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Education and Employment Legislation Committee
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency


Senator KIM CARR: Professor Saunders, can I start with an easy one: the overpayment of part-time commissioners. What can you tell me about that?

Prof. Saunders : It involves three part-time commissioners over four financial years. We have to go back to the formation of TEQSA in 2012 where there is clear evidence the intention of all the parties, including the minister's office, the department and the Remuneration Tribunal, was to have part-time commissioners paid at a pro rata rate for full-time commissioners. If a part-time commissioner was to work three days a week, the intention was they would be paid at 0.6 of the full-time rate. People were recruited on that basis, they were appointed on that basis and they were paid by TEQSA on that basis.

Earlier in 2015, TEQSA was informed that in fact the Remuneration Tribunal had not made a specific determination either for the individual commissioners themselves as a personal determination or in the case of a part-time TEQSA commissioner. So the legal situation was that the part-time commissioners actually should have been paid at a per diem rate, a rate that is significantly less than the pro rata payment that had been made. The differences in our accounts released in our 2014-15 annual report amounts to something in the order of $670,000 over those four financial years. They are really the facts of the matter.

Senator KIM CARR: I am told that one of the commissioners was on full paid leave—is that correct?

Prof. Saunders : The issues around both Dr Nicoll and Mr Hawke were really dealt with by the department, not by TEQSA. These arrangements were before my time, and I have really had no involvement whatsoever in the leave arrangements for those two individuals.

Senator KIM CARR: Professor, you have presumably had time to look through the files here. Who is responsible for this—

Prof. Saunders : Oversight?

Senator KIM CARR: Oversight? Is that the term?

Prof. Saunders : It is clear somebody should have checked that the determination had been made and then had not, so there has to be collective responsibility taken by TEQSA and by the other parties who were involved.

Senator KIM CARR: I am told that 426,000 of these dollars are currently recoverable—is that right?

Prof. Saunders : That is correct. The legal handling of the matter is actually quite complicated because of the rules of the finances. Basically, it was decided that about two-thirds of the sum were really not recoverable—it was decided not to recover those funds. It was decided the other one-third would be uneconomic to pursue.

Senator KIM CARR: Uneconomic? I just wonder how many other workers in the department would be given this level of latitude with an overpayment of this size.

Prof. Saunders : The overpayment needs to be viewed in the context that they received the intended payment. To recover the moneys would have required the government seeking funding money back from people who were employed under certain agreements and had been paid under certain agreements.

Senator KIM CARR: And you say it is basically unfair to take the money back at this time because of the oversight that occurred by a higher authority?

Prof. Saunders : That would be my personal view, yes.

Senator KIM CARR: Why is it that the overpayments were not detected until 2014-15?

Prof. Saunders : I cannot answer that. I cannot answer for others.

Senator KIM CARR: This would be before your time, but still it is during your time that it has been discovered.

Prof. Saunders : Absolutely. I was appointed in September; it was brought to my attention in August last year. It was brought to the attention of the chief executive of TEQSA in about April of last year.

Senator KIM CARR: Does the money come from consolidated revenue?

Prof. Saunders : The money comes from funding that had been appropriated to TEQSA.

Senator KIM CARR: So has it reduced your operational capacity?

Prof. Saunders : It has not reduced our operational capacity, no. Payments have been made that were anticipated to be made that were part of the budgets that had been set, part of the funding that had been received, so it is not as if people had been paid inadvertently more than was anticipated by the authorities or by themselves.

Senator KIM CARR: Given these circumstances, would it be more appropriate to actually ensure that people were paid on the basis on which they were engaged rather than go to the day rate?

Prof. Saunders : At the moment, the part-time commissioners' arrangements, for all three part-time commissioners, are that we are on per diem rate. The regular per diem rate is part of the remuneration process.

Senator KIM CARR: So they do not expect any more than that?

Prof. Saunders : That includes me. We were appointed on that basis.

Senator KIM CARR: Are you happy with that arrangement?

Prof. Saunders : We accepted the appointment on that arrangement.

Senator KIM CARR: In regard to the annual report again, I notice that six senior management personnel have resigned. What positions did they hold?

Prof. Saunders : You have to give me—

Senator KIM CARR: It is on page 89 of the annual report. It is down the bottom of the page. You will see there is a footnote there, No. 1, which should reassure you that at least someone in my office reads these.

