Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

Emeritus Professor Joan Cooper is a Commissioner with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), which is an independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education in Australia. Prior to her appointment as a Commissioner in April 2019, she was a higher education consultant. She has extensive experience in Senior Executive positions in Australian Universities. She retired in March 2012 from the position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students) and Registrar at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) which she held for five years. Her primary responsibility was the whole spectrum of the undergraduate student experience from recruitment through to graduation. She was formerly the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Flinders University where she was responsible for the leadership and management of academic policies and procedures, and leadership in quality assurance, learning and teaching. She is a former Dean of Informatics at the University of Wollongong (UoW), where she served as the Chair of the University Senate, and had held senior positions at two other Australian universities.

As a TEQSA Commissioner, part of Professor Cooper's responsibilities is making regulatory decisions, setting strategic directions, monitoring risks in the sector and deciding on matters relating to the development of quality assurance. She also has wide ranging experience both nationally and internationally in tertiary education accreditation and quality audits. She was appointed as an Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) auditor in 2004 and served as a Panel Chair or a Panel Member of audits and accreditations in Australia, Asia and the Middle East prior to 2019. She also has experience of managing AQUA quality audits, including both Flinders University and UNSW as well as consulting to Australian Universities.

Professor Cooper has experience in serving on the New South Wales Department of Education and Training accreditation committees for non-self-accrediting providers.

Professor Cooper completed her Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours) and her PhD at the University of Newcastle. She was the foundation Professor of Information Technology at UoW, and the first female Professor of Information Technology in Australia. In 2003, she was appointed an Emeritus Professor of Wollongong, a title conferred in recognition of her contribution to UoW, and in 2004 she was awarded the University of Newcastle's Convocation Medal for Professional Excellence. In 2012, UNSW appointed her to the position of Emeritus Professor.