NEAS Australia CEO Update March 2020

Dr Patrick Pheasant, CEO, NEAS Australia

NEAS’ role in supporting our members

The beginning of 2020 has certainly been a tumultuous start to the year for international education and training. In the face of the Australian bushfires and COVID-19, our thoughts are with our members, their staff and students as we all negotiate the difficult economic, political, social, emotional and educational challenges these two unforeseen and unprecedented events present.

NEAS has been active in supporting our members through this time with the following activities:

  • Issuance of strategies and recommendations for our members via regular member alerts, information sharing and webinars about supporting students who have been delayed in attending classes.
  • Connecting our online providers with our other sector providers to explore partnership opportunities for online provision of courses to affected students.
  • Meetings with regulators, state and federal government bodies and overseas partners to advocate the quality, diversity and agility of our Australian member centres.
  • Continued provision of online courses, QLS seminars, workshops and webinars to support our member centres in exploring the impact of these events on their businesses and staff through analysis of the NEAS Quality Framework, which includes Strategy, Risk and Governance, and Online Delivery.
  • Ramping up of our Quality Assurance Advocacy activity through increased engagement with ministers and parliament.
  • Development of a new strategy for NEAS 2020-2023 which highlights the commitment of our members to independent, industry-led, non-governmental and specialist Quality Assurance in English Language Teaching.
  • Submission of a formal response from NEAS on behalf of our members to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Draft English Language Teaching Strategy.
  •  Further promotion of and business development for our members at international workshops held in Phnom Penh and Bangkok in February 2020.
  • Meetings with peak bodies to explore collaboration and cross support.

NEAS remains committed to supporting our members, their staff and students through this period and we are always open to your feedback and comments on how we can continue to support you over the next 12-18 months.

NEAS finalises 2020-2023 Strategy for Member Feedback

For the past six months the NEAS Board and senior management staff have been reviewing our strategic activity over the last three years and developing our Strategic Plan for 2020-2023.

Our vision for 2023 remains the same as our current vision – that NEAS is the Global Leader in Quality Assurance for the English Language Teaching community. However, we are excited to announce new initiatives to help reinforce the continuous commitment to quality our member centres undertake. We want to showcase our members to the community and stakeholders and increase the value of NEAS membership through the following strategic foci:

Over the next three years NEAS will:

  1. Advocate for independent, specialist and aspirational Quality Assurance in the English Language Teaching sector to the community.
  2. Develop a comprehensive membership offer.
  3. Develop additional value for our members with parallel Quality Assurance products and services.
  4. Encourage more Australian providers to participate in NEAS Quality Assurance in ELT.
  5. Increase NEAS brand traction in the ASEAN market for ELT endorsement to increase our Australian member partnerships, business development, promotions and student recruitment.

The final draft strategy will be released for member comment and feedback over the upcoming weeks.

NEAS submits response to Draft English Language Teaching International Engagement Strategy 2025

NEAS will be submitting a response to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Draft English Language Teaching Strategy. The English Language Teaching International Engagement Strategy 2025 outlines how the Australian Government will support the English language teaching sector to deliver on this potential. The strategy builds on the sector’s existing strengths and achievements with a view to further enhancing Australia’s competitive and comparative advantages in the global provision of English language teaching.

NEAS supports this draft strategy and has proposed several key additions including highlighting the importance of independent, industry-led and specialist Quality Assurance in English Language Teaching and leveraging the solid global benchmarking of our standards and frameworks to showcase the quality of Australian ELT. Please feel free to send me directly your comments for inclusion in the NEAS submission by 13 March 2020 or submit directly your own response here.

Professional Development Update

Feedback has been extremely positive about our new toolbox webinars, most recently covering topics such as Professional Development, Quality Assurance 101, Staffing, Benchmarking and Assessment. Webinars are run monthly and free of charge to members. These webinars complement our online courses covering all aspects of the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework. For teachers and managers who prefer to face to face, over the next two months QLS workshops will be held in Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns covering new topics such as Engaging 21st Century Learners, Emerging Leadership and Development in ELT and Transformation in ELT.

We are pleased to announce our full program for the NEAS Management Conference, held 6-8 May 2020 at Doltone House in Sydney. The NEAS Team is excited about seeing you at the conference this year and invite you to attend. Make sure you get your tickets soon as they are selling fast! This year at the conference a new stream has been created to set up six NEAS Communities of Practice (COPs) covering Online and Blended Learning, High School Preparation, ELT Qualifications, Education Agents, Research in Practice and Diversity & Inclusion. If one of these COPs interests you, then make sure you register soon and nominate your interest to secure a place as they will be conducted in the Signorelli Restaurant at the conference and seating is limited.

See you at the conference!