The Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP)

For: 

The Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP) is a legislative advisory body, established under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011, (TEQSA Act), with responsibility related to the standards for delivery of higher education in Australia.

Panel membership

The current members of the Higher Education Standards Panel are:

Professor Peter Shergold AC (chair)
Professor Alan Robson AO (member)
Professor Greg Craven (member)
Ms Karen Thomas (member)
The Hon Phil Honeywood (member)
Dr Krystal Evans (member)
Dr Don Owers (observer)
Professor Ian O’Connor (observer)

The Panel has been appointed for the period 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2018.

Over this period the Panel will undertake work and provide advice on a wide range of quality-related issues. It will help to ensure a smooth transition to a revised Higher Education Standards Framework, which will take effect in January 2017. It will also oversee a review of the impact of the TEQSA Act on the higher education system.

Improving transparency of higher education admissions

On 1 February 2016,  Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, asked the Higher Education Standards Panel to provide him with options to improve the transparency of higher education student admissions policies, without increasing regulation. 

In response to the Minister’s request, the Panel released a consultation paper on 6 April 2016. 

The Panel received 82 written submissions in response to the consultation paper. 

The Panel made 14 recommendations in its report, The Panel’s key recommendations include that providers use common and consistent language to describe ATAR thresholds and other admissions requirements and publish information on admissions processes in agreed templates to ensure ease of comparison for prospective students and their parents.

The Government has accepted the Panel’s report and supports the intent of the recommendations. It will respond in due course.

As a follow-up to this report, the Minister has asked the Panel to investigate trends in student completion and attrition and how institutions can be encouraged to support enrolled students through to course completion wherever possible.