Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Zhu Minshen& iFlytek a case for Minister Tehan's "blunt instruments": TEQSA & its Chief Commissioner Nick Saunders failed to enforce disclosure rules against Zhu Minshen's Top Group: iFlytek collaboration, funding, HKEX capital raising must be disclosed,Minister Tehan needs to exercise "blunt instruments"

by Ganesh Sahathevan

As previously reported on this blog:

Zhu Minshen & Top Group's business partner iFlytek blacklisted by the US Gov for human rights violations

In November last year Minister for Education Dan Tehan issued guidelines to deal with the issue of foreign interference in local tertiary institutions.The guidelines included this requirement:
Universities have a Conflict of Interest (CoI) policy/disclosure of interests policies, which identifies foreign affiliations, relationships and financial commitments and sets staff responsibilities to their Australian university.

In issuing the Guidelines Tehan said that universities will be forced to take action over China ties.

The AFR  reported :

The education minister (Dan Tehan)  told universities he has ways of compelling them to take action on foreign interference, reinforcing comments he made earlier this week that he had "blunt instruments" to use if they didn't .
These include acting against a university through the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, which is the industry regulator, or writing new rules into individual 
contracts each university has with government for funding.

However, as has been reported, TEQSA has refused to regulate entities under its purview; instead it appears hopelessly conflicted (see story below).

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

TEQSA's Nicholas Saunders granted Zhu Minshen's Top Group self accreditation rights despite Zhu granting academic credits for defying an AFP directive

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Nicholas Saunders TEQSA Chief Commissioner

Professor Nick Saunders AO (Chief Commissioner)
Australia's education sector putting money ahead of standards :

The following is an excerpt from Zhu Minshen's Top Education Group Ltd's ANNOUNCEMENT OF ANNUAL RESULTSFOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2018

Receive Self-Accreditation Authority 

The Company received a letter from TEQSA on 16 May 2018 in relation to its approval for partial self accreditation authority (‘‘SAA’’) in the broad field of education of Management and Commerce, as classified by the Australian Standard Classification of Education, which covers the Australian Qualification Framework from level 5 (diploma) to level 9 (master’s degree) Management and Commerce courses offered at TOP. By obtaining the SAA, TOP is able to determine by itself whether its Management and Commerce courses adequately comply with regulatory standards rather than applying through TEQSA. While maintaining high quality of the courses, the time required for course accreditation will hence be significantly reduced. Accordingly, the partial SAA status not only allows TOP to more efficiently respond to market demand in coursework, but also constitutes a necessary step towards eventually achieving university specialization status.

Following the approval of partial SAA status, TOP enjoys the SAA status with 11 other non-university higher education providers, and has become one of the three non-university higher education providers with the SAA status that offer Management and Commerce higher education courses, and is the only non-university for-profit higher education provider offering courses in Management and Commerce.

TEQSA, headed by its Chief Commissioner Nicholas Saunders granted SAA privileges  despite Zhu and Top's history of highly irregular assessment. As reported on this blog recently:

In his 2018 book "Silent Invasion" Professor Clive Hamilton reports that Top Education Group's Zhu Minshen organised students , including students from his Top Education Institute to protest against Tibetans at the 2008 rally , which counted towards the Top students’ assessment. Zhu’s Top Institution is “perhaps the only accredited degree program in Australia that counts agitating for a foreign power towards its qualifications.”


Nick Saunder's TEQSA has granted Minshen Zhu's Top Group permission to open a branch campus in Hobart, and increase Sydney student numbers despite sharp fall in market cap;TEQSA approval can aid Top's cashflow

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