Higher education red tape has doubled since 2004

“Quality and accountability” regulations for Government supported higher education providers have more than doubled in volume since 2004 and will grow even further if the Job-Ready Graduates Bill passes through Parliament next week without amendments, the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) group has warned.

Division 19 of the Higher Education Support Act (HESA), a core section of higher education legislation that covers provider standards such as financial viability and compliance, has grown in size from 3,173 words (13 pages) in 2004 to 6,478 words (27 pages) in 2020, according to an analysis by the IRU.

This is all additional to TEQSA’s scrutiny of all providers, including for universities.

Chart: The growing size of HESA Division 19

Source: IRU analysis of Higher Education Support Act over time

Universities are exempt from some of the Division 19 legislation, with much of it until now targeted at other higher education providers.

But universities will

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