The consortium of Australian universities that undertook the Australian Diploma Supplement Project for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations has recommended the introduction of an Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement from 2009.
This was announced by the Project Directors, Professor Lynn Meek (previously of the University of New England and now Director of the L.H. Martin Institute at the University of Melbourne), Professor Richard James (Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne), and the Project Manager, Professor Grant Harman (University of New England).
Professor Meek and Professor James explained that the Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement was envisaged as the Australian equivalent of the Diploma Supplement currently being provided to graduates by higher education institutions in 45 European nations. It would take the form of documentation provided free of charge to all graduates of Australian higher education institutions.
The Graduation Statement would make qualifications more portable and their value more transparent by providing descriptions of the nature, level, context and status of the studies that had been pursued and completed by graduates, as well as setting out information about the higher education system to which the qualification belongs.
Professor Harman said the introduction of the Graduation Statement was strongly supported by Australian universities and other stakeholders.
“Our extensive consultations within the higher education sector and with stakeholders demonstrated considerable enthusiasm and support for Graduation Statements,” he said. “Many key people in universities consider that their introduction will assist both domestic and international graduates seeking employment and further study opportunities abroad. They will also assist graduates seeking further study or employment in Australia.”
Professor Meek and Professor James said that Graduation Statements had the potential to make Australian awards better understood abroad, thus enhancing the international mobility of Australian graduates and Australia’s competitiveness internationally.
The Consortium that undertook the Diploma Supplement Project was appointed in January 2007 after a competitive bidding process to develop a single agreed template for an Australian Diploma Supplement. The Consortium represented 14 Australian universities and was led by the University of New England, the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University.
The project team members included Dr Jeannet van der Lee, Associate Professor Leo Goedegebuure and Associate Professor Peter Corrigan from the University of New England, and Dr Kerri-Lee Harris from the University of Melbourne.