The Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP)

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The Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP) is an expert statutory 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

HESP Member Role
Professor Emeritus Ian O'Connor AC Chair
Professor Kerri-Lee Krause Deputy Chair
Professor Steve Chapman Member
Dr Krystal Evans Member
Dr Sadie Heckenberg Member
The Hon Phil Honeywood Member
Ms Adrienne Nieuwenhuis Member
Dr Don Owers Member
Dr David Perry Member
Ms Kadi Taylor Member

HESP Member profiles.

Role and responsibilities

The Higher Education Standards Panel is an expert advisory body established under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act 2011) which provides independent advice to the Commonwealth Minister(s) responsible for tertiary education and research. The Panel's work is independent of the quality assurance agency, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

The primary functions of the Panel are to advise and make recommendations to the Minister for Education – either at the Minister's request or the Panel's own initiative – on making or varying the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015, and other matters relating to the Standards. The Panel is responsible for advice on how to maintain the quality and standards of Australia's higher education system.

The Panel can also advise and make recommendations to TEQSA on matters relating to the Standards – either at TEQSA's request or the Panel's own initiative. The Panel must consult interested parties in carrying out its work. If needed, the Panel can establish advisory committees to assist in performing any of its functions.

Current HESP projects

Academic Credit Recognition

In 2018, the then Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, requested the Panel’s advice on whether credit transfer policies and the standards in higher education are adequately meeting the needs of students and institutions, noting the 2019 Review of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF Review).

The HESP provided its advice and proposed amendments to the Threshold Standards to the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan on 30 March 2020. To support the Panel’s consideration, PhillipsKPA consultants were commissioned to undertake background research and provided a Academic Credit Recognition report.

Comments are welcome on the proposed amendments by close of business Friday 25 September 2020 to HigherEd@dese.gov.au.

Amending the Higher Education Standards Framework - Provider Category Standards

In October 2018 the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, appointed Emeritus Professor Peter Coaldrake AO to review the Higher Education Provider Category Standards (PCS), which form Part B of the the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015.

The Minister released Professor Coaldrake’s final report on 15 October 2019, and on 10 December 2019, released the Australian Government’s response, which accepted the aim of all ten of the Review’s recommendations.

Minister Tehan asked the Panel to provide advice on amendments required to the Threshold Standards to implement the Review recommendations. The Panel undertook a consultation process that closed on 14 April 2020 and has provided its advice to the Minister on this matter.

Previous work

Improving retention, completion and success in higher education

In June 2018, the Panel’s Final report: Improving retention, completion and success in higher education. All 18 recommendations were agreed in the Government’s Response. The Minister asked higher education providers to implement the Panel’s recommendations, with a particular focus on the development of institutional student retention strategies, taking account of the range of factors and interventions canvassed in the Panel’s report.

Advice on the impact of professional accreditation in higher education

The Panel's advice on the impact of professional accreditation in Australian higher education and opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on higher education providers was provided in February 2018. The HESP’s advice was informed in part by a report commissioned from PhillipsKPA consultants, Professional Accreditation: Mapping the territory.

The Government has accepted the Panel's advice in principle.

Improving transparency of higher education admissions

The HESPs recommendations on options to improve the transparency of higher education student admissions policies, without significantly increasing regulation was released in its final report on 16 November 2016. The Government accepted the Panel's recommendations and announced its response to the Higher Education Standards Panel's report. More information on admissions transparency implementation can be found on the Admissions Transparency Implementation Working Group page.

News

The following is a list of all the news items that are associated with The Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP).

New law prohibits academic cheating services

News | 3 September 2020

New law makes it an offence to provide or advertise academic cheating services to Australian higher education students.

Comments welcome on proposed changes to the Higher Education Standards Framework on academic credit arrangements

News | 3 September 2020

Comments are welcome by Friday 25 September 2020 on proposed amendments to the Higher Education Standards Framework relating to academic credit arrangements.

Consultation on Amendments to the Higher Education Standards Framework Provider Category Standards

News | 24 February 2020

The Higher Education Standards Panel invites stakeholder comments on a consultation paper seeking feedback on the Panel’s draft amendments to Part B of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 legislative instrument.

Release of the Higher Education Standards Panel’s advice on student academic integrity and cheating

News | 18 December 2018

The Australian Government is moving to deter and respond to incidences of contract cheating in higher education and to support higher education providers to enhance student academic integrity across all institutions. The Government has accepted the advice of the Higher Education Standards Panel...

Release of the Government’s response to the “Review of the impact of the TEQSA Act on the higher education sector”

News | 27 November 2018

The Government has accepted the report of the Review of the impact of the TEQSA Act on the higher education sector and released its response to the report's recommendations. ...

Emeritus Professor Peter Coaldrake AO appointed to lead review of the Higher Education Provider Category Standards

News | 17 October 2018

Release of the Final Report – Improving retention, completion and success in higher education

News | 7 June 2018

Release of the Higher Education Standards Panel’s advice on professional accreditation

News | 28 February 2018

In 2016 the Minister for Education and Training requested the Higher Education Standards Panel’s (the Panel) advice on the impact of professional accreditation in Australian higher education and opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on higher education providers. The Panel’s advice...

Release of “Professional Accreditation: Mapping the territory” report

News | 4 September 2017

In 2016 the Department of Education and Training commissioned consultants PhillipsKPA Pty Ltd to examine the extent and scope of course accreditation practices by professional bodies in Australian higher education. The final report "Professional Accreditation: Mapping the territory" provides a...

Admissions Transparency Implementation Plan Released

News | 4 July 2017

The Admissions Transparency Implementation Working Group (IWG) has released the final implementation plan. It identifies the actions that higher education sector stakeholders and relevant government agencies commit to delivering over the course of 2017 and 2018 in order to implement the HESP's...

Release of the Government’s response to the Higher Education Standards Panel’s Report on Improving Transparency of Higher Education Admissions Processes

News | 15 December 2016

Release of the Higher Education Standards Panel report on Improving the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions Processes

News | 15 November 2016

Higher Education Standards Panel - Consultation on the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions Processes

News | 30 August 2016

Public consultation on transparency in higher education admissions

News | 6 April 2016

Review of the Impact of the TEQSA Act on the higher education sector

News | 9 March 2016

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia’s national regulatory body.  It was established in July 2011 and began its regulatory function from 29 January 2012. Section 203 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 requires that the Minister...