The Australian Government has today released a major review examining how red tape can be reduced for universities while also supporting the quality and excellence of Australia's world class university system.
The report, commissioned by the Government and carried out by industry experts, supports the importance of a national regulator in ensuring the quality of Australia's higher education system and therefore the continuing role of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).
The report also finds that the burden of higher education regulation on universities can be reduced without compromising quality standards.
Releasing the review, Minister for Higher Education Senator Kim Carr welcomed its findings saying it would help shape the regulatory environment for Australian universities.
"I am pleased to receive The Review of Higher Education Regulation Report from the expert panel commissioned to undertake the review," Senator Kim Carr said.
"The authors Professor Kwong Lee Dow AO and Professor Valerie Braithwaite have done commendable work on this review that had wide-ranging terms of reference and a short timeframe.
"The panel advises me that they focused on TEQSA's structure and approach within the broader context of a complex and intersected Australian regulatory framework. The report supports the continuing role of the national regulator.
"However, the report also points clearly to an unnecessarily heavy reporting burden imposed on higher education providers by TEQSA in particular, but also my department, and the need to look at short and longer term strategies to reduce this.
"I have made absolutely clear my intention to listen and respond to any issues Vice-Chancellors and others within the higher education sector may raise, while also maintain Government's expectations that Australian students receive a tertiary education that is second to none.
"This report provides an opportunity to further improve our systems and the Government will formally respond to it following consultations with the sector."
Senator Carr said that a key component of future strategies will be to ensure that all actions to improve the legislation applied to universities and higher education providers are aligned to streamline legislative requirements and reduce duplication in regulation and associated reporting of unnecessary information and data.
Senator Kim Carr thanked Professors Dow and Braithwaite for their contribution and the many people and institutions that made submissions and met with the panel.
The report can be found at: http://www.innovation.gov.au/HigherEducation/Policy/HEAssuringQuality/Pages/default.aspx
Media Contacts: Minister Carr's office 02 6277 7320