Upholding Quality - Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching

For: 

As part of the 2014-15 Budget, the Australian Government announced the Upholding Quality – Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching measure.

The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching are a coherent suite of surveys for higher education that cover the student life cycle from commencement to employment. The surveys include:

  • The University Experience Survey refers to results from students surveyed in 2013 and 2014.
  • The Course Experience Questionnaire refers to results from graduates surveyed in 2012 and 2013.
  • The Graduate Destination Survey which refers to results from graduates surveyed in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Release of website

A purpose built website is now available and captures the survey data results from the above predecessor surveys in an accessible web-based format known as QILT (www.qilt.edu.au).

The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching — or QILT — website helps students and their families make informed choices about their higher education options by bringing together survey data from all Australian universities about students’ experiences and graduate job outcomes.

With a few simple clicks, users can search for study areas and institutions of interest to them, and do side by side comparisons, including:

  • overall satisfaction of current students
  • overall satisfaction of recent graduates
  • outcomes of students moving into full-time employment after graduation and
  • the median salary received by recent graduates.

QILT survey participants include domestic and international undergraduate students who are currently studying, and recent graduates.

What’s next

From 2015 onwards there will be changes to the surveys. They include:

  • The University Experience Survey is being renamed Student Experience Survey, measuring satisfaction of current students.
  • The Graduate Destination Survey will be replaced by the Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) examining labour market outcomes of higher education graduates.
  • There is progress being made setting up a new Employer Satisfaction Survey (ESS) to assess the generic skills, technical skills and work readiness of graduates.
  • Information about all non-university higher education institutions will be added to the site as it becomes available to ensure that students can get good information about a range of higher education options.

The website will progressively incorporate information from the new Graduate Outcomes Survey and Employer Satisfaction Survey providing a full suite of information that covers the student journey from commencement right through to employment.

For the first time, Australia’s higher education surveys are conducted annually on a nationally consistent basis by an independent administrator contracted to the Department of Education and Training.

Background

The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching was established based on recommendations for the Development of Performance Measurement Instrument by the Advancing Quality in Higher Education Reference Group, chaired by Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice-Chancellor Griffith University:

Development of Performance Measures - Report of the Advancing Quality in Higher Education Reference Group

The Government established a Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching Working Group, to provide advice to the department on implementing the suite of surveys. The Working Group comprises representation from university executive staff, planning and management officials in universities, non-university higher education institutions, and business. It is chaired by Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice-Chancellor of Griffith University. Other members of the Working Group include:

  • Professor Alan Robson, Chair of the Higher Education Standards Panel
  • Professor Richard James, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the University of Melbourne, and member of the Higher Education Standards Panel
  • Ms Sue Mikilewicz, Director, Planning and Institutional Performance at the University of South Australia
  • Dr Scott Dickson, Dean of Navitas Professional Institute
  • Ms Megan Kirchner, Policy Director at the Business Council of Australia (BCA)
  • Ms Jenny Lambert, Director, Employment Education and Training at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

The Working Group advises the department on the implementation of the suite of surveys, and the approach to lower the survey and reporting burden on providers and students, improve incentives for providers to focus on quality teaching and enable Australia to internationally benchmark performance.

The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching is administered by the Social Research Centre under contract to the Department of Education and Training. This contract was awarded following a competitive tender process. The Social Research Centre is responsible for all aspects of survey administration, including selecting and contacting the students and graduates to be included in the surveys, as well as publishing results on the QILT website.