We take this opportunity to thank Western Sydney University The College (The College) for engaging NEAS to conduct a Quality Assurance exercise covering its RTO operations. The official pathway provider for the University, The College delivers a wide range of accredited English language and academic preparation courses.
The purpose of the initiative was to support the RTO in demonstrating quality in its programs and services and to provide guidance in its continuous improvement processes. The Quality Review of the RTO was aligned with the ASQA Self-Assessment Tool and performed in two phases:
Phase 1: Virtual Self-Assessment – consisting of online meetings, preparation of files, and audits; and
Phase 2: In-person Self-Assessment – involving a two-day onsite visit with meetings, discussions, and review activities.
Key areas of the Standards for RTOs 2015 and additional areas of significance for The College were reviewed, and notable areas of best practice, non-compliances, and recommendations for rectification and improvement were identified. A completed Self-assessment Tool, with input from the NEAS Quality Assessor, was also lodged as part of the exercise.
NEAS congratulates the team at The College on the successful completion of this Quality Assurance initiative.
NEAS congratulates RMIT Training’s RMIT English Worldwide (REW) for becoming the latest Quality Endorsed Member! Owned by RMIT University and based in Melbourne, REW delivers pathway courses that enable students to articulate into university programs. REW also provides a range of specialist English and teacher training programs to service learners and professionals from around the globe. As international students start returning to Australia, enrolments have grown rapidly and REW is again taking its place as a vibrant hub in the centre of Melbourne. Currently, most of REW’s English for Academic Purposes classes are delivered face-to-face, alongside a smaller number of classes that are conducted online or in hybrid mode. The classes benefit from diversity; students come from China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, South America, and other countries and regions. REW draws on a dynamic marketing team to source eligible learners through a tight-knit cohort of partner education agents.
REW exhibits a strong culture of care and shares its values with RMIT University. These values are: inclusion, imagination, agility, courage, passion and impact. Staff, students and teachers were observed to engage comfortably with each other and with management. The sense of community among students, teachers and support staff is enhanced further by excursions and extracurricular activities, which are arranged by the Wellbeing and Student Experience team. REW students are being empowered to become rounded citizens of the future through the exciting initiative known as Superpower’d. This program offers a series of workshops facilitated by a Strengths Coach to build confidence and resilience in students.
NEAS is delighted to welcome back REW, which first achieved NEAS Accreditation way back in 1994! REW joins the Vietnamese branch of the University (RMIT University Vietnam) in celebrating its designation as a NEAS Quality Endorsed Centre.
The English Language Centre of the University of New England (UNE) provides pathways into university courses across all levels of study. Focusing on the learning needs of international students, the Centre’s English language courses are taught by highly qualified and experienced instructors. In October 2021, NEAS and UNE worked together to conduct a quality assessment of the Centre’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program (Levels 1 to 5). As a result of the initiative, a dedicated NEAS Report was produced, noting areas of best practice alongside specific recommendations for ongoing improvement.
One year later, a special Management Meeting was held, which served as a review mechanism to assess the updates and revisions that were applied, in alignment with the recommendations made in the earlier report. As with the Quality Assurance exercise in 2021, the recent review of 2022 measured the course enhancements against the Quality Principles in Area H: Online Delivery. These Quality Principles focus on: ensuring the design of the online environment supports a positive and engaging user experience; the appropriateness of learning and assessment strategies for virtual delivery; provision of learning resources and technology to facilitate learning; and the presence of an integrated reporting system to support the online courses. Please refer to this section of the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework for further information: https://neas.org.au/resources/neas-quality-framework/#area-h.
NEAS acknowledges and commends the Centre on the demonstrable improvements that have been implemented to its Learning Management System (LMS) and interactive resources. The English Language Centre has integrated the recommendations from the NEAS Online Delivery Endorsement Report of 2021 into its 2022 Professional Development Plan. The Centre has consulted and cooperated with the University’s Library staff and Learning Design teams to ensure that online materials are accessible. One-to-one engagement and interactivity with learners have been further enhanced. The Centre has implemented a systematic approach to building on the previous review, showing a full cycle of continuous improvement.
It is with deep regret, we wish to inform you that on Monday 26 September 2022, NEAS Board Member Christine Bundesen AM passed away. Indeed, this is a huge loss of a fierce advocate and much-loved member of our community. We are saddened we have lost a great leader for the sector and the broader international education endeavour. Christine’s contribution over decades has been immense.
Christine Bundesen AM, served as Director of ICTE-UQ for over 30 years and was on the Board of NEAS from 2015. She was recipient of the inaugural IDP Outstanding Achievement in International Education Award in 1997, was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 for her “contributions to the reforms of the student visa program”, and personally drafted the original standards for the first National ELT Accreditation Scheme (NEAS) in 1989.
She was the cofounder of English Australia, in the early 1980s and went on to play a lead role in Australian English language training standards and accreditation in the 1990s. She was also instrumental in negotiating the first Australian Government Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 to protect the rights of international students in Australia. For her work, she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 for service to the international education industry.
Christine was a national advocate for quality standards in English language training and a pioneer of the Australian international education industry, and today we honour her service and her life. The NEAS Board, Advisory Council and staff are grateful to have been able to share the NEAS conference in May this year with Christine and to see the joy and pride with which she received the well-deserved NEAS Lifetime Member award.
This is a great loss for NEAS and the industry, and our thoughts are with all her family and friends.
Our deepest sympathies,
Tanya, Patrick and the NEAS Board, Advisory Council and Staff
NEAS commends Ms Snezhana Chernova for successfully completing the NEAS Master Practitioner in ELT Capstone Course. The Master Practitioner in ELT Capstone Course is for ELT professionals who are working, teaching or studying in the ELT field and have gained considerable experience in applying NEAS Quality Assurance Principles in their professional practice.
Snezhana’s project was based on a web resource ‘Vidtionary’ that she developed to enhance the English Language skills of students at an upper intermediate level studying at TAFE Queensland. In her Capstone Project, Snezhana demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the NEAS Quality Assurance framework by presenting an in-depth alignment of her product ‘Vidtionary’ with the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework, in particular, Drivers in Quality Areas K: Products and Services and Quality Area H: Online Delivery.
NEAS Congratulates Southern Cross University (SCU) – Lismore and Gold Coast – on its recent Quality Review activity. NEAS conducted a recent Site visit to SCU, Lismore campus. The premises of the Southern Cross University College at Lismore has been assessed against the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework; Area C. Major changes have been forced on the Lismore Southern Cross University campus by the shocking floods in early 2022. The College now has a more central and coordinated area within the university and is ready to start welcoming students.
Careful attention has been applied to both the services that can be offered and the local community’s capacity for receiving and catering to the students in the town. The work done by the entire team has been thorough and caring. Support and provision for the campus from throughout the university is clearly ongoing and the campus has been equipped with the resources and facilities that foster a welcoming and supportive learning environment for students.
NEAS also conducted a Quality Review of SCU Gold Coast during which Management Meetings and Focus Groups were conducted onsite. The College provides a positive atmosphere of collegiality and support. Teachers are well qualified and relate well to the management team. The support given to them during the adjustments of the past two years was clear from the Staff Health Check and the Focus Group meeting. Comments such as they feel “part of an amazing team” and have “strong and fair leadership” were common.
The digitalisation of the program for delivery over the past two years has meant an ongoing review of all modules. The SCU LMS is updated each Friday and provides clear and relevant information to students. Students are also provided with dedicated online areas for self-study tasks, recommendations, worksheets and daily activities.
The Gold Coast campus offers a large foyer space with a self-study area and relaxation space that encourages students to visit and be part of the community. The University has several catering outlets on site and space for students to gather. Students were very positive about the “quiet, clean study areas and classrooms”.
NEAS Congratulates Ozford English Language Centre for its recent completion of a successful Quality Review activity. Ozford English Language Centre provides international students with a range of courses including General English, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Secondary School Purposes (ESSP). Upon achieving the required level, students may articulate from their English courses into courses at Ozford Institute of Higher Education, and Ozford College (High School). In addition to internal pathway opportunities, Ozford English Language Centre has established articulations with local education institutions for VET and higher education courses.
Ozford English Language Centre has recently moved into a new campus in the centre of Melbourne City. The new campus provides a welcoming and professional atmosphere for students and staff. Teachers have access to a comfortable staff room with the electronic resources required to create engaging learning materials and students are provided with a well-furnished space to enjoy the student community. Students and teachers reported in surveys and Focus Group meetings that they were happy with the spaces at the centre and felt that access to technology was good.
Students expressed that they feel well cared for by teachers, professional staff and management. Feedback from the student surveys concerning teachers and their approach was very positive with over 90% agreeing or strongly agreeing with the high level of course delivery, assessment and teaching approaches. One student commented, “I really happy” “Because I really happy when I go to school. Teacher teach really good” “His class is really communicate [sic] and funny and easy to understand”.
Congratulations to The University of Queensland (UQ) College for completing a successful Quality Review activity. Evolving from the Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education (ICTE), UQ College has advanced into a more pathway focused University College with the addition of Foundation and VET courses. In light of this reinvention, the English Language Pathways arm of the College has a more nuanced and focused academic skills program that aims to prepare and acculturate students for their subsequent faculty courses.
Emerging from the COVID-19 period, UQ College has adapted by providing a greater focus on online, blended and hybrid models of English language instruction. UQ College staff have developed and expanded skills in online delivery to cater to students studying remotely in Australia as a pandemic response, in addition to offering online delivery to offshore cohorts. The College uses multiple strategies to cater for online delivery. The development and delivery of online resources are of a high standard and are to be commended. Assessment is comprehensive and rigorous, with sophisticated online-based listening and reading skills testing.
The campus facilities are conducive to teaching and learning and provide a large teacher staff room with hot desk arrangements as a contingency, should teacher numbers suddenly increase. The Ground floor has been reserved as a flexible learning space or Independent Learning Centre (ILC). This space allows flexible study modes, from small group discussion and project work to Guided Individual Learning (GIL) and targeted one-on-one consultation.
Student and Teacher Health Checks and Focus Groups reported high levels of satisfaction with their experience at UQ College, while students expressed being particularly pleased with the UQ Student sessions in which they could meet with and converse with local students.
NEAS congratulates James Cook University (JCU), Singapore for completing a successful Quality Review activity.
James Cook University (JCU), Singapore is the Singapore campus of JCU — based in Queensland, Australia — which focuses on issues of the Tropics worldwide. JCU Language School at the Singapore campus delivers the English Language Preparatory Program (ELPP) to international students as a pathway to further studies at JCU in Singapore and other Higher Education establishments.
JCU in Singapore provides a friendly and collaborative atmosphere with the well-being of students as a top priority. Teachers reported being impressed with the amount of support students receive and commented: “JCU has committed teachers and is genuinely concerned about student well-being”; “JCU is a great place to work in, due to the fact that the opinions of teaching staff are valued. Students are at the top of our priority and the working and learning environment here are very conducive for all involved”.
With transparent channels of communication, all staff, students and teachers engage comfortably with each other and with management. Strategies to motivate student engagement and educational goal achievement are deployed by teachers and managers. The evaluation of courses is regular and rigorous, and students are requested to provide consistent feedback on their learning experience. Students reported in Focus Groups being pleased with course design and the quality outcome it provides. One student commented, “I feel very good about the course. It not only help [sic] me with my English, but also broaden my horizon in the future”.
NEAS congratulates Vietnam USA Society English Centres (VUS) on the recent Quality Endorsement of FIVE (!) new centres and for completing a successful Quality Review of well-established centres. VUS is a leading English Language Teaching institution in Vietnam with approximately 250,000 students enrolled annually throughout the country. The majority of its campuses are located in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Hanoi, Binh Duong, Bien Hoa, Vung Tau and Da Nang. Established over 20 years ago, VUS joined NEAS in 2017 with an initial 15 centres and has since added a significate number of new centres. VUS currently has 43 NEAS endorsed centres.
NEAS conducted a recent Virtual Quality Review to confirm the endorsement of five new centres-VUS Binh Duong, VUS Binh Long, VUS Nuyen Van Tang, VUS Nguyen Van Thu, and VUS To Ky 2- in addition to the Quality Review of established centres. The Virtual Quality Review was followed by a two-day visit to multiple VUS campuses including the newly endorsed ones by NEAS CEO, Dr Pheasant. Dr Pheasant was particularly impressed by the state of art facilities, the student welcoming ceremony and VUS’s overall commitment to delivering quality education.
It was evident via Management meetings and submitted Health Checks that VUS has well-established key business departments and efficient reporting structures. Each campus has its own Admissions and Student Affairs team, Training Quality Management team and School, Service and Compliance team. The Academic Research team is in the Head Office in Ho Chi Min City.
VUS has a strong culture of fostering a sense of family among students, parents and teachers through social media, face-to-face engagement and the Learning Management System (LMS): V-Hub. Social events are also advertised on the notice board in the foyer of each building. When asked in focus groups about their experience at VUS, many teachers and staff members expressed being happily employed at VUS for 10 – 20 years, which is a testament to the good work conditions and supportive culture.
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