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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Sharing approaches to risk: UK and Australian HE regulators sign partnership 

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The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has signed a cooperation agreement with Australia’s Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

In signing the Memorandum of Cooperation, the two organisations have agreed that they will develop a programme of joint projects, exchange information and expertise, and enhance awareness in Australia and the UK of each other’s roles.

Joint projects between the two organisations are likely to address transnational education, business models, and risk and risk-based approaches to regulation and quality assurance.

The agreement also confirms that QAA and TEQSA will cooperate in the identification of fraudulent awarding bodies or accrediting agencies adversely affecting the reputation of higher education in Australia and the UK.

The higher education sector in Australia employs over 107,000 people in a system that comprises both public and private universities, Australian branches of overseas universities, and other higher education providers with and without self-accrediting authority.

TEQSA was established in 2011 to regulate and assure the quality of this large, diverse and complex higher education sector.

Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive of QAA, said: ‘As quality assurance agencies, TEQSA and QAA have much in common, and this agreement signals our commitment to working together and learning from each other.

'Higher education institutions in both the UK and Australia are increasingly active in international partnerships, which brings opportunity but also greater risk.

‘One of the agreements in this Memorandum of Cooperation is to share information and work on joint projects that look at how we evolve a risk-based approach to quality assuring higher education, at home and overseas.’

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Notes to editor:
1. For further information about QAA, contact Joanna Wynn, Media Relations Officer, on 01452 557074, email
2. QAA safeguards the public interest in the quality and standards of UK higher education. We check how UK universities and colleges maintain their academic standards and quality. We review and report on how they meet their responsibilities, identify good practice and make recommendations for improvement. We publish guidelines to help UK universities and colleges develop effective systems to ensure students have the best learning experience. Further information on QAA is available at:
3. The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) regulates and assures the quality of Australia’s higher education sector. Further information on TEQSA is available at:

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