Meetings & Events


  • 04 November 2015 8:30am — 05 November 2015 5:00pm
  • Parkroyal Hotel Arrival Drive Melbourne Airport VIC
  • About The Forum
  • Speakers
  • Presentations 4/11/15 Morning
  • Presentations 4/11/15 Afternoon
  • Presentations 5/11/15 Morning
  • Presentations 5/11/15 Afternoon
  • Venue and Accommodation
  • Sponsorship

Securing Standards


The 2015 Higher Education Compliance and Quality Forum will bring together speakers from across the nation to probe some of the biggest challenges facing Australia’s higher education sector under the theme “Securing Standards”.

The Forum, on November 4 and 5 at the Park Royal Hotel at Melbourne Airport, will explore standards from a broad perspective and begin with an opening plenary from Higher Education Standards Panel member Emeritus Professor Alan Robson. The incoming CEO of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Anthony McClaran and the Chief Commissioner will also take part in the Forum.

Some of the topics that will be put under the spotlight include the rise of contract cheating, raising standards through accreditation and international benchmarking, securing qualified staff, curriculum transformation, quality for learning and teaching and assuring the quality of achievement standards and their valid assessment.

Other topics include establishing a college of peers’ process to support the comparability of standards, defining standards for English in Australia, course review and design processes to ensure quality of design and delivery of degrees, recognising and rewarding teaching, students as partners in reviewing course quality and assessing the needs and preparedness of students through targeted assessment and support.

The two-day event will provide delegates with the opportunity to hear expert commentary, learn how institutions are tackling major issues, participate in practical sessions and network with colleagues from across the higher education sector.

Confirmed speakers include: Dr Sara Booth, Dr George Brown, Emeritus Professor Denise Chalmers, Professor Jane Fernandez, Julie Hare, Emeritus Professor Robin King, Associate Professor Romy Lawson, Professor Eeva Leinonen, Anthony Manahan, Deborah Murdoch, Professor Josua Pienaar, Dr Peter Pocock, Dominic Riordan, Emeritus Professor Geoff Scott, Associate Professor Theda Thomas, Associate Professor Joy Wallace, Professor Hilary Winchester, Professor Sally Varnham and Associate Professor Jon Yorke.



The Patron of the Higher Education Compliance and Quality Network, Emeritus Professor Kwong Lee Dow will open the Forum followed by Emeritus Professor Alan Robson from the Higher Education Standards Panel. The incoming CEO of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Anthony McClaran and the Chief Commissioner, Emeritus Professor Nicholas Saunders will also participate.

Speakers will provide insights into academic integrity and higher education standards.  They are:

Dr Jeanette Baird

Dr Simon Bedford

Dr Sara Booth

Dr Tracey Bretag

Dr George Brown

Emeritus Professor Denise Chalmers

Peter Czech

Professor Lee Di Milia

Professor Jane Fernandez

Julie Hare

Emeritus Professor Robin King

Associate Professor Romy Lawson

Professor Eeva Leinonen

Anthony Manahan

Deborah Murdoch

Professor Josua Pienaar

Dr Peter Pocock

Dominic Riordan

Professor Pauline Ross

Emeritus Professor Geoff Scott

Professor Zlatko Skrbis

Associate Professor Theda Thomas

Associate Professor Joy Wallace

Professor Hilary Winchester

Professor Sally Varnham

Associate Professor Jon Yorke

Securing Standards, 2015 Higher Education Compliance and Quality Forum

Presentation outlines

November 4, Morning Session

Emeritus Professor Kwong Lee Dow, Welcome and Overview



Emeritus Professor Alan Robson, Higher Education Standards Panel

The New Standards Framework in the current environment



Mr Anthony McClaran, TEQSA CEO

 Securing Standards: TEQSA's approach to Quality Assurance


Jeanette Baird, Vice President, Quality and Strategic Planning and Professor of Higher Education, Divine Word University Papua New Guinea

International alignment of higher education standards: the state of play

This presentation offers a stocktake of progress in achieving international alignment of various categories of standards in higher education, highlighting the differences between standards 'as written' and standards 'as achieved' and identifying emerging areas where greater attention could be useful.

