Australian Statement of Interest in the Groningen Declaration Georgetown UniversityWashington D.C. 9 April 2014 Presentation to Groningen Declaration Annual Meeting Ms Ainslie Moore, Policy Director International, Universities Australia Mr Neil Robinson, Academic Registrar, The University of Melbourne VenueCity/State1 January 2007
Overview • The Tertiary Education Landscape in Australia • Current Practice • The Benefits of Participation • The Potential for Australian Participation in the Groningen Declaration • Statement of Interest • Next Steps
The Tertiary Education Landscape in Australia • The Australian tertiary education sector is comprised of 39 universities, spanning 6 states and 2 territories. • Universities Australiais the peak body representing the university sectorin the public interest, both nationally and internationally. Each of the Australian universities are represented by their Chief Executive Officer - the Vice-Chancellor. • Applications for most undergraduate courses are processed through the tertiary admissions centre (TACs) in each state. Most graduate course applications are submitted directly to each institution.
Current Practice • A variety of different document verification and certification practices are used across the sector, including a mix of electronic and manual processes. • E.g. Most Australian Universities appear to have a system whereby students and former students can apply for academic transcripts online. However, the requests are then processed manually and sent to the applicant via mail. • The TACs have permission to make enquiries and retrieve academic transcripts from universities through an Automated Results Transfer System (ARTS). QualSearch, the web-front end of ARTS, allows authorised employers, registered bodies, and occupational associations to check the qualifications and results of applicants who have granted the appropriate release. • The Australian National University (ANU) has adopted technology that allows its students, graduates and third parties to view academic documents online using a secure service provided by Digitary®.
The Benefits of Participation For students: • Enhanced mobility (25% of students in Australia come from overseas and many local students also travel for graduate study) • Streamlined process • Quick and easy access to educational data • Secure data platform For participating universities: • Cost savings and efficiency gains • The removal of time consuming and manual administrative processes • Reduction in fraudulent certificates
The Potential for Australian Participation the Groningen Declaration Survey of Institutions • In late 2013/early 2014, Australian universities were surveyed to determine the readiness of the sector to form a national digital repository. • The survey found that although practices across the sector varied widely, there was general agreement that a national digital repository would deliver value. Digital Student Data Reference Group • A national reference group comprising Heads of Student Administration has been set up to explore the viability of a national digital repository, key issues and challenges, and the best way to move forward to achieve participation in the Groningen Declaration.
Statement of Interest “The Australian Heads of Student Administration Digital Student Data Reference Group supports the work of the Groningen Declaration and wishes to participate in the global movement to enhance student mobility. It is the Group’s ambition to sign the Declaration once it is confident that it can deliver on the objectives. Although the Group is not yet in a position to make this commitment, it is currently engaged in a process of consultation and ongoing work to ensure that the decision to sign is reached with due diligence and commitment.” - Digital Student Data Reference Group
Next Steps • Investigate approaches taken to capturing and managing data at both the local level and in other jurisdictions. • Conduct a detailed analysis of privacy issues and other potential challenges. • Explore the options and mechanisms for achieving Australian participation in the Groningen Declaration. • Consider possible approaches to funding a national digital repository.