The Australian | 26 October 2012
TEQSA chief commissioner Carol Nicoll has told a Senate estimates committee the higher education regulator has written to its 173 providers asking to be notified of any financial impacts from cuts to state vocational training budgets.
She told the committee that skills funding cuts could have “consequential impact” on the quality of higher education at dual-sector universities and multi-sector private institutions.
I reminded all CEOs and vice-chancellors that if they felt the impact … would threaten in any way their capacity to meet the threshold standards, they had a responsibility to notify TEQSA, We are concerned about any impact – whether it is financial, whether it goes to the changing nature of the student body, whether it is the nature of delivery – and it is an issue we will look at in the process of our regulatory activity.
Chief commissioner Chris Robinson of the VET sector regulator (ASQA) also indicated concerned about the potential impacts of the skills budget cuts which were described by ALP senator Doug Cameron as “an orgy of economic vandalism against the TAFE systems”.
We are keeping a close eye on the effect on quality of those decisions. It is too early to see that having an impact yet but I expect it will have.