Where discretion will be the better part of HE regulation

TEQSA thinks Australian providers with off-shore operations, including partnerships should adhere to the Higher Education Standards Framework (CMM yesterday)

Good-o but what would happen if the HESF did not accord with host country standards, say on campus free speech?

HE quality assurance and governance consultant Michael Tomlinson (ex TEQSA director) says the agency has room to move.

Yes, the Framework (5.4.2) makes the home governing body responsible for meeting all HESF requirements. But another clause (6.2.1a) specifies it must also comply with “’the requirements of the legislation under which the provider is established.” This, Mr Tomlinson says, “could take in the legislation of an off-shore campus.”

As to free speech, TEQSA could choose not to insist on the academic freedom clause in the HESF, “in respect of a single campus, which must comply with local laws under the framework.”