Project Details

A 9-month project to share good practice and areas for improvement in teaching quality, programme quality and student voice across the Pacific region. A collaboration of The University of Tasmania, The National University of Samoa, The University of the South Pacific, The University of Waikato, and Manukau Institute of Technology.


The Higher Education Pacific Peer Review Quality Project aims to:

  • benchmark institutional processes on teaching quality, programme quality and student voice
  • benchmark assessment inputs/outputs in a range of disciplines using the online Peer Review Portal
  • build capacity for HE institutions to identify a gap in the self-review exercise and develop policy/and or process to address this gap
  • build capacity for HE institutions (including industry and regulatory agencies) to participate in external referencing activity to improve their own educational performance
  • develop institutional and international recommendations, evidence-based enhancement-led projects and share good practice with other HE institutions and key stakeholders.


A mixed method approach was taken, which included:

  • collecting evidence for the self-review on teaching quality, programme quality and student voice and uploading the evidence on the online Peer Review Portal
  • carrying out a peer review of assessment inputs/outputs and collecting data to upload on the Peer Review Portal
  • identifying and showcasing self-improvement outcomes at the Peer Review Workshop
  • building capacity and networking with participating institutions at the Workshop to use external referencing to enhance quality in their institutions



Dr Sara Booth

Project lead

University of Tasmania
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Tea Tepora Wright

Project Secretariat

National University of Samoa
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Dr Sereana Kubuabola

Institutional Coordinator

The University of the South Pacific

Dr Tracy Bowell

Senior Executive member

The University of Waikato

Cassandra Jutsum

Institutional Coordinator

The University of Waikato

Sue Vaealiki

Institutional Coordinator

Manukau Institute of Technology




$94,308.50 (excl GST)

$27,808.50 National Project Fund
$66,500.00 University of Tasmania, Manukau Institute of Technology, University of Waikato, National University of Samoa, University of the South Pacific

Key Findings

Key findings include:

  • Teaching quality: Good practice in teaching quality in terms of professional development included a range of professional development activities for teaching staff on learning and teaching; postgraduate and technical college certificates in tertiary teaching and assessment; and funding to support these professional development activities.
  • Reward and recognition: Areas of good practice included: Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Awards; nomination of staff for professional development leave to undertake further studies towards a Masters or PhD degree; and a range of other university excellence awards.
  • Student voice: Identified areas of good practice on how student voice was embedded in institutional processes and structures included: student voice embedded in regulations and policies; student evaluation processes; student membership on University committees and Council; Student Associations and class representative systems; and University management meetings, which included student representatives.

Key Recommendations

Recommendations from the project included 4 international recommendations, 31 institutional recommendations for improvement put forward by the four participating higher education institutions and 21 areas for sharing, which were identified during the Peer Review Workshop. The international recommendations are shown below.

Formal recognition of programmes | Develop explicit processes for the formal recognition of programmes for Pacific universities in association with other countries (such as New Zealand and Australia). As part of this recommendation, provide training for peer review of programmes for participating Pacific and New Zealand universities using the Peer Review Portal, so that there is consistency in all programme reviews which are connected to international networks for review.

National awards | Due to the lack of national awards outside New Zealand, consideration be given to Pacific institutions joining the New Zealand Ako Aotearoa Awards. Also, explore the link to the Global Teaching Education Award with the Higher Education Academy.

National-level programme | Fiji Higher Education Commission to develop a national-level reward and recognition programme for Pacific universities.

Model for collaboration | Consideration be given to developing a working model for collaboration across higher education (HE) stakeholders in quality in the Pacific region. Part of this consideration would include the development of an annual Higher Education Pacific Quality [HEPQ] Exchange Workshop across the Pacific to discuss shared strategic challenges in higher education quality assurance, including input from a range of key HE stakeholders. It is about the facilitation of a two-day workshop on a discussion of institutional self-reviews to identify best practice across HE institutions, as well as creating working groups on shared strategic national and international challenges.


RESEARCH REPORT: Higher Education Pacific Quality Benchmarking Project

A research report prepared by Sara Booth. 

 (PDF, 2.49 MB, 44-pages).

  • 25 March 2018
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