Prof. Saunders : That relates to the corporate restructure that occurred in response to the budget that was given to TEQSA, and then a subsequent restructure of the staff who were undertaking assessments and the risk and information group.

Senator KIM CARR: But you also say that there are a number of SES staff excess to requirements. Are they additional to the six?

Prof. Saunders : They would be part of that six.

Senator KIM CARR: That is answer No. 781. You say that your senior management team comprises the CEO and executive level 2 staff. I am just wondering: is that sufficient?

Prof. Saunders : That is the structure of TEQSA that allows us to operate within the budget that we have been provided.

Senator KIM CARR: I see. So you are operating within budget constraints?

Prof. Saunders : We are operating within budget constraints.

Senator KIM CARR: That is the point. The people who actually do the registrations and accreditations are APS 5 and 6, aren't they?

Prof. Saunders : And EL1s.

Senator KIM CARR: Do you think they are sufficiently experienced?

Prof. Saunders : By and large, yes.

Senator KIM CARR: Have you found out how many occasions where they are not sufficiently experienced?

Prof. Saunders : We have had, as you know, significant turnover of staff in the last 18 months and therefore new staff have to be brought in. They have to be trained and there is a degree of learning that is required.

Senator KIM CARR: How do your staff levels now compare to the time of the 2014 budget?

Mr McClaran : Staff levels now are at around 60 staff, and they compare with around 90 back in 2014.

Senator KIM CARR: So you have lost a third of your staff. Are you anticipating any further reductions?

Mr McClaran : I think we are anticipating a further reduction in budget. The implications of that have yet to be fully worked through.

Senator KIM CARR: When will you know how many additional staff will have to go?

Mr McClaran : That will be part of understanding the implications of the 2016-17 budget.

Senator KIM CARR: I am sorry. What were the time lines on that?

Mr McClaran : The time lines, I think, are around April-May.

Senator KIM CARR: So by the time of the next estimates we will have a rough idea of the time line.

Mr McClaran : Yes.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. A reduction of a third is quite substantial, and you are saying further reductions on top of that.

Prof. Saunders : In the forward estimates, Senator, as you know, there is a further $2½ million identified to come out of TEQSA's annual budget.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you. Can you confirm that TEQSA's staff are now unable to take leave without pay in the case of study or secondment. Is that true?

Mr McClaran : That is not true. That is not the case.

Senator KIM CARR: Are you hiring any temporary staff?

Mr McClaran : We are. We have hired a number of staff recently to get us back to the budgeted level of staffing. We have also hired some temporary staff in order to deal particularly with the project for the transition to the new Higher Education Standards Framework.

Senator KIM CARR: So that is project staff for that particular—

Mr McClaran : Yes, particularly for that, and also because there is a significant rise, as we have said before, in the number of assessments that we are doing at this time of the year. We have made some investment there, too, to help cope with that.

Senator KIM CARR: How many temporary staff are there?

Mr McClaran : How many have we hired recently? I think it is around the number of eight contract staff.

Senator KIM CARR: Are they people with experience in the university system?

Mr McClaran : By and large they are people with experience in the university system and/or with previous experience, in some cases, with TEQSA.

Senator KIM CARR: In the annual report you also say there has been an increase in the number of providers seeking to deliver PhD courses—that is on page 23 of the report—and to do that they want to become self-accrediting. Can you provide us with the detail on who these institutions are and what courses they are proposing?

Prof. Saunders : I would have to take that on notice. I can give you some information, though, about those who have been granted self-accrediting authority recently, if that is of interest.

Senator KIM CARR: Yes, please.

Prof. Saunders : In the last 12 months we have granted self-accrediting authority to the National Institute of Dramatic Art, NIDA; the College of Law; Moore Theological College and Alphacrucis College. That brings it up to eight non-universities who have self-accrediting authority—so that is eight out of about 129.

Senator KIM CARR: They are not obliged to tell anyone about their application, are they? Other than you, of course.

Prof. Saunders : That is correct, in terms of applying for self-accrediting authority.

Senator KIM CARR: So there is no external assessment of that? Is there anyone else who can be party to that process?

Prof. Saunders : Absolutely. In other words, if we receive such an application we would assess that application against the identified standards that relate to self-accrediting authority, and that assessment may well involve external experts.

Senator KIM CARR: But do you ask people? Do you advertise, for instance, that college X wants to secure self-accrediting status?

