The Australian Government has asked the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) to provide guidance on the proposed implementation of the higher education provider category standards. This follows a review undertaken over the past twelve months that proposes to reduce the current six categories to four and to significantly revise the provider category descriptions.
Key Issues —
In October 2018, the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, appointed Emeritus Professor Peter Coaldrake AO to review the Higher Education Provider Category Standards, which form a key component of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 legislative instrument.
This review made detailed recommendations to amend the Provider Category Standards including proposing to reduce the current six categories to four and to significantly revise the provider category descriptions. The Review also proposed revision and simplification of the criteria for seeking self-accrediting authority.
A number of issues flow from these and other recommendations in the Review. ITECA, as the peak body representing independent providers in the tertiary education sector, has been asked to provide comment on how to best implement the recommendations and manage the consequential issues and transitional arrangements.
The Review recommended reducing the number of university categories from five to two, with the number of other categories to increase from one to two. The Australian Government response accepted Review Recommendation 1 but substituted the term ‘University College’ for ‘National Institute of Higher Education’. Following this change, the new provider categories will be:
Australian Government Consultation —
HE Provider Category Standards Amendment Consultation [PDF]
Of interest to independent higher education providers is that the foundation category applicable to providers (currently the Higher Education Provider category) will be renamed ‘Institute of Higher Education’. The new name is intended to reduce the scope for stakeholder confusion between the provider category and the broad ‘higher education provider’ classification defined in the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth), which encompasses all entities that offer or confer regulated higher education awards, including universities.
- ‘Institute of Higher Education’;
- ‘University College’;
- ‘Australian University’;
- ‘Overseas University in Australia’.
The views of ITECA members are being sought to provide advice to the Australian Government on the appropriateness of proposed amendments, processes and arrangements; and also the transitional arrangements, implementation issues and risks the Panel may not have considered.
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 —
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