A goal of many policy-makers is for anyone globally to access ready and reliable information on the standards that graduates of a specific institution confidently can be expected to have met, relating these to standards with which they are familiar. To this end, higher education now is awash with standards: for institutions; for programs; for qualifications; for disciplines; for graduates (arguably); and even for quality agencies. Nations around the world have similar standards 'as written' across many of these categories, notwithstanding the need to respect cultural, political, economic and faith-based variations in emphasis. It is comparatively easy to compare and align standards 'as written' with each other. The challenges emerge more clearly when it comes to comparing standards 'as achieved'. We like to have standards 'as achieved' validated by external experts but this process is expensive and time-consuming and may be less than transparent. Where then should the balance of attention be given if this goal is to be progressed and are there new areas that would warrant more attention in the development and assessment of higher education standards?



Professor Hilary Winchester, Provost, CQUniversity; Professor Lee Di Milia, Dean, School of Business, CQUniversity

Securing Qualified staff for higher education

This paper presents an important and tested example of one university’s approach to securing the standard of qualified staff to teach in higher education programs.

The Higher Education Standards Framework, in both its existing and proposed forms, states that academic staff should have specific knowledge and skills in teaching and a ‘a qualification in a relevant discipline at least one level higher than is awarded for the course of study, or equivalent relevant academic or professional or practice-based experience and expertise’. For many higher education providers, the challenge is not only to find staff with the appropriate qualifications (e.g, a Doctoral qualification to teach into a Master’s Degree) but also to determine what is meant by professional equivalence. In the case of staff without the appropriate qualifications, CQUniversity has developed a framework for professional experience which is being applied. This paper will outline the framework and its application. For those staff who do not have the appropriate qualifications, a landmark decision was recently reached by the Fair Work Commission which upheld CQUniversity’s view that the dismissal of a staff member without the relevant qualifications constituted a genuine redundancy. (U2015/3536 – Alizadeh v Central Queensland University).



Three complementary 10 minute sessions from the University of Wollongong

Professor Eeva Leinonen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Curriculum Transformation @ UOW

This first session will introduce the University of Wollongong philosophy and context by presenting the Curriculum Transformation Project. This is an ambitious institution-wide plan to build on and enhance top quality learning and teaching aimed at transforming student learning in order to maximise student success.

The project can be seen as transformative for students’ learning and teaching outcomes, for teaching practices and for organisational ownership and leadership of education. Perhaps the most transformative aspect of this work is how it optimises the curriculum as a framework for students’ learning and experience rather than as simply an organising framework for disciplinary knowledge. It also provides innovative ways of supporting staff in curriculum innovation and development of teaching practices as well as placing the ‘quality cycle’ at the centre of transformation and innovation. In a nutshell, curriculum transformation focuses on what we teach, how we assess learning and support students, and how we deploy our infrastructure and services to maximum educational advantage.

Dominic Riordan, Director, Academic Quality and Standards

Quality for learning and teaching

This session will unpack the University of Wollongong philosophy further to showcase the university’s quality cycle that has been adopted to ensure that objectives and standards are continually tested and improved.

The focus of this session will be the learning and teaching framework for quality assurance providing the rationale, examples of how it works in practice, as well as discussing the impact of the implementation. The University of Wollongong Standards and Quality Framework for Learning and Teaching defines and articulates standards for learning and teaching at the university. It provides a systematic means for managing and reporting on the quality performance of University of Wollongong programs measured against our own as well as externally mandated standards. The standards apply to all taught courses and describe what teachers and those who support teaching need to know, understand and put into practice. They also describe what students can expect from their learning experience at the University of Wollongong.

