Governance of Higher Education Providers

Victoria's eight public universities are formed under their own individual Acts. The Minister for Higher Education and Skills administers the Acts that establish the universities and their governing bodies and accountability requirements.

Private providers are accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). For information on accreditation, see: TEQSA

The Department develops policy in relation to higher education in Victoria, including regulation policy. It also manages stakeholder relations with universities and supports the legislative responsibilities relating to higher education, including the university council appointment process. For more information, see: University Council Appointment Process

The Department also represents the interests of Victorian universities and higher education providers in national forums.

The primary responsibility for university funding rests with the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE). For information on the higher education sector, including legislation, guidelines, student loans, scholarship programs and funding, see: DIISRTE

University governance

Victoria’s public universities and their governing councils are each established under State Acts of Parliament. The Minister for Training and Skills is accountable to the Victorian Parliament and public for the overall performance of these eight university councils and for the use of ministerial powers relating to them.

For copies of the current Victorian university Acts, see:

University Council

The Council is a university's governing body and has responsibility for both the general direction and superintendence of the university. All council members are expected to share the same corporate vision and to contribute to the university’s strategies and performance.

The responsibilities of a university council include:

  • appointing and monitoring the performance of the Vice-Chancellor as president and chief executive officer of the university;
  • approving the mission and strategic direction of the university;
  • approving the university's annual budget and business plan;
  • overseeing the management of the university and its performance;
  • establishing policy and procedural principles for the operation of the university, consistent with legal requirements, Government policies and community expectations;
  • approving and monitoring systems of control and accountability for the university, and any entity controlled by the university;
  • overseeing and monitoring the assessment and management of risk across the university;
  • overseeing and monitoring the academic activities of the university; and
  • approving any significant commercial activities of the university.