Birmingham moves to protect unis from intrusive industry accreditors

The government will legislate professional accreditation to prevent industry bodies judging the performance of universities in areas assessed by industry watchdog TEQSA. Education Minister Simon Birmingham is expected to tell the Universities Australia conference the government will adopt recommendations on reform from the Higher Education Standards Panel designed to “alleviate some of the burden” on universities.

The panel proposes legislation to limit accreditation processes to “profession specific issues” and to exclude industry bodies from looking at university operations such as, academic governance, facilities management, general student support and assessment integrity, which are assessed by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency. TEQSA will also advise accreditation bodies on performance and quality-assurance. 

HESP’s proposals follow an independent review by consultants PhillipsKPA last year, which found universities must deal with up to 100 bodies that accredit courses and warned; “there is a perception in some professions that accreditation is about controlling numbers who enter the profession rather than societal or economic need.” (CMM November 8 2017).


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