses and changes in student capacity, for the following providers:

  • higher education providers registered under the TEQSA Act
  • English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) providers, if they have an entry arrangement with a registered higher education provider
  • Foundation program providers.

TEQSA is also subject to several other acts and legislative instruments including (but not limited to) the:

  • Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)
  • Public Service Act 1999
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988
  • Freedom of Information Act 1982.