Higher Education Research

Title

The contribution and standards processes of private higher education providers

Publication Date

11-2009

Comments

This report was produced by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET)

Abstract

This research project has been conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET). The main purpose of this work is to provide information about the standards processes and practices among private1 higher education providers (HEPs) in Australia.

This project has used quantitative modelling to determine the size, diversity and recent growth of HEPs in Australia, and to provide a contextual base for this part of the sector in comparison with the public universities. A number of HEPs have also participated in consultations undertaken as part of this research. Participating providers were self-selecting, putting forward their interest in participating in the research following letters of invitation from ACPET. The consultations were designed to canvas the standards processes currently in place among Australian HEPs, and to collect information about good practice and areas for improvement in this regard.

This report begins by broadly examining the contribution – both quantitative as well as substantive – of the HEPs in Australia. This is done by examining national data relating to the higher education sector and noting some of the educational features of this part of the sector that differentiate it from public higher education institutions. The report then examines the current standards processes within Australian private HEPs, drawing primarily on information gathered during consultations with participating providers.

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