Associate Professor Romy Lawson, Director, Learning, Teaching and Curriculum

Assessment design for assuring quality

This final session will explore a whole of degree approach taken to assessment design at the University of Wollongong that aligns to the Revised Higher Education Standards Framework (2015).

This framework states that need for methods of assessment that are consistent with the learning outcomes being assessed, are capable of confirming that all specified learning outcomes are achieved and that grades awarded reflect the level of student attainment. To achieve this University of Wollongong has developed a set of assessment and feedback principles to support both students achieving high standards and the evidencing of these attainments. The principles include explicit alignment with course and subject learning outcomes; and focus on scaffolding and integrating learning, especially at key points throughout the course. Also a balance between formative assessment and learning tasks that engage students in productive opportunities to gain feedback in a timely, constructive manner to support the students’ continuous development and summative tasks for the purposes of assuring progress at key points in the course.



Emeritus Professor Geoff Scott, Western Sydney University and National Senior Teaching Fellow, Office for Learning and Teaching

Assuring the quality of achievement standards and their valid assessment in Australian higher education

Extensive work has been undertaken in projects and fellowships on assessment in Australian higher education funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. My presentation builds on this scholarship and reflects the outcomes of my work involving 2300 learning and teaching leaders from the world over the past year.

Higher education students graduate into a volatile and rapidly changing world. My OLT senior fellowship has given focus to building the capacity of Australian higher education institutions to ensure that the quality of their graduates keeps pace with the rapidly changing needs of the 21st century. Particular emphasis is being given to developing the change leadership capabilities of key local academic leaders to ensure that our graduates are not only work ready for today but work ready plus for tomorrow. Strengthened proficiency to identify, validate and develop relevant and desirable graduate capabilities, through strategies like utilisation of multiple reference points, will see institutions able to both assure the fitness of purpose of assessment and its fitness of purpose. The two integrating themes for my talk will be 'good ideas with no ideas on how to implement them are wasted ideas' and 'change doesn't just happen but must be led, and deftly'.


Emeritus Professor Denise Chalmers, University of Western Australia and National Senior Teaching Fellow, Office for Learning and Teaching

Recognising and rewarding teaching: Australian teaching criteria and standards and expert peer review

My Fellowship focuses on three complementary areas of activity under the unifying theme of rewarding and recognising teaching. The capacity of tertiary institutions to reward and recognise teaching has been elusive, despite progress being made in the development of teaching criteria and the identification of appropriate evidence of teaching excellence.  (1) Extend and embed the outcomes of the Australian University Teaching Criteria and Standards (AUTCAS) project;  (2) Investigate the feasibility of a sector-developed and endorsed Australian Professional Tertiary Teacher Standards (APTTS). This will provide an external standard against which individuals and institutions can benchmark teacher quality. (3) Investigate and trial a process of peer review that will apply teaching criteria and standards and model how to assess teaching excellence and quality.
The Fellowship will deliver outcomes for individuals, institutions and the Australian tertiary sector. It will investigate and demonstrate how to enhance and reward university teaching that sustains a focus on teaching that delivers quality student learning experiences.




November 4, Afternoon Session

Adjunct Professor Belinda Probert, La Trobe University, seconded to the Office for Learning and Teaching 2013-15

Why the academic community should get involved in defining educational quality and not leave it to regulators, managers or the market



Dr Sara Booth, Strategic Advisor Quality (External), University of Tasmania

Proof of concept trial of online peer review tool

The aim of this session is to provide an overview of a proof-of-concept trial of an online peer review tool which is being tested with a group of universities and private providers.

