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Timetabling Procedure

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) These Procedures establish scheduling principles, priorities, roles and responsibilities for the development of the University Timetable.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) These Procedures apply to:

  1. all Students who use the Timetable to attend teaching and learning activities;
  2. University Representatives involved in the production and administration of timetabling activities and/or who use Teaching Spaces; and
  3. external stakeholders that use the University's Teaching Spaces.

(3) These Procedures do not apply to:

  1. the Examination Timetable which is built in accordance with the Assessment Procedures; and
  2. the Intensive School Timetables which are built in accordance with the Intensive School Policy.
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Section 3 - Procedure

General

(4) The Timetable for the following year is developed using information from the current Timetable; approved changes to course rules, course programs of study, course and unit offerings; staff and Space availability; Student enrolment numbers and information provided by Unit Coordinators on the Timetable Data Collection Form (the "Form").

(5) Schools must finalise their course and unit offerings before the development process deadlines for the following year's Timetable.

(6) Timetables are to be prepared and scheduled using the University's corporate timetabling system. All teaching and learning activities must be scheduled in the timetabling system regardless of whether they take place on the main campus, off campus or other University controlled Teaching Spaces.

(7) The Timetable will maximise the efficient and effective use of the University's teaching staff and physical resources.

Timetable Prioritisation

(8) In prioritising activities for the Timetable development process, the following principles shall be used:

  1. Students' needs will be given highest priority in the Timetable, reflecting the University's strategic goal to deliver a high quality Student experience;
  2. University core activities (i.e. teaching, intensive schools, examinations, orientation and graduation) take precedence over non-teaching activities (e.g. School meetings, concerts, conferences) in Teaching Spaces;
  3. larger classes have precedence over smaller classes;
  4. Service Teaching Units and first year units have precedence over later year units;
  5. activities which occupy large blocks of time have precedence over those which occupy small blocks of time;
  6. examination activities have precedence over all other activities during an official examination period;
  7. intensive school activities will have precedence over all other activities during an official intensive school period;
  8. Specialised Teaching Space shall be allocated primarily for its designated pedagogical purpose;
  9. activities requiring enhanced teaching facilities will have precedence over those requiring standard teaching facilities;
  10. suggested course programs of study will be timetabled to avoid clashes wherever possible; and
  11. Core Units and Prescribed Units will take precedence over Listed Units or Elective Units choices in course programs of study enrolment patterns.

(9) Non-clashing Timetable arrangements cannot be guaranteed.

Equity

(10) Consistent with University policy and relevant legislation, the establishment of the Timetable will take into consideration access requirements and reasonable adjustments for Students and staff in regards to family responsibilities, religious beliefs and disabilities.

(11) Students and staff should provide supporting information and requirements in advance of the Timetable being developed where practicable so that these access requirements and reasonable adjustments can be made and to minimise post-publication changes to the Timetable.

(12) Requests:

  1. relating to access requirements and/or reasonable adjustments for a disability:
    1. from a Student must be made by registering with the Special Needs Office; and
    2. from staff should be communicated on the Form;
  2. relating to staff family responsibilities should be approved by the Head of School and communicated on the Form; and
  3. relating to religious beliefs should be directed to Examinations, Results and Timetabling.

Public Holidays and Deeming of Days

(13) Teaching is not to be conducted on a NSW public holiday without permission of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation). The Timetabling Senior Officers will consult with the Schools regarding teaching activities that have been scheduled on a public holiday and offer other options. Requests for room bookings during the official University Christmas break will not be accepted.

Standard Teaching Times

(14) Core teaching hours are Monday to Friday between the hours of 8am and 6pm. Classes may be scheduled outside these core hours (e.g. to suit a particular Student cohort or teaching activity) upon request of the Unit Coordinator. The following conditions also apply:

  1. classes will commence on the hour and finish 10 minutes before the hour. This applies to classes commencing between 8am and 6pm; and
  2. all staff and Students must immediately vacate the Teaching Space at the end of class to allow the next class to commence in accordance with the Timetable.

