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GRC Professional : GRC Winter 2012
15 THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR INTERNAL QuALITY auditing in tertiary education has traditional ly fallen to those who may not see this activity as core to their mission: academic staff. However, w ith funding allocations increasingly tied to proven excellence in research and teaching and learning, quality assurance processes and auditing are assuming a higher profi le and, conseque ntly, bett er r esourci ng. “There are definitely more oppor tunities for compliance professionals to move into the tertiary sector these days,” says Professor Annette Hamilton, former Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at the university of New South Wales and now Professor of Film Studies, teaching undergraduate units in the School of Arts and Media. Annet te’s previous roles have seen her work both at the management level of audit coordination and, as a teacher, at the coalface of data collection. “Standards for teaching and learning are set by government and implemented through processes in accordance w ith designated frameworks. In years past, although universities were obliged to demonstrate their compliance, this was largely left in the hands of faculties through the existing structure of departments or schools. Deans and associate deans had the primar y responsibility for ensur ing quality through implementation of practices and maint aining appropriate data collection through an audit committee of some kind. Basically, it came down to what ex isting teaching and administrative staff were able to achieve, manage and report back on. Now, many faculties are appointing dedicated teaching and learning officers whose duties include coordinating the audit process. Smaller administrative units such as departments and centres are also in some cases appointing such staff, depending on their capacity and needs.” This year, Curtin university, Bond univer sit y and Queens l and univer sit y of Technolog y a re a mong st those advertising for dedicated teaching and learning officers. Teaching and lear ning compliance is an example of the ‘carrot’ approach to compliance. Most tertiary institutions, despite significant revenue s from inter national st udent en rol ment s and col laborative re search g rant s, st il l depend in large part on federal funding for their survival. The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Quality assurance processes and auditing are assuming a higher profile, and consequently, better resourcing. Opportunities increasing for GRC professionals in higher education By oBeLIA MoDjeSKA X With the federal government allocating a greater share of funding to tertiary institutions that deliver demonstrable outcomes in teaching and learning quality, opportunities for compliance professionals are expanding in this sector.
GRC Autumn 2012
GRC Spring 2012