The proof-of-concept trial was commissioned by Education Services Australia (ESA), a not-for-profit company owned by Australian Education Ministers, to explore options in the higher education sector. The aim of the proof-of-concept trial was to look for technology solutions that: 1) provide streamlined, sustainable and cost effective solutions to support interchange of good practice around core business operations, with a particular focus on assuring the quality of program level outcomes and their assessment and; 2) address the quality assurance and standards imperatives in the higher education sector. The national regulatory environment has put the onus on higher education institutions to provide an evidence-based approach to assuring standards and quality. Peer review and benchmarking is a strategy to foster comparability of standards as well as serve as a basis for quality improvement. The proposed, revised Higher Education Standards (2014) outlines requirements for benchmarking and external referencing [Standards 1.4.1; 5.3.1; and 5.3.2]. Course Accreditation Standard 5.5 refers to course benchmarking, not only of intended achievement standards but also of student data.



Professor Jane Fernandez, Vice-President (Quality and Strategy), Avondale College of Higher Education

The ‘bench’ in benchmarking



Deborah Murdoch, Assessment Design Coordinator, Faculty of Business, Charles Sturt University

Overview of course review and design processes to ensure quality of design and delivery of degrees to meet higher education standards

This presentation involves a discussion of the processes to ensure course design that complies with and exceeds higher education standards.

The Faculty of Business at Charles Sturt University has developed a course review process that can map, analyse and document course design to ensure that quality outcomes can be achieved that deliver the coherent and progressive requirements of the Higher Education Standards. The process has been developed by a number of people over a period of time and continues to evolve as it progresses. The course review follows a four stage process that guides teams through the standards required and inspires achievement of more than compliant quality. The analytical process provides information and feedback to course teams about the design and documentation of course learning outcomes for a whole of course perspective. Subject learning outcomes are assessed and evaluated for quality and alignment to the AQF. Assessment is designed and documented for a range of criteria, and subject information evidences quality design and delivery. The process requires the development of a range of specialised skills. These include knowledgeable analytical skills for discerning quality across multiple courses, a great understanding of higher education standards, a particular expertise in language analysis, and interpretive skills to communicate the information to others less experienced in course design.



Professor Sally Varnham, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney

Students as partners: the student voice in university decision making and governance – discussion of an Office for Learning and Teaching project

This presentation is a discussion of a Learning and Teaching Office funded strategically commissioned project.

The presentation draws on the experience and practice of student engagement at all levels within UK universities, and in the processes of external bodies such as the UK Quality Assurance Agency, pursuant to The Student Engagement Partnership. My research overseas also includes experience in the area in Europe and in New Zealand.  I am currently surveying Australian universities to identify practices and processes here, working towards a Student Engagement Conversation (such as in the UK) and the development of pilot processes in some Australian universities.



Dr Sara Booth, Strategic Advisor Quality (External), University of Tasmania

Establishing a College of Peers process to support the compatibility of standards

The aim of this session is to provide an overview of the findings from the Office for Learning and Teaching Peer Review of Assessment Network (PRAN) Project (Booth, et al, 2015).

With the increased focus on learning and teaching standards by quality assurance agencies through validating Program Level Outcomes through benchmarking external reference points (AQA, QAA, TEQSA), the focus on developing a sector-wide support model for peer review is timely. The establishment of a College of Peers Process extends the work of a 1200 strong network from the PRAN Project (Booth et al, 2015) which recommended the establishment of a College of Peers process as a mechanism of support for a national network in peer review. It builds on the HEFCE Report (2015) which recommended strengthening the external examiner system through establishing discipline communities [i.e. Colleges of Peers]. The purpose of establishing a College of Peers process is to provide: 1) national and international support networks and websites in peer review; 2) face-to-face workshops and forums on different models of peer review;  3) access to an online peer review tool, including clearinghouse of good practice and peer review register; and a training package for peer review, an international journal of peer review and other online resources.



Associate Professor Jon Yorke, Director Assessment and Quality Learning, Curtin University

Breaking bad? Contract cheating and the threat to standards

This presentation will discuss the issue of contract cheating, including: the threat to standards and reputational risk, the changes over time with prevalence in the student body, changed attitudes, how easy it is, what the costs are, how quickly you can outsource your work, how many students are doing this, exploring (briefly) some high profile cases that have given us an opportunity to learn more, what universities can do with regard to detection and (most importantly) what we can do to prevent this and how this aligns with the Higher Education Standards with regard to preventative action.

