IHEA responds to TEQSA Review – Making and Assessing Claims of Scholarship and Scholarly Activity

Peak body cautions that a narrow definition of scholarship will impact diversity and quality in Australian higher education

14 December 2020 - Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) has today submitted its response to the TEQSA Review - Making and Assessing Claims of Scholarship and Scholarly Activity (Oct 2020). The paper outlines the draft proposed principles TEQSA will use to guide providers in making claims of scholarship, as an institution or individuals within an institution.

“IHEA recognises TEQSA’s intention to clarify its measurement of providers’ scholarly activities used for assessing claims, however, we have some reservations about the over-simplification and narrowing of the definition of scholarship and the ways scholarly activities will be assessed,” said Dr Sally Burt, IHEA Policy and Research Manager.

“IHEA Members agree with the concept and principle that proposed scholarly activity should be consistent with an established typology of scholarship, however, our submission raises a range of concerns about how this principle is expressed in the discussion paper.”

“In particular, a requirement to demonstrate a link between an individual scholarly activity to a specific output or outcome would be very difficult, as results may come from a combination of scholarly activity over a long timeframe. Predetermining outcomes would be contrary to the nature of scholarship and risk limiting the value of research outcomes while increasing administrative burden to institutions."

“IHEA members are supportive of the approach proposed in the TEQSA paper that  scholarship be assessed at the institutional level.”

“IHEA welcomes TEQSA’s commitment to ongoing and broader consultation on the assessment of scholarship.  In further consultations IHEA will propose a flexible approach that recognises diversity across the sector and supports innovation in the application and assessment of scholarship.”

IHEA’s submission also proposes: category-specific guidance for each activity; ensuring assessors have sufficient subject/discipline knowledge and an understanding of the provider’s mission and purpose; and, for professional activities to be clearly recognised as scholarship.

IHEA’s full submission to TEQSA can be downloaded here.

TEQSA’s consultation period on the scholarship review closed today and IHEA is looking forward to reviewing the draft guidance note in the new year.

Media contact: Sian Kilgour / IHEA Communications Manager / sian.kilgour@ihea.edu.au / 0402068398

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