Lightning Talk Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency Conference 2019

Driving Quality in Research (#22)

Neil Ormerod 1
  1. Sydney College of Divinity, Kingsgrove, NSW, Australia

While the university sector has been driven to focus on research quality due to the impact of Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), the non-university HEP sector has not had the impetus to follow suit. The recent TEQSA guidance note on scholarship makes clear the need for HEPS to demonstrate scholarship in their fields of study, and research where research degrees are offered. However, for HEPs seeking University College or University of Specialisation status, TEQSA is requiring some indication of an ERA-type research quality measure. HEPs which previously have not focussed on research quality now find it imperative to do so. This presentation will consider the situation of HEPs in the theological sector, and the Sydney College of Divinity in particular, on the strategies being developed to drive research quality. These include the journal ranking project of the Council of Deans of Theology and the University of Divinity, timely and accurate data-gathering of research and scholarly outputs including a research repository, and targeted workshops with faculty members to promote research quality. The goal of these strategies is to raise the research culture of the SCD faculty members with a stronger focus on international journals and book publishers without diminishing their important role in knowledge transfer and professional resourcing in their local church communities.