A number of Excelsia staff recently attended the Higher Education Provider – Quality Network (HEPP-QN) National Forum (20–21 November) and Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Conference (22–23 November) which were both held in Melbourne. In addition, the College’s SRC Co-President, Kirti Punjabi, attended the TEQSA Conference as the College’s student representative.
The theme of this year’s HEPP-QN National Forum was Self-Assurance in Higher Education. Excelsia’s Provost, and HEPP-QN Founding Convenor, Professor Jane Fernandez, invited participants (both in person and online) to step up to self-assurance and work to build greater trust in the sector, especially between institutions and regulators. These themes were revisited in a series of presentations, workshops and panels over the course of the two days, with participants discussing a wide range of topics including the Australian Universities Accord, Generative AI, self-accrediting authority, and the current threats and opportunities within the sector. One of the many highlights was a presentation and Q&A session by TEQSA Chief Commissioner Professor Peter Coaldrake AO, and his vision for the sector. Other key presenters were Professor Andrew Norton, Dr Michael Tomlinson, Dr Lindsay Heywood and Dr Paula Kelly. The HEPP-QN National Forum keynotes received strong commendation from HEPP-QN participants. A big thankyou goes to all HEPP-QN institutions who attended and a special thanks to survey respondents.
Many of the topics from the HEPP-QN National Forum were also featured at the TEQSA Conference, which, for this year, had the theme Reshaping Higher Education. Workshops and presentations covered assessment in the age of AI, contract cheating, support and safety for international and First Nations students, the Australian Universities Accord, skills for the future, QILT insights, and current issues for regulation in the higher education sector. As well as staff from within the sector, over 100 students were in attendance, both as participants and panel members, which provided valuable insights and perspectives.
Both the HEPP-QN National Forum and TEQSA Conference provided participants with a wealth of knowledge and many opportunities to network, and although there are clearly many challenges facing the sector, there are also many opportunities and an exciting future ahead.