Alphacrucis wins university college status after TEQSA reversal

First published in The Australian on 1 February, 2022

Pentecostal education institution Alphacrucis College has been awarded university college status after a change of mind by the higher education regulator.

In a statement on Monday, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency said it had granted university college registration to Alphacrucis after receiving new evidence regarding the application.

In July last year TEQSA denied university college status to Alphacrucis, naming only three institutions as university colleges out of about a dozen applications.

Alphacrucis responded by appealing the decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The college now has withdrawn the appeal.

Alphacrucis College president Stephen Fogarty said the institution was the largest Protestant tertiary education provider in Australia.

“We deeply appreciate TEQSA’s review of our application which determined that we met the required standards and were deserving of this honour,” he said.

“We are excited to be bringing new energy, ideas and leadership into the Australian higher education sector at this significant time.”

Professor Fogarty said the goal for Alphacrucis College was to become a global Christian university. “Greater diversity and competition in higher education is essential as we consider how it can practically benefit our communities,” he said.

Alphacrucis has about 4000 students enrolled in a range of courses including vocational education certificates, and bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees. It teaches in the areas of business, education and theology and has campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Auckland.

The college has created an innovative hub model for teacher education, which gives student teachers classroom experience throughout their course.

Sign up Alphacrucis is the fourth university college to be recognised officially by TEQSA since the category was redefined last year. A university college is now similar to a university except that it does not have an obligation to conduct research, allowing it to be teaching-only institution.

The first three university colleges, announced on July 1 last year, were the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Moore Theological College, and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

TEQSA chief commissioner Peter Coaldrake said, in making its decision to award Alphacrucis university college status, TEQSA “noted a number of the college’s strengths including their demonstrated commitment to innovation in teaching and learning and strong engagement with industry and community”.

Written by Tim Dodd

The Australian's higher education editor. He has over 25 years experience as a journalist covering a wide variety of areas in public policy, economics, politics and foreign policy, including reporting from the Canberra press gallery and four years based in Jakarta as South East Asia correspondent for The Australian Financial Review. He was named 2014 Higher Education Journalist of the Year by the National Press Club.