Michael Wells
Partner, MinterEllison Consulting, Melbourne
I lead MinterEllison's Education Consulting team, Wells Advisory. I am a leading advisor on higher education in Australia. I advise public and private clients on mission-critical issues including institutional strategy, license to operate, and partnerships. I have a strong reputation and network within the higher education sector in Australia and internationally.

Over the last 25 years, I have worked at the cutting edge of higher education, with senior roles spanning government, university and private sector. At The University of Melbourne I played a key spanning role across university planning, finance, academic quality and risk, at the time of the introduction of the Melbourne Model curriculum changes. At TEQSA as a founding commissioner I led the development of a world leading risk-based framework for regulation of higher education. I have advised education sector clients throughout my career combining evidence-driven market insights, deep expertise in quality assurance of higher education, and the application of a risk-based regulatory framework.

I hold degrees in law, economics and marketing, and I am admitted to legal practice.

Career highlights

I was appointed a Commissioner to help design and set up Australia’s national regulator TEQSA, and was a member of the senior executive at the University of Melbourne leading planning, QA, finance and risk, and prior to that spent a decade in the private sector advising (including universities) on brand strategy, valuation and defence.

  • Advised on the strategy and implementation of the Melbourne Model curriculum reforms at The University of Melbourne
  • Advised on establishment of Australia’s first community college, UTAS College
  • Helped design key TEQSA frameworks, including the Regulatory Risk Framework, and its Core+ assessment model
  • Designed and implemented profitability analysis of all academic activity at a Group of Eight university
  • Authored a Sector Outlook report for TEQSA in the midst of pandemic
  • Co-reviewer of Indigenous Research Scheme for the ARC
  • Co-designed a unique-in-the-world leadership development program for university provosts
  • Has given expert evidence and been independent reviewer in a wide range of matters

Our consulting services are provided (directly and indirectly) by MinterEllison Consulting (ABN 50 017 469 292) and MinterEllison Consulting Pty Ltd (ABN 50 077 613 828), both of which are part of the MinterEllison Group. Our consulting services do not constitute legal services nor legal advice and are not provided by Australian legal practitioners acting in that capacity. The laws and regulations which govern the provision of legal services in the relevant jurisdiction do not apply to the provision of non-legal services.