Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia's independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education.

The Australian higher education sector includes public and private universities, Australian branches of overseas universities, TAFEs, government agencies, professional bodies, faith-based colleges and other independent for-profit and not-for-profit providers.

The Commissioners as of 20 August 2021 are Professor Peter Coaldrake AO (Chief Commissioner) and Emeritus Professor Joan Cooper.

The Chief Executive Officer and a team of Senior Managers oversees the work of the agency and supports the Commission.

The (TEQSA Act) calls for TEQSA to regulate higher education using a standards-based quality framework based on principles of regulatory necessity, reflecting risk and proportionate regulation.

The (ESOS Act) applies to providers offering higher education courses of study to students in Australia on student visas. TEQSA's responsibilities under the ESOS Act apply to:

The (National Code 2018) provides nationally consistent standards that protect international students. The National Code protects governs courses registered on the (CRICOS). Only CRICOS courses can be offered to international students studying in Australia on a student visa.

TEQSA released its first on Australia's higher education sector (July 2019).

TEQSA's approach to compliance and enforcement can be found in the publication, .

This Review, also known as the Bradley Review, recommended a new, independent national regulatory body be responsible for all types of higher education. The review team decided that a national approach would provide a more effective, streamlined and integrated sector, achieving a sustainable and responsible higher education system.

The Australian Government responded to the Bradley Review in 2009, announcing a reform package for higher education. This package expanded the system and was intended to create new opportunities for all Australians to reach their potential in higher education.

The Government also committed to ensuring that growth in the sector was underpinned by a robust quality assurance and regulatory framework with an emphasis on student outcomes and the quality of the student experience.

TEQSA was established by the Government as Australia's higher education regulation and quality assurance agency in 2011, with a focus on ensuring that higher education providers meet minimum standards, promote best practice and improve the quality of the Australian higher education sector.  

In 2012, TEQSA assumed regulatory powers under the TEQSA and ESOS Acts. In 2013, following the expression of some concerns from providers about the burden of TEQSA's regulatory approach, the Review of Higher Education Regulation Report was released, and in 2014, a significantly streamlined Revised Risk Assessment Framework was adopted. The Higher Education Standards Framework was reviewed in 2015 and became effective in January 2017. The impact of the TEQSA Act was reviewed in 2016-17 and, in 2019, a bill to implement the recommendations of the review was introduced to the Australian Parliament.

In June 2020 the Australian Government announced a new Higher Education Integrity Unit would be established within TEQSA. The unit will identify and analyse emerging threats and assist the sector to address them, in areas such as academic and research integrity, cyber security, foreign interference and admission standards. The new unit commenced operations in January 2021.

is with all levels of the higher education sector – from current and prospective students, through to higher education providers, peak bodies and international quality assurance agencies. Student engagement activities are focused through the .

With responsibility for regulating all Australian higher education, whether offered in Australia or overseas, TEQSA has a network of agreements with the regulatory bodies of those countries in which Australian providers are most active.

TEQSA provides various including reports and papers, frameworks, online e-News as well as guidance materials, for example: