TEQSA conference successfully showcases diversity of higher education sector

November 8, 2016
More than 420 specialists came together in Melbourne on Wednesday 9 November for TEQSA's first conference titled Sharing Excellence: Assuring Quality  to discuss the challenges facing quality assurance of Australia’s higher education sector and explore opportunities for sharing excellence in practice. 
Held at the Park Royal Hotel, 9am-4.30pm, highlights included thought-provoking plenary sessions, panel discussions and ways to enhance the student experience. 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 topics ranging from Student experience and excellenceDriving data excellencebeyond the standardsWhat are we doing to create a quality international student experience to Innovate/Create/Engage and Be seen be heard – are we listening?  The full conference program is available http://hes.edu.au/assets/HECQ-FORUM-TEQSA-CONF-2016/TEQSA-Program-20161102-Portrait-for-print-4.pdf
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.