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Quality Assurance in Higher Education

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Title: Quality Assurance in Higher Education


1
Quality Assurance in Higher Education Rebecca
Liebel AEI Germany 18th September 2006

2
Presentation Overview
  • The Higher education sector
  • The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
  • Quality assurance processes

3
Higher Education Sector
  • The National Protocols for Higher Education
    Approval
  • Processes that guide State and Territory
    legislation processes.
  • AQF registers
  • States Territories
  • Responsible for regulation of non-university
    higher education providers.
  • Comply with The National Protocols for Higher
    Education Approval Processes

4
Higher Education Sector
  • The Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA)
  • A) university audits conducted on a 5 year
    rolling cycle assessing universities against
    their own missions objectives.
  • B) auditing the State Territory bodies that
    regulate the accreditation of other higher
    education providers.
  • C) Strengthening audit function of Australian
    offshore higher education provision by 2005
  • Universities
  • - External examiners - The Australian Vice
    Chancellors Committee (AVCC) ? Code of
    Practice for academic quality ? Guidelines for
    course development

5
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
  • The Australian Qualifications Framework
  • forms the foundation for the regulation of
    qualifications
  • brings together the qualifications issued by the
    different sectors of the Australian education and
    training system into a nationally consistent,
    comprehensive structure of educational awards
  • plays an essential role in defining the standards
    of qualifications
  • helps students and families understand the
    available pathways across the sectors

6
The Australian Qualifications Framework
  • The Framework comprises
  • agreed national guidelines for each of the
    current thirteen national qualifications
  • principles for articulation and credit transfer
  • protocols for issuing qualifications
  • registers of authorities empowered by State /
    Territory governments to accredit qualifications
    and providers and to issue qualifications.

7
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
8
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
9
Quality assurance processes operating in each
sector
  • National policy frameworks
  • State and Territory legislative frameworks
  • Robust tradition of self-regulation and
    continuous improvement at institutional level

10
Regulations and Legislation
  • The international study sector is regulated by
    the following
  • The Education Services for Overseas Students
    (ESOS) Act 2000
  • The National Code of Practice
  • The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and
    Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)

11
ESOS Act
  • The primary Federal legislation regulating
    education provided to students studying on a
    student Visa in Australia
  • It is the responsibility of the Department of
    Education, Science and Training (DEST)

12
ESOS Act
  • The Act
  • establishes the National code which sets
    standards of conduct for providers and their
    agents
  • Contains consumer protection provisions
  • Establishes the Tuition Assurance Scheme and
  • Establishes the ESOS Assurance Fund

13
ESOS Act
  • Provides that registered education providers are
    responsible for their agents regarding
  • the provision of marketing and student
    information
  • and
  • the recruiting and placing of students in a
    course
  • Hence Agents must
  • understand the Act and the National Code and
  • take clear instructions from the institution they
    represent

14
Consumer Protection under ESOS
  • The provisions come into play should a school
    close suddenly for any reason (fire,
    financial distress etc)
  • According to the provisions a provider must
  • provide the student a refund if the course
    doesnt begin when agreed or ceases to be
    provided after commencement or
  • Place the student in a new, alternative course
    after obtaining the students consent

15
Tuition Assurance Scheme
  • most providers belong to such a scheme
  • scheme members will provide an alternative course
    place at no extra cost if a refund cannot be
    provided to the student

16
ESOS Assurance Fund
  • an additional level of consumer protection when a
    students institution ceases to exist
  • all non-exempt private institutions must
    contribute
  • a students claim is referred to this fund after
    all other options have been exhausted
  • If the fund manager cant place the student in an
    alternate course a refund may be provided

17
Exempt Providers
  • The following providers are exempt. Students are
    assured that they will receive tuition or a
    refund.
  • Government funded schools
  • Publicly funded institutions
  • TAFES

18
Agent Responsibility
  • If approached by students regarding an
    institutions closure, agents are to refer
    students to the providers Tuition Assurance
    Scheme
  • Agents should be aware that a students failure
    to accept a suitable alternative course may
    result in his/her ineligibility for a refund.