November 5 Morning Session

Dr Simon Bedford, Assessment and Feedback, Learning, Teaching and Curriculum, University of Wollongong and Peter Czech, Senior Policy and Project Manager, Office of the Dean, Learning and Teaching RMIT

External Referencing of Standards (EROS) project. A collaboration between RMIT, Queensland University of Technology, University of Wollongong and Curtin University.

This presentation will discuss a collaborative project about external referencing of programs involving five universities.

The Higher Education Standards outline requirements around external referencing of programs that
must be routinely undertaken by universities. The methodologies, evaluative framework, templates and documentation to be used remains for universities to determine. This has been the driver behind this External Referencing of Standards (EROS) Project that will advance co-operative external referencing, institutional self-evaluation and quality improvement between the RMIT, Queensland University of Technology, Wollongong University and Curtin University.


Professor Josua Pienaar, Deputy Dean (Learning and Teaching), School of Engineering and Technology, Higher Education Division, CQUniversity

Assessing the needs and preparedness of students through targeted assessment and support

Within a changing university environment, which is becoming increasingly open in terms of participation, there is a need to identify and support students entering university without the assumed prior knowledge. 

Widening participation has enabled more students, including those who once would have been excluded, to attend university.  The Higher Education Standards Framework recognises the need to both assess the preparedness of individuals and provide timely academic support. Often students enter degree programs unaware of gaps in their assumed knowledge.  The problem is that students, due to an inability to self-assess and self-regulate, often do not know they need support until after they have failed summative assessment, which is too late.   The challenge is then to make these students aware of their gaps and provide timely effective support.  CQUniversity Australia has conducted trials on the use of Video Enhanced Multiple Choice Questions as a means of enabling students to self-assess, identify and overcome their knowledge gaps prior to and during a unit of study.  This paper will demonstrate the approach taken and the findings of the trial.



Associate Professor Theda Thomas, School of Arts, Faculty of Arts and Education, Australian Catholic University

 Thinking of standards from first year – an Office for Learning and Teaching funded project.

This presentation will discuss an Office for Learning and Teaching funded project that analysed the TLOs for geography, history, sociology and politics and draft Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs)for English in order to determine what students at first year need to know and do in order to set them on the path to meeting these outcomes by the time they graduate. 

When we discuss standards in higher education we normally refer to standards that we want our graduates to achieve.  In order to reach these standards, however, we need to ensure that we start thinking of them from first year.  TLOs were developed for a variety of subjects under the ALTC learning standards project in 2010-2011.  Since then a number of discipline areas have developed TLOs for their disciplines. This presentation will discuss why it is important to engage lecturers and curriculum developers with thinking about these TLOs from first year and will demonstrate the methods used in an OLT project “Renewing First Year Curricula for Social Sciences and Humanities in the context of discipline threshold standards”.  The project investigated the needs of students coming into first year, the threshold concepts and skills that they need to master, the barriers to them learning these concepts and skills and the ways in which we as lecturers can foster students’ understanding of the concepts and skills.   Five major workshops involving 137 participants from 30 universities were used to gain insight into these issues and engage first year lecturers and curriculum designers with the TLOs.  The project website can be found at



Associate Professor Joy Wallace, Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching), Faculty of Arts, Charles Sturt University

Threshold concepts and threshold learning outcomes: defining standards for English in Australia

