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.

The HESP:

  • Provides advice and recommendations on making or varying the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (the Threshold Standards),and other matters relating to those Standards – either at the Minister’s request or the Panel’s own initiative
  • 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

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

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.

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.

Recent projects