(15) Every effort will be made to provide a one-hour lunch break between 12 midday and 2pm for scheduled teaching staff and Student course programs of study.

Establishment of Timetables

(16) Except where otherwise arranged with a School the Timetabling Senior Officers will compose and send the Form to listed Unit Coordinators advising of the due date for submission.

(17) Timetabling requirements submitted by Unit Coordinators must be consistent with information published in the Course and Unit Catalogue, the Learning Management System (LMS) and any relevant unit handbooks/guides.

(18) The Form must be signed and returned to Examinations, Results and Timetabling by the prescribed deadline. Except when a deadline extension has been granted, the Timetabling Senior Officers will provide the Head of School with a report of units with outstanding Forms. The Head of School will follow up with relevant staff to ensure the Form is submitted as a matter of priority.

(19) Not all specific requests may be able to be accommodated.

(20) A Form returned stating 'no changes' does not mean that the unit's Timetable will remain the same as the previous offering. The Unit Coordinator must provide preferences and Specialised Teaching Space requirements every offering of the unit.

(21) Information that is not on the Form will not be accepted for consideration unless otherwise negotiated and agreed with Examinations, Results and Timetabling.

Draft Timetable

(22) A Draft Timetable for the following year will be prepared by Examinations, Results and Timetabling using the information approved through the academic governance process and by Unit Coordinators on the Form. The Draft Timetable will be made available to Unit Coordinators for ten (10) Working Days for review and comment.

(23) Unit Coordinators must review the Draft Timetable to ensure that:

  1. teaching activities and attendance requirements have been adequately provided for all unit offerings and are in line with the initial request on the Form;
  2. teaching activities are assigned to the correct Timetable trimester weeks;
  3. allocated venues include any requested Specialised Teaching Spaces; and
  4. all details of activities have been correctly entered.

(24) Unit Coordinators must advise Examinations, Results and Timetabling if there are any errors or if they require changes to the Draft Timetable. All change requests must include a justification for the change.

(25) Change requests will be considered but will not be made solely for reasons of personal preferences such as particular rooms, days or times.

(26) Examinations, Results and Timetabling having responded as far as possible to a change request to the Draft Timetable (that was submitted by the deadline for review) will advise Unit Coordinators of any agreed changes. Unit Coordinators must Sign-off on any agreed changes.

Resolution of Timetable Conflicts

(27) Creation of the Timetable may result in complaints from Unit and/or Course Coordinators with requests for timetabling decisions to be reviewed.

(28) In the first instance complaints are to be directed to the relevant Timetabling Senior Officer for resolution who will liaise with the Coordinator of Examinations, Results and Timetabling and the complainant to achieve a satisfactory outcome. Matters that cannot be resolved will be escalated to the Director Student Success for a final decision (in consultation with the relevant Head of School and/or the Director Facilities Management Services if required).

(29) When resolving a conflict the principles outlined in clause 8 will be considered along with the following factors:

  1. the justification for requiring a specific Teaching Space and/or time;
  2. the availability/unavailability of alternative Teaching Space/time;
  3. the extent to which the alteration of existing arrangements will impact on other staff and Students;
  4. the need to consider sharing/turn-taking; and
  5. the need to give access to Students with Special Needs, unless this causes unjustifiable hardship.

Publication of the Timetable

(30) A finalised Timetable will be published on the Timetable webpage to coincide with the opening of enrolments for the following year to enable Students to make informed decisions regarding their study options and create their Student Timetable.

Changes to the Published Timetable

(31) Students plan their studies for the year using the Published Timetable requirements for their enrolled units. Consequently, changes to the Published Timetable will only be made for exceptional circumstances that could not be reasonably foreseen during the Timetable development process.

