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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 competitiveness 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 of courses to overseas students, 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: