The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is an Australian government body that is meant to ensure that the hundred of thousands each overseas student hands over to Australian colleges and universities actually purchases a worthwhile degree.
It is headed by one Nicholas Saunders (photo above).
Over the past three months Saunders and TEQSA have been queried about the finances, infrastructure, academic qualifications and teaching standards at a private college in Sydney which has an on-line offering actively promoted in South East Asia.
His response, to sum up,has been to ignore, deny, and obfuscate.
He has done so despite being provided evidence which has included written responses from the dean of a law school in Malaysia which confirmed that the principal of the private college in question had at the very least exaggerated his seniority and nature of work in Malaysia.
In a sense Saunders is typical of the modern Australian academic who has discovered that students from Asia are an easy, cheap way to make money while enjoying "marketing trips" to especially now China.
The article below from Singapore's Strait Times is but one example of what Asians have seen for a long time as a naked cash grab.
Adding to the problem is the fact that there is no real avenue to complain about low standards, or universities providing educational goods and services way below what students have paid for.
While TESQA is supposed to provide an avenue for such complaints, Saunders himself has been caught referring complaints back to the university or college concerned. His excuse: Students are required to address their concerns to the internal complaint process.
That approach works well when a student complains about marking and grades, but clearly the wrong avenue when the complaint is about the product.