Australia's National Regulator Grants Avondale College Self-accrediting Authority

(Spectrumbot) #1

Avondale College of Higher Education has become the first Australian non-university higher education provider granted self-accrediting authority by the country’s national regulator.

The classification from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) means Avondale can self-accredit all of its higher education courses, including higher degrees by coursework and by research.

“Self-accrediting authority is not granted lightly,” says TEQSA’s acting chief commissioner Professor Nick Saunders. Avondale submitted its application in July—the initial documentation exceeded 2000 pages—and a “rigorous” assessment process followed. But as Professor Saunders notes, TEQSA benefitted from accrediting multiple Avondale courses over the past few years. This gave the regulator a better understanding of Avondale’s academic governance and of its quality assurance processes. “TEQSA looked for evidence of proven experience, a history of low risk and most importantly, strong academic governance and the ability to self-assure critical higher education processes,” he says.

“It’s probably impossible to say any one milestone is the most significant, but this has to be right up there,” says the chair of Avondale’s governing body, Dr Barry Oliver, who has served on Avondale College Council for 17 years.

President Professor Ray Roennfeldt describes the granting of self-accrediting authority as a “new era for Avondale.” “While self-accrediting authority does not provide university status, it does require that the institution’s internal processes are at least as robust and rigorous as that of a university. So, in this regard, it is a large step towards the fulfilment of Avondale’s vision to be an Australian Christian university.”

He is grateful to all members of Avondale’s staff, particularly vice-president (quality and strategy) Professor Jane Fernandez who “capably managed the application process.” “Our staff make Avondale what it is; a provider of quality higher education that motivates people to serve humankind.”

Ray notes, though, that with new responsibility comes new challenges. “We must—and will—live up to the trust that has been extended to us.”

Established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1897, Avondale has been a registered higher education provider since 1974. It has been offering postgraduate masters degrees since the early 1990s and doctoral degrees since 2006.

Brenton Stacey is public relations officer for Avondale College of Higher Education in Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Pagophilus) #2

That’s good news in one way, but did they have to denigrate biblical young-earth creationism and the flood to make it happen, or would that be happening anyway?

(Elmer Cupino) #3

"One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor." - Paul Simon

It takes about seven positive statements to undo a negative statement, a skilled family therapist will tell you. Better still, a skilled family therapist will attempt hard to draw seven positives before confronting the individual with a negative point.

Your next “seven” statements for Avondale College should be positive ones, especially coming from an Australian. Lighten up! It’s the holiday season.

(Pagophilus) #4

My friend studied Science at Avondale in recent years. Her faith was close to being shattered, and I was discussing things with her regarding the biblical scenario and modern science. Luckily she came out of it with her faith renewed, but not because of her lecturers. But I know what they teach. I have their classroom materials. It’s not designed to cement faith in the Biblical story, it’s designed to sow doubt. If gaining university status means giving up core Adventist beliefs, is it worth it?

What is the purpose of an Adventist institution of higher learning? is it simply to duplicate what the world is doing, or is there and evangelistic focus to it? If there is an evangelistic focus, then casting doubt on the 6-day creation and the flood, for a start, is not a good way to start. You’ve failed before you’ve even begun.

There’s more to Adventism then Jesus. If the first 11 chapters of Genesis are false, then there is need for neither salvation nor Jesus.

(George Tichy) #5

Will you EVER have a non-negative comment on ANY issue?
You negativity is just appalling!
I know, you probably will make a negative comment on this post as well…

(Elmer Cupino) #6

Don’t let anyone fool you. The impetus to change comes from within. Take a look at the Israelites, Moses, & Aaron’s examples. If the presence of God, nor drinking the golden calf proved unsuccessful for the Israelites, how can a 40-minute lecture prove successful for your friend?

Now do us a favor, publicly acknowledge that Avondale College deserves best wishes. :smiley:


(George Tichy) #7

Did you attend an “institution of higher learning” that was acceptable to you? Which one was it?
Is there any one institution that you would recommend to the youth nowadays? Which one?


(Billman) #8

Hi Pago. Just as well you are there as Ted Wilson, PhD’s right hand man, to correct the imbalances at Avondale. Dr Wilson is going to need all the help he can get, as one conference isn’t going to turn the scientific ship around by itself.

