Advancing Quality in Higher Education

Read more about the Government's Quality Agenda initiatives, including:

Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA)

The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) was established to provide quality assurance to underpin a growing and sustainable higher education sector. TEQSA was created in July 2011 and commenced regulatory activities from January 2012.

Reward Funding for Universities

Universities will be rewarded for delivering outcomes for students through the Performance Funding arrangements. Facilitation Funding of $293.7 million available from 2011 to 2013 is tied to agreement on strategies for achieving the university’s teaching and learning mission and agreement to Reward Funding performance targets consistent with the achievement of the Australian Government's 40% bachelor level attainment and 20% low SES undergraduate targets. Reward Funding of $38.6 million is available from 2012 to 2013 for Table A universities that achieve their performance targets to improve participation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

MyUniversity supporting a student-centred higher education system

From 2012, the MyUniversity website will support the move to a new more student-centred higher education system and improve transparency. Universities’ performance against the participation indicators to be used for performance funding will be published on the MyUniversity website from 2013 onwards.

Structural Adjustment Fund

The $377.2 million Structural Adjustment Fund (SAF) will assist universities to improve the quality of teaching and learning by delivering high quality learning experiences for students, expanding course offerings and enhancing pathways to higher education.

Promoting excellence in learning and teaching in higher education

From 2012, the Government will promote excellence in university teaching through $72.7 million in project and award funding to be managed by the department.

National Higher Education Surveys

The Government’s quality agenda has been further strengthened through acceptance of the recommendations of the Advancing Quality in Higher Education (AQHE) Reference Group. In 2013, the Government will progress these recommendations by implementing:

  • The 2013 University Experience Survey (UES) that will build on the success of the 2012 UES, which received over 110,000 responses, making it the largest ever survey of current university students in Australia. Results from the UES will be reported on the MyUniversity website from 2013.
  • A pilot Employer Satisfaction Survey, which will help assess the generic, technical and work readiness skills of graduates. This will ensure that the demand driven funding system is responsive to labour market and employer needs.


The Department  will work closely with higher education stakeholders, including universities, business and students during the continued implementation of the quality agenda. In addition to focused consultation and engagement on specific elements of the package, the AQHE Reference Group has been established to provide advice on the implementation of the performance measurement instruments and the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS). Over the period December 2011 to February 2012 the Department undertook a range of consultations, including the release of three Discussion papers and stakeholder roundtables, with the higher education sector, business and students on the development of measures for student experience and quality of learning outcomes for use in the MyUniversity website and to inform continuous improvement by universities. More information on these consultations can be found on the Stakeholder consultation page.

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