Peter Shergold to chair government’s university standards panel

By The Mandarin

Wednesday February 18, 2015

Former top bureaucrat Peter Shergold will chair Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s Higher Education Standards Panel as the government pursues its university deregulation agenda.

Shergold (pictured) was secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet under John Howard and Kevin Rudd. He’s been chancellor of the University of Western Sydney since 2011.

He recently chaired the Quality, Deregulation and Information Working Group for Pyne, which advised on policy and implementation around reforming the university sector. The government is pursuing fee deregulation amid opposition from Labor and cross-bench senators.

Shergold takes the role from Alan Robson, who chaired the panel for the last three years. He’ll remain as a member of the panel, along with Greg Craven, Karen Thomas and Phil Honeywood as new three-year appointments.

Robson was the inaugural chair of a body set up by Labor in 2011 to set standards to be enforced by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. Pyne has now merged the bodies in a budget savings measure. The Minister said in a statement:

“By appointing the members of the TEQSA advisory council to the Higher Education Standards Panel and disbanding the council, the government is delivering on its commitment to smaller government while continuing to enhance the quality of higher education …

“I am expecting that by bringing the members of the TEQSA advisory council into the role of the Higher Education Standards Panel, they will not only continue the good work of the previous panel but will also guide TEQSA as it continues its work upholding quality in higher education.”

Pyne has thanked outgoing members Richard James, Adrienne Nieuwenhuis, David Siddle and Joanne Wright.

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