Of course, we all know that tertiary qualifications are questionable. Just look at the thesis the good man received his doctorate for. The work of a really good investigative journalist would be more worthy of a doctorate than TW’s compilation of EGW quotes.

At the knowledge level, when would you suggest would be a good level to expose students to the need to keep concepts in tension. Secondary? Tertiary? Or post graduate? Should the church have a role to play, or should its focus be on indoctrination? How would your young friend handle the challenges in the workplace if she hadn’t been confronted with the issues in the learning environment?

(Pagophilus) #9

I attended a non-Adventist university because in Australia there is only one Adventist tertiary institution and that is Avondale and they have a limited choice of courses. At least in the secular universities you know on what ground you stand.

(Rheticus) #10

Lyndon Rogers is on the staff at Avondale. He is an excellent educator, and is well aware of the challenges that science and traditional SdA thinking about origins create issues that the students need to work through.

If this is the first time a student has encountered the issue, they have been living in a closet. If they have been taught the issue is easy, they have been lied to. Their Avondale science course might be the first time they have heard an SdA tell them the truth

I expect you lied to her, telling her the usual YEC nonsense.

If you lied to her, she will discover within a few years that you have lied to her, and probably leave the denomination.


It does? Well, then.

:one: George for GC president 2015 :tada:
:two: George for GC president 2015 :confetti_ball:
:three: George for GC president 2015 :loudspeaker:
:four: George for GC president 2015 :satellite:
:five: George for GC president 2015 :e-mail:
:six: George for GC president 2015 :musical_score:
:seven: George for GC president 2015 :checkered_flag:

And what do you think Mr. Mexican looking guy, should George be GC president in 2015? :man: Mi respuesta es sí, un rotundo sí!

Theres your 7 positive things Elmer :white_check_mark: :wink:

(Elmer Cupino) #12

If you can remain “true” to your God after attending secular universities that “denigrate biblical YEC,” what makes you believe attending SDA schools that “denigrate biblical YEC” would make others not remain “true” to their God? You have to accept the fact that God blessed you equally as He did others with the ability for critical thinking. Is this alien to fundamentalists? In reviewing posts such as @sufferingsunfish and others, why must there be a gatekeeper as @Luna had pointed out? Why must we have a “pope” to tell us what God means? Are others less intellectually gifted? Don’t you think this is an affront to other believers?


(Peter Marks) #13

In Australia, we call this season Christmas! We have managed to avoid the PC police that would ensure that we call it “the holiday season.” Alternatively, we call it “the silly season.”

So merry Christmas, Elmer.

(Elmer Cupino) #14

Merry Christmas, Peter.

I enjoy following your posts.

(jeremy) #15

what a gorgeous picture to start this article…lavender is one of my favorite colors - i want one of those purple trees in my backyard (better yet, in one of my living rooms)…i’ll definitely have to make the trip at some point…

i kind of like the prime minister tony abbott, as well…he’s done a superb job reassuring the people of sydney that he’s determined to do everything “humanly possible” to keep them safe…the only thing is bondi beach…the pictures i’ve seen are kind of dreary looking :cry:

(Billman) #16

Yes. The tree is called a jacaranda, and can be found flowering at every graduation. And the building you are looking at is Bethel, which used to be the girls dormitory, and whenever the fire alarm sounded this dorm vacated rapidly, as it was prone to disappear in a puff of smoke.

(George Tichy) #17

You just made a confession (again): you are better than anyone else!
What else can we say?

(George Tichy) #18

NOW WE ARE TALKING!!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: (7 positives…)


(George Tichy) #19

This thing is so crazy that I am even discouraged about commenting much.

I was a little suspicious about it, that’s why I asked Pago a question. And he fell for it easily, thus clarifying the issue.
So he went to a non-SDA University, and his faith stayed “protected.” But at the same time he does all this talking here about… …, ohhhh… I don’t even want to waste my time on this anymore…

(Brad(Luna)) #20

I would say the assumption is when you are at a non Adventist university you are outside the gates so are already on guard, but when you are at an Adventist university you believe you are within the protection of the gatekeepers and don’t need to worry as much thus there is far more danger for the unsuspecting student.

All authoritarian cultures assume the common people are too stupid to think for themselves and need gatekeepers not teachers who help expand and improve their critical thinking.