Prof. Saunders : No. We assess them against the higher education standards framework.

Senator KIM CARR: Could you provide me with details of these particular applications and what your response has been to them to date? These are the ones in regard to the PhDs.

Prof. Saunders : On notice, certainly.

Senator KIM CARR: I am seeking further details in regard to the registrations, particularly in regard to the new applications. In the annual report you refer to six applications for registration of application of process. There were two, presumably, that were rejected. Can you tell me about those that were rejected?

Prof. Saunders : I do not think it would be appropriate to talk about individual applications that are rejected.

Senator KIM CARR: Why is that? What is the basis for not talking about them here?

Prof. Saunders : I think there are issues here to do with the standing of the provider.

Senator KIM CARR: But that is the point. That is exactly the point—why there should be public disclosure. Can you take it on notice to explain the reasons why that should not be provided?

Prof. Saunders : I can certainly take it on notice and possibly provide you with the information in written form.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you very much. I also note that three registrations were withdrawn—nine ceased and three were withdrawn—are you able to tell me why they were withdrawn?

Prof. Saunders : They would have been withdrawn either because, in interacting with the provider as an initial application, it became clear to the provider that they were not going to get over the line, so they were allowed to withdraw; or there may have been a change in their corporate structure—they may have been merged, joined another organisation or been taken over.

Senator KIM CARR: Again, isn't who is applying a matter of public interest? Presumably these are institutions seeking to attract students, so surely there is a public—

CHAIR: Professor Saunders has taken it notice to provide the ones that have not—

Senator KIM CARR: No, this is another line. I am asking: is there not a public interest in revealing who has applied?

Prof. Saunders : I would have to take that on notice and think about that more deeply.

Senator KIM CARR: We have noticed this in the VET sector, where one of the great powers of the Senate is the power of disclosure. I think public information here is actually quite important.

Prof. Saunders : I would have thought the more important public interest is in who has been recognised and registered with TEQSA.

Senator KIM CARR: I am particularly concerned as to whether they are seeking application here and somewhere else, enrolling students somewhere else, having been rejected by you.

Prof. Saunders : Nobody can become a higher education provider—

Senator KIM CARR: No, no, but they can become a VET provider, and they may not be satisfactory. The point of my interest here is: why shouldn't the public know who is applying to you for registration? Clearly those who are successful you will publish; I would like to know who is not being successful. In your assessments of providers themselves, do you monitor the extent of the institution's reliance on casual staff?

Mr McClaran : Yes, indeed, we do, and we publish that in our annual statistics report, and there will be another one coming out which will provide an update.

Senator KIM CARR: Are you able to say that some institutions are in fact over-reliant on casual staff?

Mr McClaran : We take that into account as part of the risk factors in looking at individual providers and deciding the level of engagement that we take on the basis of that risk. At the general level, as I say, we publish the overall figure, which shows the level of casual staff within the overall academic workforce.

Senator KIM CARR: I note that you are indicating that processing times for registrations, accreditations and so on will increase over the next two years. That is due to budgetary pressures. I am citing here page 22 of your annual report. You have met your statutory requirements—I take it you are not suggesting otherwise—in your own internal targets in three areas, but you have failed, in the last year, to meet your target for the processing of course accreditations. That is again from the annual report at page 21. I am just making sure I have got this right. You say that the average processing time for reaccreditation in the last year is now 263 days. Can you provide details on the span of time that it is taking. What is the longest? An average figure gives you somewhere, presumably, in the middle. So what is the longest time now that it takes to get a registration, and what is the shortest time?

Mr McClaran : I think we would have to take that question on notice and come back to you with the figures.

Senator KIM CARR: Have you received any complaints about this?

Prof. Saunders : No, not to my knowledge.

Senator KIM CARR: I presume that you have some assessment of the impact of these delays. Have you any way of measuring that?

Mr McClaran : The delays are not always because of pressures on staffing at TEQSA. Delays might be caused for other reasons, with the provider themselves, as well.

Prof. Saunders : I think we provided you with a written answer to a question on notice—

Senator KIM CARR: You did.

Prof. Saunders : which sort of set out what the general circumstances are around the timing—

Senator KIM CARR: I appreciate your answers. I think they are, in general terms, very good. I will turn to another issue: the reaccreditation of initial teacher education courses. This is particularly tricky because most of the teacher education programs are undertaken by self-accrediting institutions.

