Following advice from the Higher Education Standards Panel to then Minister for Education and Training, Christopher Pyne in December 2014, the revised Higher Education Standards Framework has finally been signed into law by Simon Birmingham as one of his first significant acts as Minister for Education and Training. A legislative instrument setting out the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 was registered on 8th October 2015 and is now publicly available on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI).
The new or revised standards, depending on how you look at them, are really just a re-arrangement of the deck chairs and this is no surprise given the foundation stones of quality in higher education are largely immutable. Without a doubt the standards are expressed differently but the underlying fundamentals remain the same.
The new standards do not come into effect until 1st January 2017 so there is plenty of time for Higher Education Providers (HEPs) to come to grips with the new framework and commence planning to integrate the new standards into their quality assurance frameworks.
Although TEQSA will continue to assess any registration, re-registration, accreditation or re-accreditation applications made before 1st January 2017 against the current 2011 standards, organisations contemplating lodging an application during 2016 would be well advised to liaise closely with their TEQSA case manager to ensure that the appropriate standards have been applied to their application(s).
We look forward to working with our current higher education clients to ensure that they transition smoothly to the new standards with minimal impact on what they do best – delivering quality higher education to their students.
Dr Peter Ryan
Founder & CEO, Higher Education Leadership Institute