(32) Requests for changes will be considered but are not guaranteed and may require the relevant Head of School (clauses 33b,c,e) and/or Director Facilities Management Services (clause 33f) approval. Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  1. need exists for additional or deletion of classes where enrolment exceeds or falls below expectations;
  2. a unit’s availability has changed e.g. the cancellation or the addition of an offering of a unit;
  3. a unit’s delivery has changed e.g. the duration of a lecture, or a lecture/tutorial pattern is changed to lecture/tutorial/seminar or from on-campus to online;
  4. an identified need to change the Teaching Space for an activity to better fit the actual enrolment in the class;
  5. unavailability of allocated teaching staff;
  6. a Teaching Space becomes a health or safety hazard or is unavailable due to unforeseen maintenance/damage; and/or
  7. reasonable adjustments to accommodate Students with Special Needs.

(33) When the reason for the change is not in accordance with clause 33, the request must include an explanation of why the change was not identified during the establishment of the Timetable process.

(34) When a change to the Published Timetable is approved the responsible party (i.e. the School; Examinations, Results and Timetabling or a third party) must notify the affected Students as soon as possible and manage any further enquiries from Students that may arise from the change.

Timetable Clashes

(35) Constraints are built into the timetabling system to avoid clashes between as many Core Units and Prescribed Units within a course program of study. However, Examinations, Results and Timetabling are unable to guarantee that clashes will not occur but will endeavour to resolve a clash whenever possible.

(36) While the University will attempt to accommodate choice of units, the Timetable may not allow every Student to attend their preferred combination of units. Students may need to choose an alternative unit if a Timetable clash is unable to be resolved.

Ad Hoc Room Bookings

(37) Spaces available for ad hoc room bookings from both internal and external stakeholders are identified on the timetabling system.

(38) The University will consider bookings for ad hoc purposes only after the Timetable has been published. These bookings must be made via the web Room Booking system.

(39) External stakeholders wanting to make an ad hoc booking should contact the Facilities Management Service Directorate. External hirers and the use by the hirer of the facility must not be in conflict with the University's mission and values. The University may refuse any request to hire if the principal or proposed event is judged to be inappropriate for a University venue.

(40) The University's requirements take precedence over use by external stakeholders. No adjustments to the Published Timetable will be made to accommodate external use except in exceptional circumstances approved by the Director Student Success. In this instance Examinations, Results and Timetabling will liaise with relevant staff to make suitable alternative arrangements for activities already scheduled on the Timetable and notify affected Students.

(41) Ad-hoc room bookings from both internal and external stakeholders must adhere to all relevant University policies including use of drugs and alcohol (refer to Student Alcohol and Other Drug Policy).

Space Management

(42) All spaces within the University are deemed to be University space and shall not be controlled by Schools, Directorates or individuals.

(43) Teaching activities must not exceed the approved capacity of allocated Teaching Spaces to ensure the University meets its Workplace Health and Safety obligations.

(44) Specialised Teaching Spaces are available to the relevant teaching discipline/School and are only available to be allocated to those specialised teaching activities. Other users wishing to allocate/book Specialised Teaching Spaces can only do so with permission from the relevant Head of School (or nominee) before they can be timetabled to use the space. Specialised Teaching Spaces can only be designated as such by the Director Facilities Management Services.

(45) Where a Space is not managed by Examinations, Results and Timetabling, the custodian of that Space will be responsible for the administration of scheduling in those Spaces.

(46) UNE Representatives and Students may not use a Teaching Space unless it is on the Published Timetable or if there is an authorised room booking. If any users are found to be in a Teaching Space without authorisation (also known as 'squatting') they will be required to leave immediately.

(47) In situations where multiple parties present to use a Teaching Space at the same time, the party that is booked on the timetabling system will be granted use of the Teaching Space.

(48) Staff who do not use their allocated Teaching Spaces may be referred to the relevant Head of School.

Space Audits

(49) Facilities Management Service Directorate will undertake Room Utilisation Assessments of Teaching Spaces, when deemed necessary, to monitor 'actual' compared to 'timetabled' room usage and appropriateness of room allocation in regard to room capacity and Student numbers.

Records Management

(50) Records of any action or decision made under these Procedures must be recorded in accordance with the University Records Management Rule.

