Investigate uni regulator failure of student survivors

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is the regulator responsible for higher education in Australia.

For years TEQSA has failed to hold universities accountable for their systemic failures on sexual violence. That’s despite years of headlines about university failures in relation to sexual assault and harassment in their communities;  dozens of student survivors speaking out about horrifying experiences; and student safety surveys showing 275 students are affected by sexual assault in university communities every single week.

Shockingly, despite publicly stating  that they would “rigorously investigate any complaints” about universities mishandling reports of sexual assault and/or harassment, TEQSA  recently admitted that it did not investigate any of the 39 separate complaints made directly to them.

Students deserve to be safe to learn and study. When a university puts students’ education and safety at risk by failing to take adequate steps to prevent and appropriately respond to sexual violence - they should be held accountable. TEQSA has failed to do so. 

We need to uncover what has happened over the past six years and why - to make sure students aren’t failed again. Can you join the call for an independent inquiry into TEQSA’s failures on this issue? 

More information (click to view) 

A recent Senate Inquiry found TEQSA ‘continually failed to exercise the full breadth of [their] powers to hold universities accountable for their woeful responses [to sexual assault on campus].’ That Senate Inquiry recommended ‘that the Commonwealth government commissions an independent review of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s response to sexual violence on university campuses.’

The Commonwealth Government is in the final stages of a review focused on major reforms of the university sector – including considering pathways to address sexual violence. Regardless of whether TEQSA is involved in this issue moving forward - we have to learn the lessons of what went wrong. We can’t build new structures on a flawed foundation. 

We need to know what happened; how and why students were consistently failed on this issue; ensure consequences; and prevent the same mistakes from happening again. Ultimately ensuring more survivors are not harmed in the future.

We need universities to be held accountable on this issue – which must include bodies responsible for regulating universities. We need change across the system. 



  1. Report to the Minister for Education: Higher education sector sector response to the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment,  Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency, 3 October 2023.
  2. Questions over Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency sexual complaints investigations, ABC News, 3 October 2023.



To the Commonwealth Government,

We urge you to commission an independent review of TEQSA’s woeful response to concerns about university approaches to sexual violence.

We must ensure we don’t build new structures on flawed foundations - that means learning the full lessons of what went wrong, and ensuring there is accountability. 


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