24 October 2013
Minister for education Christopher Pyne has directed the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) to “simplify the paperwork and deregulate”.
We are committed to working with the higher education sector to reduce the burden of red tape, regulation and reporting so that it can innovatively and efficiently deliver high quality education.
In line with the recommendations of the Review of Higher Education Regulation Report, Pyne says key aspects of the government’s actions to decrease regulation throughout 2013–14 will include:amending the TEQSA Act to reduce burdensome processes
- establishing a TEQSA advisory council to consult widely with the higher education sector and provide advice to the minister
- reducing duplication by amending legislation that impacts on the work of TEQSA and other regulatory agencies
- ensuring the change starts immediately by making a direction to this effect under the TEQSA Act.
(UA) has “warmly welcomed” the early announcement to give effect to the red-tape review, with UA chief Belinda Robinson saying:
In particular, the move to acknowledge the low risk profile and strong track record of universities through the application of a more timely and light-handed regulatory approach, and the establishment of an advisory council have been strongly advocated and are strongly supported by Universities Australia.
UA estimates that universities spend approximately $280 million a year on regulatory compliance and reporting:
A typical university must report over 50 different datasets to the Department of Education, comprising 200 reporting instances per year, as well as over 50 data sets to other Departments. This time and effort could be better spent on the key function of universities – teaching, scholarship and research.
In early October, TEQSA announced its own “reform plan” to cut red tape and speed up regulatory decision-making, which is consistent with the minister’s direction.
Check out Minister Pyne’s website – he hasn’t quite made the transition to “minister of state” – or maybe this is the new standard.