The creation of TEC was part fulfillment of the Tertiary Education Act (2011) which provides for its establishment. The Commission is central to the realization of the aims of the Act since the educational landscape that it provides for requires the execution of TEC’s mandate under section 4 and article 1-2 of the Act. Its establishment also represented part fulfillment of the Education Reform plan of August 2009 which seeks “to rationalize the higher education and training provisions to make it more responsive to the needs of the labor market to ensure coherence and an optimal use of resources within a common framework.”
Broadly speaking, TEC’s role is to ensure that educational standards are maintained, national policies are implemented, and a regulatory framework for the tertiary sector is created. TEC has to administer this framework to ensure that expansion and rationalization of the tertiary education sector can take place according to set criteria and that those who provide education and training are held accountable. Doing so means that the core business of TEC are to protect learners, safeguard the interests of stakeholders, establish the confidence of industry and society, and fulfill the needs of the country.
The Tertiary Education Commission is a statutory body set up to advise the Minister responsible for tertiary education and to co-ordinate the sustainable and harmonized development of tertiary education nationally. As per the law which set up the Commission, TEC’s work has three main roles:
- A regulatory role: It will hold providers and their owners accountable for the implementation of regulations and policies.
- A recommending role: It will formulate proposals for the development of tertiary education for submission to the appropriate authority/ies.
- An advisory role: It will advise the Minister on the preparation of further legislation on tertiary education