English in Australia has lagged behind other Humanities disciplines in defining graduate standards.  Whereas History, Geography, Sociology and Politics have all established Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs), either during or subsequent to the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Discipline Standards Project, English as yet has no agreed set of standards for students graduating with a major in the discipline.  A recent confluence of activity, however, has galvanised the process of establishing standards.  The new peak body for tertiary English, Australian University Heads of English (AUHE) decided as a founding project to progress the establishment of TLOs for English.  This coincided productively with the work of an Office for Learning and Teaching funded project on teaching First Year Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (ASSH) disciplines in the context of TLOs.  In order to provide draft TLOs for the OLT project team to work with, a workshop funded by the project was run in Sydney, in May 2014, with members of AUHE, to produce draft TLOs.  These draft TLOs were then debated and refined at the June 2014 OLT project workshop on First Year. This close integration of the drafting of TLOs with consideration of how to set first year students on the path to meeting them in their final year has brought into productive relationship some distinct bodies of literature: not only on standards, but also on signature pedagogies and on Threshold Learning Concepts, with the associated work on barriers to student learning in their discipline.  This conceptual richness brings a distinctiveness to further work on establishing the TLOs for English.  The intention is to complete the English TLOs project in 2016 as a Special Studies Program of the project leader, Joy Wallace of Charles Sturt University.



Emeritus Professor Robin King, University of Technology Sydney, the Australian Council of Engineering Deans

Raising engineering education standards through accreditation and international benchmarking

This presentation outlines how the internationally benchmarked national accreditation system, and participation in the AHELO feasibility project have contributed to raising the standards of engineering degrees.

As a defined occupational area, national standards for formative engineering programs are set by the external membership body, Engineers Australia (EA).  The EA accreditation program function has focussed on evaluating programs against defined graduate competencies since 2000.  The Australian Council of Engineering Deans and the engineering education community, through the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, are also constructive partners in developing and implementing these standards.  The EA competencies are also benchmarked against the internationally agreed graduate attribute specifications set by members of the International Engineering Alliance that oversees the Washington Accord and other standards-based agreements.   In addition, several Australian engineering schools participated in the OECD supported AHELO (Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes) feasibility study that concluded in 2012.  This paper outlines how the internationally benchmarked national accreditation system, and participation in the AHELO feasibility project have contributed to raising the standards of engineering degrees.



Dr Peter Pocock, Course Director Senior Lecturer, School of Theology, St Mark’s Theological Centre, Charles Sturt University

After standards: TLOs, the AQF and the application of standards in theology

This presentation will discuss the theological sector's adoption of Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs), the new Australian Qualifications Framework and changing policy in this 'After Standards' environment.

In 2010 the Council of Deans of Theology (CDTh), in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (ANZATS) developed Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) for a Bachelor of Theology. Since the creation of these TLOs the Australian higher education sector has seen extensive change with the introduction of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), the new Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and continuing rapid movement in government policy. The theological sector, as a sub-set of the higher education sector, has had to adapt rapidly while, as Brawley et al suggest, addressing the ". . .importance of building capacity within the. . .discipline both to engage policy makers, . . . and to take an active role in the defining and implementing [of] national standards. . ."



Professor Zlatko Skrbis, Vice-Provost (Graduate Education) Monash University, Secretary, Australian Council for Graduate Research

Research training and the new higher education standards framework

This presentation will consist of two parts. The first part will reflect on the resources available for Deans of Graduate Research to ensure minimum standards and regulatory requirements are met, and to promote best practice.  A central depository for such guidelines is the Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) website.  The ACGR’s mission is to promote excellence in research training and scholarship and to promote high standards for all higher degree by research programs nationally. The second part will examine the impact of the revised Threshold Standards as they relate to research training, academic and research integrity, corporate governance, academic governance and learning outcomes.  Attendees are welcome to raise issues with Professor Skrbis at the end of the session.



Professor Pauline Ross, Professor of Biology and Education Strategy, Western Sydney University, National Teaching Fellow, the Office for Learning and Teaching

The changing nature of the academic role in science

Universities are incubators of discoveries and creators of new knowledge through research; in the global education marketplace, research forms universities reputations. 

