Plan to cut red tape and preserve quality university education commendable
An independent report released today on higher education regulation reaffirms that higher education quality is best assured when regulated within a framework that recognises and respects university autonomy and where universities are responsible for maintaining and enhancing quality.
In responding to the release of the "Review of Higher Education Regulation
" by Professor Kwong Lee Dow and Professor Valerie Braithwaite, Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson commended the authors on the depth and comprehensiveness of their report, commissioned by the Government less than three months ago.
"The recommendations of the report largely reflect the positions put forward by Universities Australia's submission including the need to clarify TEQSA's application of the regulatory principles of risk, necessity and proportionality, and a light-touch regulatory approach for universities in recognition of their independence and high degree of autonomy.
"It also supports the need for improving alignment and strengthening relationships within the regulatory community, critical to ensuring the removal of duplication", Ms Robinson said.
The report has highlighted a number of important means for ensuring that TEQSA operates as a responsive partner with higher education rather than as an adversary.
The report foresees that in the regulatory world of the future, universities will be "primarily self-regulating" and acknowledges that "academic culture is an important regulator of teaching learning and research".
- TEQSA to be retained as a national regulator because of its role in asserting and maintaining the quality of Australia's higher education system;
- Acknowledge that the TEQSA Act presumes earned autonomy for Australian universities;
- Reducing TEQSA's functions to its core regulatory activities;
- The establishment of an overarching advisory council to consult with stakeholders and advise the Minister;
- Removing duplication by better aligning the work of the existing regulators;
- The speedy implementation of the creation of a single national higher education data collection.
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