Prof. Saunders : Correct.

Senator KIM CARR: You have told the committee that this involves a relatively small number of providers that are now having to reaccredit. How many?

Prof. Saunders : Again I would have to take that on notice to make sure that I give you the exactly correct figures, but it is about 50 courses and I think those 50 courses are spread across about 20 providers.

Senator KIM CARR: Can you tell me how many of those 50 have actually now achieved reaccreditation?

Prof. Saunders : I would have to take that on notice. I think that, since AITSL has come into play, we would not be undertaking any accreditation of teacher training or teacher education courses without actually making sure that AITSL (a) were informed and (b) were engaged in the process.

Senator KIM CARR: Have there been any that have not been reaccredited after you have examined them?

Prof. Saunders : Do you mean in the history of TEQSA?

Senator KIM CARR: In general, yes.

Prof. Saunders : I would have to take that on notice.

Senator KIM CARR: Are you aware that there have been some?

Prof. Saunders : I am not aware of any teacher education course being not reaccredited.

Senator KIM CARR: That does not surprise me. So that means that, of the ones that have now been reassessed, they have all got reaccreditation?

Prof. Saunders : As to the ones that have been reassessed, my understanding is that they would all have been reaccredited, yes.

Senator KIM CARR: Are you satisfied with the amount of information that you have to make a judgement on those matters?

Prof. Saunders : We require the provider to provide us with evidence to assess against the standards. There is a conversation between the case manager at TEQSA and the provider about the scope of the information that is provided. If, after the initial application is received, more information is required then we go back to the provider. In a sense, I am satisfied with the amount of information we are provided because, in a sense, it is actually set by us.

Mr McClaran : And we have the power to go back for more.

Senator KIM CARR: Sure. What about entrance requirements? How satisfied are you about the transparency of entry requirements?

Prof. Saunders : As you know, TEQSA's interests are in protecting students and making sure that the reputation of the sector as a whole is maintained and, indeed, enhanced. Our concern around ATAR scores, and entry requirements more generally, first of all relate to those standards in the higher education framework that require a provider to have admission processes in place that admit students who have the capability to complete the course. In other words, the measure of ATAR—scholastic achievement at a certain point in a student's life—is one component of a whole suite of admission arrangements. That is the first thing. We would assess a provider's application for either course accreditation or re-registration in that context.

The second thing is that the standards require the provider to provide reasonably easy access to accurate information that might be of interest to a prospective student or, indeed, the general public. The accuracy and accessibility of the information that is provided is of interest to us.

In the context of those two things, we have done a number of things in recent months. First of all, we have met with the Universities Australia quality committee, which is chaired by Professor Craven. We have had discussions with them around the issue of ATARs generally and the transparency of the arrangements that individual universities have in terms of using the ATAR. Secondly, as you know, the matter has been referred to the Higher Education Standards Panel, which is the panel that oversees TEQSA. We will have an opportunity to work in that context. Thirdly, we have obtained some information about ATARs from the department and done a review of provider websites, university websites. It is largely the universities that are using ATAR scores.

Senator KIM CARR: Do you look at the question of success rates and attrition?

Prof. Saunders : We certainly look at the progress rates of students and attrition. We take them into account, both in terms of applications for re-registration and for course accreditation and re-accreditation.

Senator KIM CARR: Do you take into account whether or not the courses that are offered are fit for purpose, given, for instance, employability?

Prof. Saunders : We certainly look at graduate outcomes as part of our risk assessment framework.

Senator KIM CARR: How does that work? How do you look at graduate outcomes?

Prof. Saunders : We look at that using the Graduate Destination Survey.

Senator KIM CARR: Professor Craven has drawn our attention to the fact that extremely high numbers of teacher graduates are unemployed. Do you not look at that as a question about the adequacy of the teacher education program?

Prof. Saunders : We would certainly look at that from the point of view of an individual provider's program application.

Senator KIM CARR: What happens if you find that, in a teaching program, very substantial numbers of student graduates are still unemployed, say, six months after they concluded their course?

Prof. Saunders : That would be one of a whole host of factors that we would look at, including: is it a high-quality course, do the experts who have assessed the course in terms of its accreditation or re-accreditation say that this is a good quality course, and are the students progressing through the course satisfactorily? It is all those sorts of things. It is likely that, in fact, the course would be accredited.

