The Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP)

For: 

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. Academic Credit Arrangements (Credit Recognition)

    Created: 3 September 2020

    The department commissioned PhillipsKPA consultants to undertake background research to support consideration of the adequacy of the regulatory framework for academic credit...

  2. Advice from the Higher Education Standards Panel to TEQSA

    Created: 18 May 2015

    Advice from the Higher Education Standards Panel to TEQSA regarding the application of the Higher Education Standards Framework for regulatory purposes - December 2014

  3. Amending the Higher Education Standards Framework: Provider Category Standards- HESP Consultation paper

    Created: 24 February 2020

    Amending the Higher Education Standards Framework: Provider Category Standards. Higher Education Standards Panel Consultation Paper - February 2020.

  4. Attrition, Retention, Success and Completion Data

    Created: 9 June 2017

    Attrition, Retention, Success and Completion Data

  5. Australian Government response

    Created: 18 December 2018

    Australian Government response to the advice of the HESP on student academic integrity and cheating

  6. Australian Government response to the Higher Education Standards Panel's report on improving the transparency of higher education admissions

    Created: 16 December 2016

    Australian Government response to the Higher Education Standards Panel's report on improving the transparency of higher education admissions.

  7. Communiqué 1 – Introduction to the Higher Education Standards Panel and its operation- June 2012

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 1 – Introduction to the Higher Education Standards Panel and its operation  - June 2012

  8. Communiqué 2 – Issues to date, approaches, initial priorities- August 2012

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 2 – Issues to date, approaches, initial priorities- August 2012

  9. Communiqué 3 – Feedback on Teaching and Learning discussion paper- September 2012

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 3 – Feedback on Teaching and Learning discussion paper - September 2012

  10. Communiqué 4 – Organising framework for Higher Education Standards- November 2012

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 4 – Organising framework for Higher Education Standards - November 2012

  11. Communiqué 5 – Decision criteria and standards development process  - November 2012

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 5 – Decision criteria and standards development process  - November 2012

  12. Communiqué 6- Summary of progress during 2012 - December 2012

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 6 - Summary of progress during 2012 - December 2012

  13. Communiqué 7- Technical Amendments to the HE Standards Framework - March 2013

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 7 - Technical Amendments to the HE Standards Framework - March 2013

  14. Communiqué 8- HES Reference Points and update on Organising Framework - May 2013

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 8 - HES Reference Points and update on Organising Framework - May 2013

  15. Communiqué 9- Feedback on Call for Comment Number 2 - September 2013

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 9 - Feedback on Call for Comment Number 2 - September 2013

  16. Communiqué 10- Summary of progress during 2013- December 2013

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 10 - Summary of progress during 2013 - December 2013

  17. Communiqué 11- Report on HESP Information Session on 14 May 2014 - June 2014

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 11 - Report on HESP Information Session on 14 May 2014 - June 2014

  18. Communiqué 12- Feedback on Call for Comment Number 3- August 2014 

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 12 - Feedback on Call for Comment Number 3 - August 2014 

  19. Communiqué 13- OLT/Higher Education Standards Panel Research Fellowship - October 2014 

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 13 - OLT/Higher Education Standards Panel Research Fellowship - October 2014 

  20. Communiqué 14- Final Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework- 12 December 2014

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 14 - Final Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework - 12 December 2014

  21. Communiqué 15- Final Communique from the Inaugural Panel and Summary of progress during 2014- 12 December 2014

    Created: 29 April 2015

    Communiqué 15 - Final Communique from the Inaugural Panel and Summary of progress during 2014 - 12 December 2014

  22. Comparison of Part A (Standards for Higher Education)

    Created: 6 May 2015  |  Last modified: 4 March 2016

    Comparison of Part A (Standards for Higher Education) of the Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework to requirements of the current Framework - December 2014

  23. Comparison of Part B (Criteria for Higher Education Providers)

    Created: 6 May 2015  |  Last modified: 4 March 2016

    Comparison of Part B (Criteria for Higher Education Providers) of the Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework to requirements of the current Framework - December 2014

  24. Comparison of Part D (Definitions and Explanations of Terms)

    Created: 6 May 2015

    Comparison of Part D (Definitions and Explanations of Terms) of the Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework to requirements of the current Framework - April 2014

  25. Comparison of the ESOS National Code 2007 Parts C & D to the Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework- December 2014

    Created: 6 May 2015  |  Last modified: 4 March 2016

    Comparison of the ESOS National Code 2007 Parts C & D to the Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework - December 2014

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