Higher Ed. Category Standards Reform

Date —

12 Dec 2019

Industry Sector/s —
Higher Education

Summary —

All ten recommendations made in the Review of Australia’s Higher Education Provider Category Standards, by Emeritus Professor Peter Coaldrake AO, were accepted by the Australian Government. The review signals significant changes to the designation of independent higher education providers.

Key Issues —

The Higher Education Provider Category Standards are part of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 legislative instrument. They define different categories of higher education providers, and requirements expected of them, for registration by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

The 2017 Australian Government Budget included a measure to undertake a Review of Australia’s Higher Education Provider Category Standards to ensure they support the Australian Government's goals for a diverse high-quality higher education sector that meets the needs of students, employers, the sector and the wider community.  

With the active support of its members, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) was involved in the review of the Australia’s Higher Education Provider Category Standards that was led by Professor Coaldrake AO.

The review took into consideration a range of stakeholder views across the tertiary education system, including those of ITECA, though a clear and consultative process that was welcomed by stakeholders.

      The review recommended  —

  • Reducing the number of higher education provider categories from six to four.
  • Adding greater differentiation among the large majority of private providers.
  • Creating a new category of teaching intensive, high performing higher education providers
  • Greater regulatory transparency to facilitate new entrants into higher education and progression to various levels of oversight and self-accreditation. 


The Australian Government has announced that it accepts the aim of all ten of the Review’s recommendations.  The Australian Government will consult with the sector, including ITECA and its members, on their implementation. Key documents associated with the implementation can be downloaded below:

      Review of the Higher Education Provider Category Standards  —


ITECA, with support of its members, actively promotes a cohesive architecture for Australia’s tertiary education future, focusing on students, the student experience and student outcomes. The Australian Government will continue to work closely with the sector and regulators to ensure smooth transition to the new Standards.

ITECA represents independent providers in the higher education, vocational education, training and skills sectors. There are around 130 independent providers in the higher education sector that collectively support more 10% of the 1.5 million students in higher education.


Member Engagement —

ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Higher Education Reference Committee.

Further Information —

For more information on this issue please send an email to higher.education@iteca.edu.au or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter @ITECAust or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/ITECAust.


Disclaimer & Copyright:


The material published on this website page is intended for general information only and is not legal advice or other professional advice.  It may not be reproduced without ITECA’s prior written consent.

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