Senator KIM CARR: Of course. The problem you have, though, is that all that expert opinion can be measured against some hard data such as whether or not the student gets a job. That is one where you can compare institutions with institutions. What happens if an institution is consistently producing poor quality outcomes for students? What you do then? Do you re-accredit the course?

Prof. Saunders : I would say that, if the course is of high quality and the students are making adequate progress, it is highly likely that TEQSA would accredit the course.

Senator KIM CARR: Do you measure high quality where students cannot get a job?

Prof. Saunders : There are many factors, and teacher education, I think, is one of a whole range of professional outcomes that are influenced not just by the quality of the course but by the availability of jobs, by the preferences of those people who are graduating and by the systems within which the profession is controlled and the like.

Senator KIM CARR: The question arises here, where state governments are the major employing authority. They say that the quality of the teaching programs is not producing the graduates that they need to employ in their schools, and therefore they are moving to minimum entry requirements and other such things. You can argue the toss about the merits of that approach, but clearly there is a level of dissatisfaction—

Prof. Saunders : Absolutely.

Senator KIM CARR: with the quality of the teaching programs that are producing these graduates that cannot get employment or are not getting employment. What impact does that have on you in terms of your assessment of the quality of the programs that are being offered by universities?

Prof. Saunders : Again, I would have to go back to your opening remarks about this. The vast majority of teacher education students, and the vast majority of teacher education courses, actually reside in our universities that have self-accrediting authority and where TEQSA really has no role to play in the individual accreditation.

Senator KIM CARR: Professor, we are in absolute agreement. We are actually going in circles here.

Prof. Saunders : Yes.

CHAIR: Yes, you are.

Senator KIM CARR: The point is that you cannot do anything about it. Isn't that the problem?

Prof. Saunders : That is not correct, and I think we have talked about this previously. We certainly, at a request from AITSL, could work with AITSL in terms of making sure that teacher education was one of the courses that we looked at when we came to re-register a university, for example, as I pointed out before. We do look at university courses at the time of re-registration, largely to make sure that their quality processes around that course are satisfactory. But, if AITSL had a particular view that they wanted us to explore with a university, as I have said before, we would be very happy to take that on. So there is a way in which TEQSA and AITSL can work together with regard to self-accrediting institutions in the area of teacher education.

Mr Cook : Senator, as you are aware, the Education Council approved new initiatives for education accreditation standards last year to strengthen some of the concerns that state governments themselves were raising in relation to this.

Senator KIM CARR: Yes. It is not just state governments. How often do you reassess a university's accreditation?

Prof. Saunders : Every seven years.

Senator KIM CARR: So you have to wait seven years to have a look at this.

Prof. Saunders : There is a seven-year cycle. Unless there was something that was thrown up in terms of our risk monitoring that required us to go in early, a seven-year cycle would be the norm.

Mr Cook : But initial teacher education is less than that.

Senator KIM CARR: I understand that.

Mr Cook : The point is you are talking about the usual duration of the course.

Senator KIM CARR: But TEQSA does not look at a university for seven years.

Prof. Saunders : That is correct.

Mr Cook : But you are talking about a course—the initial teacher education course. That can be disaccredited, I guess, by a regulatory body if they do not believe it is meeting that standard over a five-year period.

Senator KIM CARR: Which regulatory body would that be?

Mr Cook : The New South Wales teacher education and curriculum body, for example. Every state has its state body.

Senator KIM CARR: But it would be a state body. In terms of TEQSA's role, they would have to rely upon a state body acting.

Mr Cook : As TEQSA has indicated, for self-accrediting universities it is the state body that would actually look at that initial teacher education course, not TEQSA, and that is the majority of courses by far.

Prof. Saunders : What would happen there, just to clarify this, would be that, if a state registration body withdrew the accreditation of a teacher education course from a university, that would ring alarm bells for TEQSA. Almost certainly we would then go in and have a look more generally not just at teacher education but at other processes and courses at that university.

Senator KIM CARR: Has that happened anywhere in the country?

Prof. Saunders : That has not happened anywhere in the country.

CHAIR: So no state government, in its own auditing processes, has identified an issue with a university in its jurisdiction?

Prof. Saunders : That is correct.

