Position

Partner

Deliver

Supporting providers to deliver superior student experiences and outcomes

Higher education

Our Higher education team has a deep understanding of the complex, unique and high-risk issues facing clients within the sector. We work with nearly every Australian university, the peak public and private industry associations, Commonwealth and State departments, leading independent higher education providers, as well as a broad range of leading service providers to the sector.

We support universities to achieve their statutory education functions, from advising on new campuses and precincts, commercialising their intellectual property, exploiting university resources to implementing policies and procedures. And we represent providers in claims brought by disgruntled staff and students in relation to grievance and misconduct matters, to courts, tribunals and government agencies.

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Legal advice at the forefront of change in education

Clients seek our depth and breadth of experience to identify opportunities, navigate challenges and provide solutions for them. We have been at the forefront of sector change, advising clients through the regulatory transition from States to the Commonwealth with a lens on their sustainability. Governing bodies and senior executive teams engage us on:

  • registration as a university college or university, including from greenfield applicants
  • education precincts and infrastructure projects
  • collaborating with industry
  • commercialising intellectual property and exploiting university resources
  • the rapid growth of and disruption to Australia's share of the international student market
  • supporting strong indigenous education outcomes
  • the emergence of the third-party delivery model to onshore and offshore students and transnational education opportunities
  • unacceptably high incidences of sexual assault and sexual harassment on campuses, both historical and emerging
  • risks to academic freedom and freedom of speech
  • foreign interference risk
  • maintaining information security, including the focus on cyber security
  • financial viability and sustainability, including in response to the challenges posed to the sector by COVID-19; and
  • The emergence of threats to academic integrity - reforms to criminalise contract cheating and disrupt academic and contract cheating websites.

Knowledge and expertise

We work with stakeholders across the education lifecycle – from childcare and early learning providers, government and independent schools, vocational education and training providers, to higher education providers.

  • Childcare and early learning
  • Schools
  • Vocational education and training
Childcare and early learning

Our Childcare and early learning team deliver specialist legal services to domestic and international clients based on a deep understanding of the sector's compliance, funding and regulatory issues. These issues impact buyers, regulators and operators of centre-based day care, including long day care, occasional care, preschools and kindergartens.

We are leaders in best practice with expertise in acquisitions, consolidations and restructures, defending class action claims, and other corporate transactions. Our team have a genuine passion for the sector. They are committed to providing clients with tailored solutions to help them navigate the unique challenges and opportunities arising from ongoing changes and unprecedented disruptions within the sector.

Get in touch with Deanna McMaster

Schools

Our Schools team provide legal services to government and independent schools. This experience has provided us with sector-leading insights into best practice and emerging issues and a deep understanding of the policy, operational and regulatory environment within which our clients operate. We can help clients to navigate the unique challenges and issues impacting government and independent schools across Australia.

We advise on matters including child protection investigations, discrimination of students and staff, enrolment and parent disputes, and safety and wellbeing. Our team has experience in the full range of employment and governance matters, including the particular duty of care and OHS issues commonly arising within a school environment.

Get in touch with Jennifer Patterson

Vocational education and training

Our Vocational education and training team assists registered training organisations, including TAFEs, with all aspects of the regulatory framework. They advise and represent concerning audits, compliance and other regulatory and legal action by the Australian Skills Quality Authority, the Commonwealth Department of Education, State departments of education and training and other regulatory bodies.

We have experience assisting our clients in avoiding tuition assurance breaches, dealing with multiple concurrent regulatory interventions and proceedings, entering the sector and facilitating wind-downs and exits from the sector. Our team can help clients develop strategies to maximise returns on legacy VET FEE-HELP assets while limiting reputational impacts on other parts of the business.

Get in touch with Kylie Diwell

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https://www.minterellison.com/education/higher-education

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Our 2022 cyber risk report reveals an increasingly challenging cyber security landscape

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