19
Tourist Visas and Study
  • Students may partake in a short course of study
    up to 3 months duration on a tourist visa.
  • The ESOS Act does not regulate provision of
    services to these students.

20
The National Code
  • A set of standards with legal force
  • Regulates the conduct of educational institutions
    that enrol international students
  • The Code places clear responsibilities on all
    educational institutions
  • The Code makes an Agents behaviour the direct
    responsibility of the education provider

21
Agent Responsibility under the Code
  • Under the National Code an agent must act
    responsibly towards prospective students.
  • Examples of Agents responsibilities
    (non-exhaustive)
  • Honest marketing of education and training
    services
  • Provision of accurate information
  • Not engaging in misleading comparisons of
    institution
  • The provision of accurate and responsible advice
    on Visas

22
Key Paragraphs
  • The key paragraphs of the Code for agents are
  • Marketing and student information (para 19-25)
  • Student recruitment and placement (para 26-30)
  • Unethical agent behaviour (para 49)

23
Other important provisions
  • The following are also important provisions in
    the Code
  • Full time courses
  • 20 Contact hours a week (on average), unless the
    accrediting authority determines otherwise.
  • Students may study on a part-time basis in their
    final semester to complete a course.
  • Maximum Number of students
  • Each institution has a maximum number of students
    they are permitted to enrol. The figure is not
    made public.

24
Other important provisions
  • Length of Operation
  • An institution may not use their facility for
    more than 14 hours a day
  • Facilities and Resources (para 18)
  • adequate teaching resources
  • suitably qualified staff
  • secure premises
  • adequate space for students

25
Other important provisions
  • Student Records (para 34-40)
  • adequate student records regarding academic
    history, attendance and various other areas must
    be kept.
  • Repeating Study (para 40)
  • students are only allowed to repeat a
    subject/course once if doing so requires that
    they take less than a full-time study load
  • Other relevant paragraphs
  • Student refunds (42-44) and Student support
    services (45-46)

26
Registered Provider Responsibilities
  • The provider is responsible for their agents
    behaviour, hence it must refuse to accept
    international students if it believes the
    recruiting agent
  • has engaged in dishonest practices
  • engages students who dont comply with their visa
    requirements
  • engages in false or misleading practices
  • uses the Provider Registration and International
    Student Management System (PRISMS) to create
    electronic Confirmations of Enrolments (eCoEs)

27
Further Agent Responsibilities
  • para 19-24
  • certain features of courses must be described
    accurately
  • para 26-30
  • the provider is responsible for certain
    recruitment and placement acts, whether
    undertaken by the provider themselves or the
    agent.

28
Further Agent Responsibilities
  • An agent must not make false or misleading
    comparisons with other courses or institutions
    (i.e. comparisons must be substantiated)

29
Further Agent Responsibilities
  • An agent must be accurate regarding information
    it provides students including
  • General descriptions of the institutions and
    courses provided by the institution
  • Details of the entry requirements, including
    English language, academic or work requirements
  • Details of any other institutions involved in the
    course delivery
  • Details of the fees payable
  • Indications of the costs of living expected
    during study
  • Information that the student must study full-time
    and comply with the conditions of their student
    visa.

30
CRICOS
  • is the register of all education institutions and
    courses that are offered to international
    students studying on a student visa in Australia
    (i.e. not short courses)
  • the ESOS Act specifies the information that
    CRICOS must record
  • Providers have a provider number and courses have
    a course code

31
CRICOS
  • The provider number clarifies who is responsible
    for provider obligations under the Act
  • This is important in cases where there is more
    than one provider responsible for delivering a
    service

32
Agents Responsibilities
  • To know that it is impossible to gain a student
    visa to study in Australia if the course or
    institution is not registered on CRICOS
  • Not to make an offer to a student to apply for a
    course that isnt registered on CRICOS
  • To provide the CRICOS code in all marketing
    material
  • To use the correct CRICOS course code to ensure
    that relevant course information is being
    referred to

33
  • Thank You
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