The quality of courses, programmes and qualifications offered by TEIs is an important determinant as to whether a TEI achieves outputs and outcomes that are valued by students, employers and the community.
Under the Education Act 1989, all TEI councils must establish an academic board that comprises the Chief Executive and staff and students, and request and consider the academic board’s advice before determining any matter relating to courses of study or training, awards and other academic matters (s 182).
Academic boards are responsible for a range of programme-related academic approvals and are involved in the evaluation and internal audit of academic quality, using the framework of an academic quality management system.
The legislative requirement to establish an academic board creates a unique relationship between the council and the academic activities of the TEI. The scope of that relationship is more extensive than just issues of academic quality, and there is an expectation that TEI councils will be involved in, and have an understanding of, the educational activities and educational performance of their TEIs. This includes the targets within the Performance Commitments section of their Investment Plans, and both the actual performance and performance relative to other TEIs on the educational performance indicators.
External academic quality assurance in TEIs is provided in two principal ways.