University Participation & Quality
Increasing and broadening Australians’ opportunities to attend university is central to Universities Australia’s vision for a smarter Australia. Increasing participation in higher education is not only necessary for restructuring the economy, meeting the need for a more highly educated workforce, and diversifying our industrial base, but also contributes to a fairer society.
Increasing the number of students in higher education will not be at the expense of quality. Universities have, and will continue to maintain, robust internal quality assurance mechanisms and processes. These are in turn bolstered and supported by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency which assesses institutions against a range of national standards developed by the Higher Education Standards Panel.
Universities Australia's Policy Principles
- Increasing participation in higher education is necessary to ensure that Australia’s future skills needs are met, national productivity improves, and a high-income economy is sustained.
- The opportunity to complete a university qualification by Australian citizens is not restricted by the capacity to pay, socio-economic background, location, ethnicity, sex, disability or religion.
- Australian universities foster social responsibility and an open, fair, tolerant and cohesive society.
- Australian universities support mutually beneficial partnerships with business, the professions and the community to build social capital and community cohesion and well-being.
- Australian universities provide flexible options for learning, eliminating participation barriers for students who have work, family or other commitments and who live in regional and remote areas.
- Academic quality and standards are best maintained by academic experts, and external peer review is an appropriate method for assuring the public that appropriate standards are maintained.