Responsibilities

(51) Examinations, Results and Timetabling has primary responsibility for the development and management of the University Timetable including, but not limited to:

  1. providing timelines for preparation of the University Timetable;
  2. releasing to staff a draft version of the Timetable for review and comment before the finalised Timetable is released;
  3. final scheduling of the Timetable ensuring the principles in clause 8 are applied;
  4. managing the online and ad hoc booking system for internal stakeholders;
  5. liaising with relevant staff to resolve timetabling conflicts and make adjustments to the Draft Timetable where practicable; and
  6. advising affected Students of an Examinations, Results and Timetabling initiated change to the Published Timetable and managing any further enquiries from Students that may arise from the change.

(52) Facilities Management Service Directorate are responsible for providing relevant information to Examinations, Results and Timetabling and undertaking Room Utilisation Assessments of timetabled spaces.

(53) Schools are responsible for advising affected Students of a School initiated change to the Published Timetable and managing any further enquiries from Students that may arise from the change.

(54) The Special Needs Office is responsible for advising Examinations, Results and Timetabling as early as possible of any registered Special Needs Students who have access requirements for teaching activities.

(55) Students are responsible for checking the Timetable for the combination of units they wish to enrol in to ensure there are no clashes.

(56) Unit Coordinators are responsible for:

  1. providing complete and accurate information regarding their teaching requirements as per the format and timelines prescribed by Examinations, Results and Timetabling; and
  2. checking the Draft Timetable and providing all relevant corrections and change requests before the prescribed deadline.

(57) The Information Technology Directorate is responsible for advising Examinations, Results and Timetabling about Teaching Spaces audio-visual and/or equipment upgrades or other relevant issues in a timely manner.

Authority and Compliance

(58) The Procedure Administrator makes these Procedures.

(59) University Representatives and Students must observe these Procedures in relation to University matters.

(60) These Procedures operate as and from the Effective Date.

(61) Previous Procedures relating to Timetabling are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Procedure.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(62) Ad Hoc Booking means a room booking in teaching or meeting venues that is not reflected on the Timetable.

(63) Core Unit means a unit that is compulsory for a Student to complete in order to satisfy the course rules. Core Units do not count towards a Major. Core Units would not normally be substituted for any other unit.

(64) Draft Timetable means the Timetable in draft form produced and made available to Unit Coordinators for review and comment.

(65) Effective Date means takes effect on the day on which it is published or on such later day as may be specified in the procedure.

(66) Prescribed Unit means a unit that is part of a Major and is compulsory for a Student to pass in order to complete the Major to satisfy the course rules. Prescribed Units would not normally be substituted for any other unit.

(67) Published Timetable means the version of the Timetable that is uploaded to the Timetable webpage for access by Students.

(68) Procedure Administrator is the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or Delegate.

(69) Service Teaching Unit means a unit that is offered by one School and taken as Core, Listed or Prescribed unit by Students enrolled in courses owned by other Schools.

(70) Sign-off means authorisation of the final unit Timetable by the Unit Coordinator for publication.

(71) Space means a particular closed or contained area, in which activities performed by the University are undertaken, which in turn is managed as a physical asset.

(72) Specialised Teaching Space means a teaching space that is designed for specific purposes, e.g. scientific laboratories, computer laboratories, wet and dry laboratories.

(73) Student means an Admitted Student or an Enrolled Student, at the relevant time.

  1. Admitted Student means a Student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study and who is entitled to enrol in a unit of study or who has completed all of the units in the UNE course of study.
  2. Enrolled Student means a student who is enrolled in a unit of study at UNE.

(74) Teaching Spaces means the teaching facilities at the University including lecture and tutorial rooms, laboratories and other Specialised Teaching Spaces used for teaching and other related activities. Any changes to the designation of these venues can only be made with the authorisation of the Director Facilities Management Services.

(75) Timetable means the schedule of teaching activities for on campus students.

(76) Timetable Data Collection Form means the form used for the collection of data to inform the Timetable.

(77) University Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.

(78) Working Day means Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays and the University Christmas break.