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.

Resources

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

Results

  1. Disaggregated and distributed models of student participation and course delivery and assurance of higher education standards

    Created: 18 May 2015

    Disaggregated and distributed models of student participation and course delivery and assurance of higher education standards

  2. Discussion Paper on Improving Completion, Retention and Success in Higher Education

    Created: 9 June 2017

    Discussion Paper on Improving Completion, Retention and Success in Higher Education

  3. Draft Bill- Prohibiting Academic Cheating Services

    Created: 7 April 2019

    An exposure draft copy of the Bill to prohibit academic cheating services for public comment

  4. Elements of the current Higher Education Standards Framework that are not covered by the Proposed Framework- December 2014

    Created: 18 May 2015  |  Last modified: 4 March 2016

    Elements of the current Higher Education Standards Framework that are not covered by the Proposed Framework - December 2014

  5. Erratum- Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework Consultation Draft

    Created: 6 May 2015

    Erratum - Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework Consultation Draft

  6. Final Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework- Advice to the Minister- December 2014

    Created: 18 May 2015

    Final Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework - Advice to the Minister - December 2014

  7. HES Draft Standards for Course Design (Coursework)- March 2013

    Created: 6 May 2015

    HES Draft Standards for Course Design (Coursework) - March 2013

  8. HES Draft Standards for Research- May 2013

    Created: 6 May 2015

    HES Draft Standards for Research - May 2013

  9. HESP advice on student academic integrity and cheating

    Created: 18 December 2018

    Higher Education Standards Panel advice on student academic integrity and cheating

  10. HESP advice to the Minister for Education, 30 March 2020

    Created: 3 September 2020

    Letter from Professor Emeritus Ian O’Connor AC, Chair of the HESP to the Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education providing HESP advice and proposed amendments to the Threshold...

  11. HES Call for Comment Number 1 & Discussion Paper- March 2013

    Created: 6 May 2015

    HES Call for Comment Number 1 & Discussion Paper - March 2013

  12. HES Call for Comment Number 2 & Discussion Paper- May 2013

    Created: 6 May 2015

    HES Call for Comment Number 2 & Discussion Paper - May 2013

  13. HES Call for Comment Number 3 & Background Paper- April 2014

    Created: 6 May 2015

    HES Call for Comment Number 3 & Background Paper - April 2014

  14. HES Draft Standards for Learning Outcomes (Coursework)- March 2013

    Created: 6 May 2015

    HES Draft Standards for Learning Outcomes (Coursework) - March 2013

  15. HES Draft Standards for Learning Outcomes (Research Training)- May 2013

    Created: 6 May 2015

    HES Draft Standards for Learning Outcomes (Research Training) - May 2013

  16. HES Draft Standards for Research Training- May 2013

    Created: 6 May 2015

    HES Draft Standards for Research Training - May 2013

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

    Created: 6 April 2016

    The Minister for Education and Training has asked the Higher Education Standards Panel to advise him on options to improve the transparency of higher education student...

  18. Higher Education Standards Panel/OLT Research Fellow Request for Information

    Created: 18 May 2015

    Higher Education Standards Panel/OLT Research Fellow Request for Information

  19. No 1- Dr Dale Murphy

    Created: 31 August 2016

    Submissions received by the Higher Education Standards Panel as of June 2016

  20. No 10- Federal Council of the Isolated Children's Parents' Association of Australia (ICPA Australia)

    Created: 31 August 2016

    Submissions received by the Higher Education Standards Panel as of June 2016

  21. No 11- University of Western Australia (UWA)

    Created: 31 August 2016

    Submissions received by the Higher Education Standards Panel as of June 2016

  22. No 12- National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education

    Created: 31 August 2016

    Submissions received by the Higher Education Standards Panel as of June 2016

  23. No 13- National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Pathways to Higher Education

    Created: 31 August 2016

    Submissions received by the Higher Education Standards Panel as of June 2016

  24. No 14- Group of Eight

    Created: 31 August 2016

    Submissions received by the Higher Education Standards Panel as of June 2016

  25. No 15- Deakin University

    Created: 31 August 2016

    Submissions received by the Higher Education Standards Panel as of June 2016

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