Release type: Media Release


Chief Commissioner and Commissioner appointed to TEQSA


The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education and Training
Leader of the House

Minister for Education and Training the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today announced the appointment of Professor Nicholas Saunders AO as ongoing part-time Chief Commissioner of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and Ms Linley Martin as an additional part-time Commissioner.

TEQSA is Australia’s independent national quality agency for the higher education sector responsible for registering and assessing higher education providers against the Higher Education Standards Framework.

“TEQSA is vitally important for Australia’s higher education sector and our reputation internationally,” Mr Pyne said.

“Equally important is having an exceptional and visionary Chief Commissioner to lead TEQSA in a time of change and reform in the sector.”

Professor Saunders is former Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Newcastle and has been acting as TEQSA’s Chief Commissioner since September 2014. He will commence his three year term from 1 March 2015.

“Professor Saunders has provided strong leadership to TEQSA during a period of transition in the Agency,” Mr Pyne said.

“His commitment to the quality of the higher education sector and risk-based assurance will continue to play a vital role in leading TEQSA and ensure Australian higher education remains the envy of the world.

“To support this integrated approach to quality assurance for Australian higher education and to ensure TEQSA is well equipped to handle future challenges, Ms Martin, who has held many senior positions in the sector, has been appointed as part-time Commissioner.”

Ms Martin will commence her three year term from 1 February 2015.

Mr Pyne said Ms Martin has an impressive knowledge of and extensive experience in higher education. Her past roles include the Head of University Services and Academic Registrar at the University of Melbourne and Vice President at Deakin University, in addition to other senior positions at the University of New South Wales, RMIT University, Flinders University and the University of South Australia. Ms Martin was also a senior advisor to the Bradley Review of Higher Education.

“I look forward to Ms Martin’s commencement with TEQSA and have no doubt that her experience and background will be a great asset to the Agency,” Mr Pyne said.

“I would also like to thank outgoing Commissioner Michael Wells, who finishes up at TEQSA on 31 January 2015.

“Mr Wells has made a strong contribution to support the quality of Australia’s higher education sector through his work as an inaugural TESQA Commissioner.”

Professor Saunders and Ms Martin will serve with the continuing part-time Commissioner, Professor Cliff Walsh, as the TEQSA Commissioners.

A recruitment process to fill the position of TEQSA’s Chief Executive Officer is currently underway.