A message from the Vice-Chancellor: TEQSA audit report

7 February 2012

I am delighted to advise that the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, TEQSA, has released the final report of the audit of the University that was conducted last year. Actually, the audit was initiated by the former Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) and followed the AUQA process. In any event, the report is extremely positive.

We received 18 commendations, 7 affirmations (for things we know we need to do better) and 11 recommendations (mostly in areas which are already being reviewed or reformed as proposed in the Strategic Plan). You can read these commendations, affirmations and recommendations on the University's website. The full text of the report is available on the TEQSA website (PDF, 2MB).

The summary of the audit findings states in part: "The University of Sydney has undergone significant change since the last audit in 2004. … the University has established new governance and management structures ... [which] have successfully incorporated broader academic input into University decision making and ... promote evidence-led reform, mutual accountability and transparency. The process of change at the University of Sydney … is inclusive and demonstrates a firm understanding of the issues associated with steering change in a large, complex and long-established university."

This report provides welcome and deserved recognition for a great deal of hard work by all of our community in bringing about significant changes in the University. Of course, we cannot afford to be complacent, and the audit has made a number of constructive recommendations to help us achieve best practice across all parts of the University.

I am very grateful to the 440 staff and students, Senate Fellows and alumni who participated in the audit, and especially to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Management), Professor Ann Brewer, who coordinated the complex arrangements for this most encouraging audit of the University's performance.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Spence