Allocation of Responsibilities

Decision-making, regulation and governance for higher education are shared among the Australian Government, the state and territory governments and the institutions themselves. Some aspects of higher education are the responsibility of states and territories. In particular, most universities are established or recognised under state and territory legislation. States and territories are also responsible for accrediting non-self-accrediting higher education providers.

The Australian Government has the primary responsibility for public funding of higher education. The Higher Education Support Act 2003 sets out the details of Australian Government funding and its associated legislative requirements. Australian Government funding support for higher education is provided largely through:
the Commonwealth Grant Scheme which provides for a specified number of Commonwealth supported places each year

the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) arrangements providing financial assistance to students
the Commonwealth Scholarships and
a range of grants for specific purposes including quality, learning and teaching, research and research training programmes
The Department of Education has responsibility for administering this funding, and for developing and administering higher education policy and programs.