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Govt to focus on supporting teaching excellence

Government to focus on supporting teaching excellence

The government is moving to a greater focus on supporting excellence in tertiary teaching, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The reform of the tertiary education system has placed renews emphasis on excellence. The government has already introduced measures to support excellence in tertiary education sector research through a Performance-Based Research Fund and Centres of Research Excellence.

Speaking at the launch of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Fellowship Professional Recognition and Development Scheme this evening, Steve Maharey said the next priority was ensuring there were equally effective measures in place to ensure excellence in tertiary teaching.

“We have already set in place annual Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards, which recognise excellence in tertiary teachers and inspire others to lift their own teaching practice.

“Our next move will be the introduction of a performance element to the tuition subsidies paid to tertiary education organisations. This will provide incentives, through marginal changes in funding, to bring about a systematic focus on improving educational gain by learners. We will need to work closely with the sector in the design of the performance element. We are setting up a small technical working party to begin this work, and a proposed approach will be put to a wider sector representative group and be published before the end of the year.

“We have also begun working towards a process of putting together a Strategic Review and Plan for the Tertiary Education Workforce.

“The government is now looking at where to go from there. Possibilities include:

Establishing some sort of overall ‘academy’ or ‘national institute’ to support the development of teaching as is happening now in Australia and the United Kingdom (or alternatively focussing first at the individual subject level);

Consideration of making funding available for the professional development of teachers within the tertiary education sector; Expecting new entrants to the tertiary teaching workforce to attain accredited teacher status as the United Kingdom is moving to do.

“Both the Tertiary Education Commission and myself are giving thought to these sort of questions at the moment and we are interested in feedback from the sector and interested stakeholders,” Steve Maharey said.

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