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Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011

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2010 - 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

TERTIARY EDUCATION QUALITY AND STANDARDS AGENCY (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS) BILL 2011

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011 (the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill) deals with consequential and transitional matters relating to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Bill 2011 (TEQSA Bill).

 

On 10 May 2011, the Senate’s Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee released its report on the TEQSA Bill. Among other things, the Committee recommended that the TEQSA Bill be amended:

 

  • to explicitly provide that universities have the authority to self-accredit courses of study, except where TEQSA limits or removes that authority consistent with the basic principles of regulation stated in Part 2 of the TEQSA Bill (Recommendation 1)
  • to provide for a nine month maximum period for TEQSA to accredit a course under subclause 49(2) and a further nine months under subclause 49(3) (Recommendation 6).

 

Amendments 3 to 7 make consequential amendments to give effect to Recommendation 1 concerning universities and self-accrediting courses of study.

 

Amendment 9 makes a consequential amendment to give effect to Recommendation 6 concerning the time within which TEQSA accredit courses (in circumstances where a provider’s application for accreditation had not been decided by the relevant State or Territory registration authority at the transition time).  Amendment 8 makes a similar consequential amendment concerning the time within which TEQSA registers providers (in circumstances where a body’s application for registration had not been decided at transition time).  In both cases, the time is to be reduced from 12 months to 9 months.

 

Amendments 1 and 2 provide clarification of the meaning of designated authority for the purposes of proposed clause 7A of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 .   

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

There is no direct financial impact on Government revenue arising from these amendments. 



NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

Amendments 1 and 2

 

Item 4 of the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill would insert a new section 7A into the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) to define the meaning of a designated authority for the purposes of the ESOS Act.

 

The purpose of amendment 1, which substitutes a new section 7A, is to clarify that:

 

1.       to the extent that a provider of education for overseas students provides courses for which it is required to be registered with TEQSA, TEQSA will be the designated authority for the provider, and

 

2.       to the extent that a provider of education to overseas students provides courses for which it is required be registered with the NVR, the NVR will be the designated authority for the provider, and

 

3.       to the extent that a provider of education to overseas students provides English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students, or Foundation programs, the Minister may determine the designated authority for the provider, and

 

4.       to the extent that a provider of education to overseas students is providing other courses for which it is not caught by items 1 to 3 of the table in subclause (1), the person responsible under the law of the State for approving providers to provide courses to overseas students for the State will be the designated authority for the provider.

 

Where a provider has more than one designated authority as a result of the operation of the of the items in the table in subsection 7A(1), subsection 7A(2) gives power to the Minister to determine by legislative instrument that one or more entities are the designated authority for the State in relation to the provider and to specify the circumstances in which each of those entities is the designated authority.

 

Amendment 2 is a consequential amendment due to amendment 1 renumbering subsection 7A(4) as subsection 7A(3).

 

The following is an example of how this clause could operate for a provider which is a secondary school with international students where the school also provides vocational education and training courses to some of its overseas students and provides English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students: 

 

Item 2 in the table in subsection 7A(1) would operate so that to the extent that the provider was providing vocational education and training courses for overseas students where the provider was required to be NVR registered to provide the courses, the designated authority for the provider would be the NVR. 

 

In accordance with item 3 in the table, the Minister would determine the designated authority for the provider to the extent that it was providing English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.

 

For the other school courses provided by the provider, item 4 in the table would operate so that to the extent the provider is providing those other school courses to overseas students the designated authority for the provider would be the person responsible under the law of the relevant State for approving providers to provide courses to overseas students for the State. 

 

Further, because the provider is covered by more than one item in the table, the Minister could, at his or her discretion, determine that one or more entities are the designated authorities for the provider.

 

In accordance with subsection 7A(3) and item 3 of the table, the Minister could, for example, determine that the NVR is the designated authority for the provider to the extent it provides English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.  The Minister could also, for example, decide not to make any determination under subsection 7A(2). Therefore, in this example the provider would have 2 designated authorities: ie

 

1.       The NVR (to the extent that it was providing courses for which it was required to be NVR registered and to the extent it was providing English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students by operation of the Minister’s determination under subsection 7A(3)); and

2.       The person responsible under the law of the State for approving providers to provide courses to overseas students for the State (to the extent it was providing its school courses for overseas students).

 

 

Amendments 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Amendments 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 to the TEQSA Bill would give effect to Recommendation 1 of the report of the Senate’s Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee that the TEQSA Bill explicitly provide that universities have the authority to self-accredit courses of study, except where TEQSA limits or removes that authority consistent with the basic principles of regulation stated in Part 2 of the TEQSA Bill.

Amendments 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 to the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill would make further consequential amendments to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to implement Recommendation 1.

 

 

Amendment 9

Amendments 14 and 15 to the TEQSA Bill would give effect to Recommendation 6 of the report of the Senate’s Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee that the TEQSA Bill be amended to provide for a nine month maximum period for TEQSA to accredit a course under subclause 49(2) and a further nine months under subclause 49(3).

Part 5 of Schedule 3 of the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill deals with providers who have applied for accreditation or re-accreditation of a course of study with the relevant State or Territory authority, but whose application has not been decided at the transition time - whereby the application may be transferred to TEQSA for TEQSA to make a decision on accreditation under the TEQSA Act.

Amendment 9 to the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill is a consequential amendment to amendments 14 and 15 to the TEQSA Bill and would change the reference to 12 months in item 2 of the Table at subclause 25(3) of Schedule 3 of the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill to 9 months.  

 

 

Amendment 8

Part 3 of Schedule 3 of the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill deals with bodies who have applied for registration or re-registration as a higher education provider with the relevant State or Territory registration authority, but whose application has not been decided at the transition time - whereby the application may be transferred to TEQSA for TEQSA to make a decision on registration under the TEQSA Act.

Amendment 8 to the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill is a consequential amendment to amendments 7 and 8 to the TEQSA Bill and would change the reference to 12 months in item 2 of the Table at subclause 15(3) of Schedule 3 of the TEQSA Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill to 9 months.  

Amendments 7 and 8 to the TEQSA Bill would make similar changes to subclauses 21(2) and 21(3) of the TEQSA Bill to require TEQSA to make a decision on an application for registration as a registered higher education provider within 9 months of receiving it (instead of 12 months), or a longer period of up to a further 9 months if circumstances beyond TEQSA’s control mean additional time is needed (instead of up to a further 12 months).