Release type: Media Release


Government establishes Office for Learning and Teaching


Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, today announced the establishment of the Office for Learning and Teaching, in response to the review into support for higher education learning and teaching led by UK higher education expert, Ms Alison Johns.

The Office for Learning and Teaching will promote excellence in learning and teaching in universities with funding of $50 million over four years for a Grants and Awards Program.

The review, which included an extensive consultation with the higher education sector, recognised the significant contribution that grants and awards programs have made in improving quality in learning and teaching.

Senator Evans accepted all of the review’s seventeen recommendations, which include:

  • the creation of a Strategic Advisory Committee to ensure the ongoing involvement of the higher education sector in setting directions for the Office for Learning and Teaching;
  • a focus on commissioned work to address strategic priorities in the Grants Program; and
  • the introduction of academic secondments to the new Office to work on key priorities for the sector.

“I am pleased to be able to support the promotion of excellence in university teaching,” Senator Evans said.

“As part of our commitment to quality, the new Office will continue to strengthen learning and teaching in Australian higher education.

“Ms Johns clearly listened to the higher education sector and this report provides the blueprint for continued sector involvement in recognising and building teaching excellence.

“The key to the success of the new Office will be ensuring that the higher education sector maintains ownership of the learning and teaching agenda through the governance arrangements and engagement in every level of activity, including peer review arrangements.”

Senator Evans also announced the membership of the Strategic Advisory Committee, which will be chaired by Professor Margaret Gardner, Vice Chancellor, RMIT University.

The other members of the Strategic Advisory Committee are:

  • Professor Jane den Hollander, Vice Chancellor, Deakin University
  • Professor Deborah Terry, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), The University of Queensland
  • Professor David Sadler, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), University of Tasmania
  • Professor Judyth Sachs, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, Macquarie University.
  • Professor Tim Brailsford, Vice Chancellor, Bond University (commencing January 2012)
  • Professor Steve Larkin, Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, Charles Darwin University
  • Jeannie Rea, National President, National Tertiary Education Union
  • Jesse Marshall, National President, National Union of Students.

The report and more information about opening and closing dates for the Grants and Awards Program for 2012 are available at: