NEAS Australia CEO Update August 2020

Dr Patrick Pheasant, CEO, NEAS Australia

Stakeholder Survey Reveals Strong Sector Support for Ongoing, Independent, Non-Governmental Expert Quality Assurance of English Language Teaching

NEAS has recently undertaken surveys and interviews with members and key government and education sector stakeholders. Survey responses from 178 key NEAS stakeholders reveals that the majority believe NEAS is a key service offering for the industry, with 38% rating it ‘essential’ (9 or 10). Stakeholders most value NEAS’ quality assurance and endorsement. Continuous improvement is also important to stakeholders who are seeking more professional development from NEAS around online delivery and flexible approaches to adapt to our rapidly changing environment.

As the industry pivots to new realities in 2021 and beyond and as the sector witnesses its largest shakeup in history, the need for quality assurance specialists will remain strong. Reassuring future prospective students and parents that irrespective of the face to face, hybrid or online delivery of education, Australia remains an education destination grounded in quality providers.

NEAS Annual General Meeting to held by Zoom Meeting on 8 October 2020

NEAS will hold our Annual General Meeting 2-3pm on Thursday 8 October 2020 by Zoom. All members will be sent an invitation to attend virtually. After successful completion of our annual audit and review process, NEAS is pleased present the highlights of FY2020 and information on how we have supported our members and the sector through COVID19. Updates will also be made from the NEAS Board and Advisory Council. Please see AGM registration and information here.

Successful Launch of Community Endorsements

In July, NEAS launched our new community endorsements: Quality Agents, Quality Products and Services and Quality ELT Professionals. The feedback so far has been really positive and I’d like to extend warm congratulations to our first Quality Endorsed Agents, Student World and VETA Education. We have three more Quality Agents in the process of endorsement: Hello Australia, Catch-up Education and Expert Education & Visa Services. Congratulations also IELTS for their endorsement of the IELTS Teacher Training Program and Ready Tech for endorsement of their JR Plus student management system. A super big congratulations to Jakki Postlethwaite from Explore English and Vanessa Newberry from Hills Language College for being the first graduates of NEAS’ new Specialisations Courses and who are both well on their way to achieving our sector-first capstone course Master Practitioner in English Language Teaching (Quality Assurance). This new online course requires graduates to complete all the Core Courses and one Specialisation from the NEAS Online suite of courses. Graduates must demonstrate excellence in Quality Assurance with a recent project addressing QA principles in ELT. For more information about the Master Practitioner in ELT, please see here.

Successful Graduation of Four South Korean Interns with the NEAS Virtual Internship Program

NEAS in conjunction with International Mentor Group conducted our first Virtual Internship Program with four South Korean university students based in Incheon, near Seoul.  The interns graduated from the two-week virtual program mid-August and participated in online workshops, presentation and two self-paced research projects exploring Quality Assurance in South Korea and China. The program highlights our commitment to working closely with international students to keep abreast of their experiences with online study.

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Virtual Quality Review Visits Launched

NEAS launched Virtual Quality Review visits from 1 July 2020, allowing for members to conduct their annual quality review process completely online. Combined with a redesign of the NEAS Quality Review process from a three-year cycle to a two-year cycle, the online review process has revolutionised Quality Assurance in ELT. The streamlined process is efficient and more regular, ensuring our members get timely support and advice on their regulatory activity, ongoing aspirational quality improvement plans and professional development programs. Congratulations go out to Hills Language Centre, Charleston English, SMEAG, ILSC Adelaide, Tas TAFE, CQU, Townsville International English School and INUS Melbourne for completing their online Quality Review activities online.

Thank You to Our Members

A huge thank you is also due to the many members who have renewed their membership during COVID19. We appreciate how difficult it is during this time with uncertainty around the return of international students to Australia. I would like to personally thank those members who have chosen to stay with NEAS and to keep their commitment to ongoing and regular quality assurance and continual improvement as a priority during these uncertain times.

It has been inspiring to see how our members have reframed a low point in the ELICOS cycle and taken the opportunity to review and improve their systems and processes in order to be ready for the inevitable upward turn in the cycle and return of international students to their physical and online campuses. Thank you for your support of NEAS and in helping us to also weather another perfect storm. I am extremely grateful for your commitment to ongoing, independent, non-governmental expert Quality Assurance of English Language Teaching. Our sector needs your support. Thank you!