Proceedings suspended from 15:29 to 15:46

Senator KIM CARR: Professor, I would like to draw your attention to question No. 784. This is one regarding Raffles College. You said you did not want them to enrol international students, because they were seeking CRICOS support. Can you explain to us why you chose not to?

Prof. Saunders : Yes. Raffles College informed us with very short notice that they were moving their operations from a North Sydney location to Parramatta. When you do that you have to have the new site registered onCRICOS and you also have to have a range of other processes that are dictated by the act and the national code. When we learnt about that, we did a visit of the premises and we also conducted an audit of Raffles with regards to their ESOS responsibilities. That resulted in us having concerns about their ability to meet their obligations under the ESOS Act and therefore we did not make a recommendation that their CRICOS registration to be renewed. So it lapsed.

The reasons behind that were: we found a large number of administrative issues which we did not feel they were dealing with satisfactorily and we also had some concerns around the quality of the educational offerings themselves. This was tested in the Federal Court because the college appealed to the Federal Court, and that is a public judgement that found in favour of TEQSA.

Senator KIM CARR: That all sounds fine, and I am quite pleased that you have taken this course of action. I am interested, though, that you say that:

TEQSA understands that, if Parliament approved the legislation before Parliament, these roles will be combined, and TEQSA will assume this power over CRICOS registration…

Could you explain what you meant by that?

Prof. Saunders : Certainly. My understanding is that the amendment to the ESOS Act has in fact combined those powers and now it is quite clear that TEQSA is the agency that has the powers to do that. Under the previous ESOS Act there were some things that TEQSA could do itself and some things where a recommendation was made to the secretary and it was the secretary's decision then to accept that recommendation. If TEQSA did not make a recommendation, of course, the secretary had nothing to act upon, and that is indeed why the registration could lapse under that process.

Senator KIM CARR: Now that the act has passed, what resource implications does that have for you?

Prof. Saunders : It probably does not place much more burden onto us because the previous act would have required us to make or not make a recommendation, which means that we would have had to have done an assessment and drawn our own conclusions. So I do not think it has any resource implications to us at all.

Senator KIM CARR: Homoeopathy, as you know, is one of my old favourites.

Prof. Saunders : Yes.

Senator KIM CARR: I see the Australian College of Natural Therapies has withdrawn its application. Did it withdraw its application on its own instigation, or did you require it?

Prof. Saunders : No, that was withdrawn on their own instigation. They had and continue to have an existing homoeopathy course that they are teaching out, but they themselves had not taken in new students for a couple of years. They had made a submission for a new Bachelor of Health Science in homoeopathy and it was the new application which was withdrawn.

Senator KIM CARR: So they can still operate on their old one?

Prof. Saunders : There are small numbers of students and they are in teach-out mode to the middle of this year.

Senator KIM CARR: Is there another application currently that you are dealing with?

Prof. Saunders : For homoeopathy?

Senator KIM CARR: Yes.

Prof. Saunders : No, not to my knowledge.

Senator KIM CARR: There are no others?

Prof. Saunders : No.

Senator KIM CARR: With regard to the Swinburne University of Technology, they had a renewal in April 2015—is that correct?

Prof. Saunders : That is correct.

Senator KIM CARR: No conditions were attached?

Prof. Saunders : No.

Senator KIM CARR: There was a decision that Swinburne had breached the Fair Work Act. Are you aware of that?

Prof. Saunders : I remember reading about that in the press.

Senator KIM CARR: Yes, on 9 October The Australian reported that. There was another breach reported in June 2015. Does that have any bearing on your considerations for their re-registration?

Prof. Saunders : We would ordinarily leave industrial relations matters to be handled in that jurisdiction, and it would only be if those matters started to impact on the quality of the operations of a provider that we would have concerns.

Senator KIM CARR: These were, of course, findings are made after you had made the decision for re-registration. Is there any prospect that you would ever reassess a decision to re-register?

Prof. Saunders : Yes. As I think I said before the break, there would be some circumstances of a material change which would allow TEQSA and, indeed, mandate TEQSA to go in and have a closer look. If there were staffing issues at a particular provider—we are not talking about Swinburne now; we are talking more generally—that we felt were impacting on the quality of the student experience and the quality of the education being provided, we would have the powers and, indeed, would go in to look at that matter and, indeed, matters more broadly.

Senator KIM CARR: Thank you for that. I will put the rest of my questions on notice.

CHAIR: Thank you, Professor and TEQSA. I now call ASQA.