Small, specialist education opportunities likely to disappear under TESQA Cost Recovery decision

IIA-Australia says policy creates further roadblocks for students, employers and education providers

14 October 2022: The Institute of Internal Auditors Australia (IIA-Australia) has urged the Federal Government to reconsider the decision outlined in the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (13 October 2022).

The Statement from TEQSA outlines the Government’s decision to impose set fees on education providers, irrespective of their size.

CEO Peter Jones said in a submission to TESQA on the issue in 2021, IIA-Australia stated it did not support the ‘fiscal principle’ of full cost recovery for independent higher education providers and believed the policy will lead to specialist education providers being forced to exit the market due to the cost increases proposed.

“IIA-Australia is a not-for-profit professional association representing the interests of internal audit, risk, and assurance professionals. The Graduate Certificate in Internal Auditing (GradCertIA) provided by IIA-Australia is highly specialised and the only one of its kind in Australia,” he said.

“Many of our member organisations – like so many industries – are already struggling to fill positions and attracting new people into the profession is of critical importance, given the important role internal audit plays in governance, risk and compliance.

“The GradCertIA is a highly important stepping stone for those looking to work in Internal Audit and any disruption to the course would be detrimental for the hundreds of Australian listed, private and government organisations (including regulators) who rely on the expertise of our members.”

Mr Jones said given the fragile state of global economies, the Australian Government should be investing in higher education to increase productivity and workplace participation; rather than making it even harder to find and retain appropriately qualified staff.

“This is particularly important for small, independent education providers connected with industry, like IIA-Australia. For us, the fee increase will result in an estimated best case scenario of almost $1,000 increase per student in fees. While this may not be viewed as a significant increase, this is in an environment of high inflation and low wage growth. It creates further impediments for students, employers and the education providers who deliver specialist education like ours.

“Given we have no government funding, it may mean it will no longer be commercially viable for us to offer the course, which is currently delivered on a breakeven basis. We believe there will be many other smaller and not for profit education providers who will be similarly impacted. We don’t believe decreasing competition or decreasing the range of education available in Australia was an intended consequence of this decision. As such, the Government should urgently re-examine the issue.

Media Contact
Christine Toll
0414 621 163

About IIA-Australia
IIA-Australia is affiliated with The Institute of Internal Auditors which is the leading body representing internal auditors.
Globally, the Institute represents more than 200,000 members in 190 countries. In Australia, the IIA-Australia has a connection of nearly 7,000 assurance professionals inclusive of 3,000 members.