A leading science and technology advocate will join the Higher Education Standards Panel, strengthening its capacity to advise on issues relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. 

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham has reappointed the Chair and members of the Higher Education Standards Panel for a further two year period, together with the new panel member – Dr Krystal Evans.

Minister Birmingham said the Higher Education Standards Panel will help ensure there is a smooth transition to a revised higher education standards framework, which will take effect in January 2017.

“Dr Krystal Evans is a leading advocate for science and technology and has over 15 years’ experience in the biomedical research sector, meaning she will add great insight and experience to the panel,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“We need to support innovation and encourage the take-up of STEM subjects to maintain our world-class higher education system.”

Minister Birmingham said Professor Peter Shergold AC will continue as Chair of the Panel, supported by continuing current members Professor Alan Robson AO, Professor Greg Craven, Ms Karen Thomas and the Hon Phil Honeywood. 

“Over the next two years the Panel will also work and advise me on a wide range of quality-related issues, including options for improving the transparency of student admissions policies and reviewing the impact of the TEQSA Act on the higher education system.

“I want the Panel to explore how to ensure incoming students are ‘uni-ready’. That means having a clear understanding of what they need to do to get into their course of choice and realising what will be expected of them through their further study.

“While universities determine their own admission requirements, exploring greater transparency measures will ensure that Australian students are provided real information on what they need to do to be admitted to a course at a particular institution and universities are held to account for their public entry requirements.
“This will help to better match students’ aptitudes and interests to particular courses and institutions and ensure appropriate incentives to maintain high quality standards. 

“I look forward to working with the Panel as it continues its work upholding quality in higher education.”

The membership of the Higher Education Standards Panel is:
• Professor Peter Shergold AC: Chancellor, Western Sydney University (chair)
• Professor Alan Robson AO CitWA: Former Vice Chancellor, University of Western Australia
• Professor Greg Craven: Vice Chancellor, Australian Catholic University
• Ms Karen Thomas: Managing Partner, Fisher Jeffreys, Adelaide
• The Hon Phil Honeywood; CEO International Education Association of Australia
• Dr Krystal Evans: CEO BioMelbourne Network

The Panel has been appointed for the period of 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2018.

Minister Birmingham’s media contact:              James Murphy 0478 333 974
       Nick Creevey 0447 644 957
Department Media:                                               media@education.gov.au