New HEA ‘Australasian Strategic Advisory Board’ sets course for teaching and learning support

13 February 2017

Higher education institutions in Australasia and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) have met in Canberra for the inaugural meeting of the HEA ‘Australasian Strategic Advisory Board’ (ASAB).

The Board, from HEA subscribing institutions in Australia and New Zealand, will provide oversight of the HEA’s plans and activities in support of teaching in higher education in the region.

Professor Abby Cathcart, QUT (Queensland University of Technology) said, “I think this initiative is extremely positive and the inaugural meeting has set this group on a clear path of greater partnership with the HEA as a global benchmark for our practice in learning and teaching and a basis for ongoing quality enhancement.”

Dr Mark Jones, HEA Chief Operating Officer, said, “I was very encouraged by this first meeting. ASAB will be extremely important in informing the HEA’s work to support and share best practice in teaching in the region.

“While there are many challenges in HE which are common across the globe, particular contexts bring their own nuances and priorities, and it’s really important that we account for these on a dynamic basis, in partnership with the Board, so that we provide the best possible response to our subscribers wherever they are based.”

The HEA supports institutions in developing their teaching strategies and to tackle challenges such as employability, retention, and assessment & feedback, by sharing evidence-based approaches to teaching. And it helps individual teaching staff to develop their practice at every stage of their career through HEA Fellowship.

The past two years have seen a significant growth in the HEA’s work across Australasia. Initially led by the development of an HEA accredited ‘Fellowship’ scheme at ANU (Australia National University). In fact, during the Board meeting, Dr Jones presented Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, DVC Academic ANU, with the HEA certificate to mark the reaccreditation of the University’s Educational Fellowship Scheme.

There are now well over 700 HEA Fellows across Australasia and more than ten Australasian institutions are working with the HEA to support their teaching development.

The ASAB will meet three times per year, hosted virtually or by different institutions across the region and chaired by one of the Australasian-based members of the group on a two-year rotation.

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