Australia’s Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and Advance HE, whose purpose is to advance the professional practice of higher education, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MOU highlights the value both organisations place on sharing best practice across a range of areas such as accreditation, quality enhancement, teaching excellence, as well as leadership and equality and diversity.
Advance HE, which was recently formed as a result of the merger of the Equality Challenge Unit, the Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, inherits many close relationships with higher education institutions in Australia: most notably through HEA Fellowship and accredited programmes, and through the Athena SWAN Charter pilot, a national programme promoting gender equity and gender diversity in STEMM subjects.
Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive Officer of TESQA, said “I’m delighted that we have this MOU in place. The main goal for sharing and learning from best practice is to improve the student experience, and that’s why it’s important that we forge these partnerships. Over the last few years, Advance HE, in the guise of its component organisations, has become a feature of the quality landscape in Australia, and I welcome our ongoing partnership in equality and diversity, teaching excellence, and governance and leadership.”
Alison Johns, Advance HE chief executive, said, “The MOU with TEQSA highlights the very strong and long-term relationship between the Australian and UK higher education sectors where we both value sharing approaches and ideas which can help us deliver effective support to institutions in our respective contexts.
“All three of the organisations that have merged to form Advance HE have extensive experience in working globally and specifically in Australia. I’m confident that moving forward under the one Advance HE banner will mean an even stronger and more cohesive contribution to this exciting MOU.”
To date, there are more than 1,400 HEA Fellows in Australia, and over half the universities in Australia have taken up a formal partnership to support the professional learning and recognition for those who teach and support learning. The Athena SWAN Charter pilot in Australia, run by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), includes 44 pilot members made up of universities, medical research institutes and publicly-funded research agencies.