Courses in 'Teach Out'
What are ‘teach out’ arrangements?
‘Teach out’ is a situation where no new students can be enrolled in a course of study, and arrangements are in place to ensure that all existing enrolled students can either complete the course of study or transition to a mutually agreed course at no disadvantage to the student.
Providers are obliged under the Threshold Standards (section 6.2 of the Provider Course Accreditation Standards) to have effective teach out or course transition plans in place. A higher education provider is not permitted to offer an unaccredited course of study.
Courses can enter teach out mode on the basis of a decision by the provider, or because of a decision by TEQSA.
Provider initiated teach out
Examples of where a provider has advised TEQSA that a course has entered ‘teach out’ mode include:
- the provider does not intend to renew the accreditation of a course of study, and there will be no students enrolled at the due date for renewal of course accreditation renewal as they will have completed or transitioned out of the course; or
- the provider does not intend to continue delivering a course of study, however there will be students enrolled past the current course accreditation renewal date that will either complete or transition out during a teach out period. This may include students enrolled in a course that the provider plans to supersede with a new course that students will transition into, subject to a TEQSA decision to accredit the new course.
TEQSA initiated teach out
A course may enter teach out mode because of a TEQSA decision:
- to not renew accreditation of a course, and students are currently enrolled in this course
- to cancel the accreditation of a course, and students are currently enrolled in this course; or
- to not accredit a course intended to supersede an existing course that a provider has not sought to reaccredit.
Accreditation requirements for courses in teach out mode
A course for which accreditation is due to expire, but is deemed to be in teach out mode is still required to be accredited until all students have either completed or transitioned out of the course. Renewal of accreditation for a course in teach out mode cannot exceed two years.
Because of the special circumstances that apply to teach out courses, TEQSA has introduced a shortened renewal of accreditation process for these courses and a reduced fee.
This approach minimises the regulatory impost on providers while ensuring they meet the on-going need to protect the interests of students enrolled in teach out courses.
Maintenance of standards
Courses delivered in teach out mode are required to meet the Threshold Standards. The teach out re-accreditation process, therefore, requires providers to ensure they have appropriate provisions in place to ensure course resourcing, course outcomes and overall service and support to students is not reduced as part of any teach out process.
TEQSA only requires information relevant to specific circumstances of teach out. TEQSA does not, for example, request information on admission standards and processes, as no new enrolments are permitted. The re-accreditation process will focus on the following:
- course outcomes
- course transition and closure arrangements
- course articulation
- course resourcing, information and student support arrangements; and
- certification documentation.
National Register of higher education providers
Where renewal of accreditation has been approved in teach out mode the National Register of higher education providers will include an annotation to state: ‘Course in teach out. No new enrolments permitted’.
Any accreditation of a course in teach out mode may be subject to a condition or an enforceable undertaking in respect to the enrolment of new students.
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