Education being lowly ranked and largely ignored in universities is not new; for decades universities have undervalued academics focused on education. Educational change is now the near horizon for universities.  Academic roles which have remained remarkably resilient are differentiating and the value of an educational academic role, not solely focussed on disciplinary research, is gaining credibility.  This research will report on perspectives of academic roles from both senior leaders and coal face academics in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), as part of a National Teaching Fellowship funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching.


Rod Camm, CEO, Australian Council of Private Education and Training

What is quality - from an ACPET perspective



Professor Jeanette Baird, Vice-President, Quality and Strategic Planning and Professor of Higher Education, Divine Word University, Papua New Guinea

Global mobility and academic qualification fraud

In an era of global mobility, how easy is it for a graduate to provide acceptable evidence of their qualifications to prospective employers? Fake degrees from real universities and real degrees from fake universities seem to be all over the place. How does an employer know whether an institution in a distant country is 'real' or not? How does an employer know that an academic transcript is genuine? This session will highlight issues of academic qualification fraud and portability of qualifications, pointing to the need for collective and systematic responses.



Anthony Manahan,

The journey to credential security

This presentation will provide an overview of the Digital Student Data Project which is exploring the development of a mechanism for managing digital student academic record data across Australia and New Zealand universities. Benefits of the project include credential and qualification security, student mobility and credential portability, process automation and more efficient services, enhanced international student recruitment opportunities and full participation in the Groningen Declaration.



Dr Tracey Bretag, Director: Office for Academic Integrity, Business School, University of South Australia

Contract cheating and assessment design: Is there a connection?

Following the MyMaster cheating scandal in early 2015 it became apparent to the Australian higher education sector that there is an unaddressed problem with students using online essay mills, cheat sites, file sharing sites and ghost writers to complete their assessments. Despite the best efforts of educators to create personalized, sequential, 'real-world' assignments, the type of assessment item seems not to prevent it from being able to be outsourced. Like any commodity, assignments can be bought and sold for a price, and even within extreme timelines of hours rather than days. It is time to acknowledge that it is possible, and indeed it is increasingly common, for almost any sort of academic assignment to be contracted out to a paid third party.  Drawing on early thinking from an OLT project proposal (Bretag & Harper et al), this presentation challenges the notion that 'authentic' assessment is a panacea to current concerns about contract cheating. Instead, assessment design will be presented as one critical component of a many-faceted and holistic approach which requires commitment from all educational stakeholders to foster a culture of academic integrity.



Panel discussion and wrap-up chaired by The Australian’s Higher Education Editor, Julie Hare and featuring Dr Tracey Bretag, University of South Australia, Mustika Indah (Nina) Kharina, President, Council of International Students Australia, Professor Belinda Probert, La Trobe University and Harry Rolf, President, Australian Council of Postgraduate Associations.



The venue for the 2015 HECQN FORUM is the Park Royal Hotel, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport.

The hotel is located over the Airport Car Park directly opposite the International Terminal at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport.

Parking is available to HECQN Forum delegates for $15 for 3-24 Hours but you must have your ticket validated at Hotel Reception before you go to your car.


Accommodation Information


The Park Royal Hotel offer a special rate for delegates attending the Forum. To make a reservation and avail yourself of the following agreed rates, please contact:

Apple on :    +61 3 8347 2027

Quoting the group name of HECQN or: 332476

Room Type

Room Only

Room with Breakfast

Standard King Room



Standard Superior Room




Forum delegates are responsible for their own accommodation.


We would like to acknowledge the support of:

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Sponsorship opportunities are still available and Higher Ed Services invites you to align your business with the 2015 Higher Education Compliance and Quality Forum by sponsoring key events and social activities or attending as a delegate to network and build relationships and keep up to date with the pressing issues facing the Australian higher education sector. For more information or to discuss any details please contact HECQN Convenor Jacqui Elson-Green at or HES Events Manager Karen Hanna at

To download Sponsorship Prospectus please click here

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