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Academic Quality Management Policy

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) The purpose of this policy is to define and establish the University's approach to management of the quality of its academic activities, and to ensure systematic monitoring and improvement of its teaching and learning policies, procedures and activities.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This policy applies to all UNE teaching and learning activities including associated teaching partnerships.

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Section 3 - Policy

(3) The goal of the Academic Quality Management system is to assist the University to formulate strategies for continuous improvement and quality assurance of its academic activities, within the contexts of its statutory obligation under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011, the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and regulatory instruments associated with these Acts, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and the University's strategic priorities.

(4) Integration of strategic priorities with the operational processes of the University is achieved through:

  1. a focus on improvement, enhancement and regular, constructive reflection leading to change;
  2. an understanding that quality is a goal common to all members of the University;
  3. the identification and allocation of responsibilities;
  4. the use of meaningful indicators to measure performance and outcomes, and
  5. openness of reporting on quality assurance and quality improvement activities across the University.

(5) A course within the context of this policy refers to a course of study leading to a coursework Award of the University. Courses are managed by Course Coordinators and awarded by the University. The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor has overarching responsibility for the quality assurance and regulatory requirements relating to these courses.

Strategic Planning and Quality

(6) The University's Teaching and Learning Plan guides the development of teaching and learning priorities and plans in line with the University's Strategic Plan.

Framework for Assuring the Quality of Units, Courses and Schools

(7) Evaluation of undergraduate and postgraduate units and courses occurs through the processes of monitoring and review. Any course or unit that is taught offshore or through a partnership agreement should be monitored and reviewed using the same parameters as the domestic courses and units, plus processes the University has in place for the quality assurance of its international activities.

Unit and course monitoring

(8) Units and courses are monitored annually through the Unit and Course Monitoring process, a data collection, reflection and evaluation process. The aim of annual monitoring is to ensure consistent quality against a set of agreed standards.

(9) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor will report on unit and course monitoring to Academic Board on an annual basis.

Unit Reviews

(10) Units are reviewed to ensure continuing high quality and relevant offerings.

(11) Schools will develop a regular cycle of review of their units that best suits the School's needs.

Course Reviews

(12) The aim of Course Reviews is to ensure continuing high quality, relevant, viable courses.

(13) An in-depth Course Review is required at least once every seven years.

(14) Course Review involves evaluating the academic program of an award — the course structure, alignment of learning objectives to learning outcomes and assessment, in the context of the University's graduate attributes, currency of the curriculum, changes to the discipline, quality of teaching and learning including assessment, student perceptions and feedback, and feedback from the relevant professional, accrediting and employer groups.

(15) A Course Review may be triggered by a University-wide or School-specific strategic priority.

(16) Where a Course Review has periodic review by external professional accrediting bodies, a Course Review should be conducted concurrently or prior to accreditation.

(17) The subject of review may be a course (e.g. the Bachelor of Rural Science), a suite of courses (e.g. the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters level postgraduate awards) or a group of cognate majors or sequences of study.

(18) The Course Coordinator is responsible for implementing the agreed recommendations of the Review committee and reporting progress to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

(19) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Review recommendations and reporting these to the Academic Board.

Course Advisory Boards

(20) All courses shall have a Course Advisory Board to provide regular, valid and reliable feedback from internal and external stakeholders and ensure the course remains relevant.

School Review

(21) The aim of a School Review is to address specific issues as they arise.

(22) A School Review may be undertaken as required by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor or the Head of School.

(23) The Terms of Reference for the review and the membership of the Review Panel will be determined by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Head of School.

(24) The Head of School is responsible for implementing the agreed recommendations of the review and reporting progress to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Quality Assurance

(25) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that this policy is implemented effectively and consistently for all coursework programs and related units across all relevant academic and professional areas.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(26) Benchmarking: the use of qualitative and quantitative measures to place achievement of objectives within a context that enables both comparative and absolute assessments of the University's performance.

(27) Course: a program of units leading to an award of the University. The learning outcomes and assessments in the units within a course inform the Course Learning Outcomes and Graduate Attributes and enable the demonstration of achievement of these. Every course has requirements that are described in its rules.

(28) Course Review: the in-depth evaluation of an academic program, including the course structure and alignment of learning objectives to learning outcomes, in the context of the University's strategic priorities, the currency of the curriculum, changes to the discipline, quality of teaching and learning including assessment, student perceptions and feedback, and feedback from relevant professional, accrediting and employer groups.

(29) Performance Indicators: qualitative and quantitative data measures that provide a framework for measuring the extent to which performance objectives are being achieved on an on-going basis.

(30) Quality Assurance: the ongoing, internal process of assessing a university's outcomes against its aims.

(31) Quality Improvement: the use of tracking processes on agreed quantitative and qualitative measures in order to identify processes that are working well and those that may be enhanced.

(32) Quality Management: a system that integrates effective strategic planning with quality assurance and quality improvement activities to monitor a university's performance against its plans.

(33) School Review: an assessment of a School's academic performance, management and planning, incorporating a review of the discipline/s that are integral to the academic activities of the School.

(34) Standard: an agreed specification or other criterion used as a rule, guidelines or definition of a level of performance or achievement.

(35) Unit: a part of a course with a code, title and credit point value for which a result is recorded on a student's academic record.

(36) Unit and Course Monitoring: the annual consideration of quantitative data and qualitative information for the purpose of improving the quality and efficiency of the University's units and courses. Data includes the student profile, demand, student feedback, assessment outcomes, resources, graduate outcomes, evaluations by students and graduates, and peer reviews. Monitoring also provides the opportunity to address the strengths and weaknesses of a course or unit through annual enhancement plans.

(37) Unit Review: the in-depth evaluation of a unit, including currency of content and learning outcomes, relevance for the courses that it relates to, quality of teaching and learning including assessment, student perceptions and feedback, EFTSL load, assessment practices and alignment of assessment to learning outcomes.