The Bradley Review (2008) was instrumental in setting the context for change in accountability and transparency in the Australian HE sector. As a result of this, the sector has since undergone major changes in quality assurance and standards with the establishment of a new national body for regulation and quality assurance, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).
The role and function of TEQSA is to regulate and assure the quality of the Australian HE sector. Its aim is to accredit providers, evaluate the performance of institutions and programs, encourage best practice, de-clutter current regulatory requirements and provide greater national consistency.
TEQSA has established a HE Standards Panel (HESP), an expert Advisory Body that is responsible for the development and monitoring of a HE Standards Framework (HESF). The HESF outlines the roles and responsibilities for HE providers and is composed of Threshold and Non-Threshold Standards (see Table 1 below). TEQSA registers and assesses the performance of HE providers against the HESF.
Threshold Standards Non-Threshold Standards Provider Standards Qualifications Standards Teaching and Learning Standards Research Standards Information Standards
Table 1: The Higher Education Standards Framework's (HESF) Threshold and Non-Threshold Standards.
In response to the HESF, the University of Tasmania has developed its own University Standards Framework (USF), which is closely aligned to the HESF to enable internal assessment and regulatory reporting to be consistent and purposeful. The development of the USF has been influenced by the University's participation in a number of national projects, including; Macquarie University's Teaching Standards Framework (TSF); ALTC inter-university Moderation Project; Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Best Practice Framework.