Senate inquiry into key education standards

EDUCATION Minister Christopher Pyne has accused Labor of backflipping on changes to a key education standards agency, after the Opposition secured a Senate inquiry into the matter.

Labor's higher education spokesman Senator Kim Carr said the inquiry was to look into planned government changes to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

He said it would examine the removal of government officials at the agency, and the "hasty" proposal to change the government regulator.

But Mr Pyne said the government's bill put in place recommendations for change to TEQSA that were made during Labor's tenure.

He said the changes sought to "address over-regulation" in the higher education sector, a point which peak body Universities Australia also backed.