TEQSA conference showcases diversity of Australia's higher education sector

November 21, 2016

More than 420 delegates came together in Melbourne on Wednesday 9 November for TEQSA's first conference titled Sharing Excellence: Assuring Quality. 

The conference highlights included thought-provoking plenary sessions and panel discussions. Keynote addresses were delivered by Murdoch University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eeva Leinonen Externality in Academic Quality Assurance and Enhancement and Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO Redtape or Giftwrap

Panels discussed the student experience, the international student experience, data, innovation and explored how to engage students in quality assurance settings and the future of quality assurance. 

A conference highlight was the student panel titled What do students want? What does a quality student experience look like?

Hosted by University of New England Vice-Chancellor, Professor Annabelle Duncan, the panel featured Australian and international undergraduate and postgraduate students from Holmesglen Institute, the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University, Sydney Institute of Business and Technology and Victoria University.

TEQSA CEO Anthony McClaran said that students were at the heart of the higher education sector and that TEQSA was pleased to provide a dedicated student panel at its first conference. “TEQSA recognises the importance of listening to the views of students and that their perspectives are essential in enhancing the quality of the educational experience regardless of where they study and whether it’s on campus or online,” he said.

“Feedback from delegates revealed this session was invaluable and that the sector is keen for more opportunities for this type of direct interaction. The students who participated also appreciated the opportunity to share their ideas.”

He said the conference showcased the diversity of Australia's higher education sector and supported one of the key objectives of the TEQSA Act 2011 which is for TEQSA to protect and enhance excellence, diversity and innovation in the higher education sector in Australia. “Ultimately diversity encourages innovation and listening to voices from the sector plays a vital role in helping us meet our key objectives to maintain Australia’s high standards of education and to continue to ensure we have the right quality assurance settings.”

Editor and Publisher of Campus Morning Mail, Dr Stephen Matchett concluded the conference on a high note with his Sector Observations. Mr McClaran said that TEQSA is already planning next year’s conference as well as further initiatives where the student voice will be central.

The TEQSA Conference was held in collaboration with Higher Ed Services and followed by the annual HES Higher Education Compliance and Quality Forum. Registrations are already open for the 2017 TEQSA Conference which will be held on 29 and 30 November at the Grand Hyatt, Collins Street, Melbourne.