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.
Role and responsibilities
The Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP) provides independent advice to the Minister(s) responsible for tertiary education and research.
- Making or varying the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards)
- Is independent of the quality assurance agency, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)
- Is responsible for advice on how to maintain the quality and standards of Australia’s higher education system
- Advises and makes recommendations to TEQSA on matters relating to the Threshold Standards – either at their request or the Panel's own initiative
- Consults with interested parties in carrying out its work
- Establishes advisory committees to assist in performing its functions
|Professor Steve Chapman||Chair|
|Professor Kerri-Lee Krause||Deputy Chair|
|Professor Helen Bartlett||Member|
|Professor Joe Chicharo||Member|
|Professor Doug Hilton||Member|
|Ms Adrienne Nieuwenhuis||Member|
|Dr David Perry||Member|
|Ms Kadi Taylor||Member|
Go HESP Member profiles to find out more about individual panel members.
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.
On 30 March 2020, the HESP provided its advice and proposed amendments to the Threshold Standards to the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan.
To support the Panel’s consideration, PhillipsKPA consultants were commissioned to undertake background research and provided an Academic Credit Recognition report.
Amending the Higher Education Standards Framework - Provider Category Standards
In October 2018 the Minister Tehan asked 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 HESP was asked to be the steering committee for the review.
- A discussion paper was released for the review in late 2018.
- Professor Coaldrake’s final report proposed 10 recommendations
- The Australian Government’s response accepted the aim of all of these proposed recommendations
The Minister asked the HESP 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 supported by a discussion paper and provided its advice to the Minister on this matter.
- Final report: Improving retention, completion and success in higher education: was provided in June 2018. All 18 recommendations were agreed to in the Government’s Response. Minister Tehan 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 and opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden: was provided to the Australian Government in February 2018. This Panel’s advice was informed in part by a report commissioned from PhillipsKPA consultants, Professional Accreditation: Mapping the territory. The Government accepted the Panel’s advice in principle.
- Improving transparency of higher education admissions was provided on 16 November 2016. The Panel's recommendations on options to improve the transparency of higher education student admissions policies were accepted in the Government's Response to the Higher Education Standards Panel's report.