View Current

Terms of Reference (Vice-Chancellor approved) - Academic Portfolio Executive Committee (APEC)

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Objective

(1) The Academic Portfolio Executive Committee (APEC) is a management advisory committee of the University.

(2) APEC's key objective is to support the achievement of UNE’s strategic plan and priorities by enabling cross institutional review and discussion of business plans, innovation, risks and issues relevant to the Academic Portfolio, advising and making recommendations for decision to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) in regards to innovations and developments, high level resource allocation, policy guidance, relevant to the DVC's oversight responsibilities, including:

  1. the effective operation of frameworks for academic quality and integrity, academic freedom, knowledge creation, and cultural engagement;
  2. the effectiveness of systems for student engagement, admission and enrolment, participation, experience and progression; support services to ensure student wellbeing; and the actioning of systemic issues and complaints;
  3. the performance of the academic portfolio against key institutional metrics and the effective management of significant risk and compliance related matters including those related to significant contracts and/or commercial activities;
  4. the assessment of the commercial aspects of significant changes to UNE’s course profile/academic programs, of appropriate targets for load allocation and course fee setting;
  5. supporting effective engagement and contributions by the Academic Portfolio to key digital, place, people and sustainability strategic discussions, projects and innovations;
  6. the allocation, management and coordination of resources to support effective and sustainable delivery of the University’s academic activities;
  7. the management of frameworks and processes relating to the:
    1. University’s academic activities; and
    2. academic staffing and staffing strategy; and
  8. the performance and sustainability of the University’s course and unit portfolio and the management actions to improve performance and ensure stability.

(3)  Input and advice on key reports by the DVC or members of APEC, to:

  1. the Senior Executive Team and/or Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (VC&CEO) on key institutional decisions relating to UNE's academic portfolio; and/or
  2. to academic or corporate governance bodies.
Top of Page

Section 2 -  Membership

(4) The Academic Portfolio Executive Committee (APEC) membership comprises the following ex-officio roles:

  1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
  2. Executive Principal Brand Partnerships & Business Development
  3. Executive Principal Education Futures
  4. Executive Principal Student Experience
  5. Dean Faculty of Medicine and Health
  6. Dean Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education
  7. Dean Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law
  8. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy) 
  9. Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Development

(5) In attendance (in person or by nominee) as required for relevant discussions:

  1. Chief Financial Officer
  2. Chief Information Officer
  3. Director, Education Quality
  4. Director, UNE International Strategy
  5. Director, Office of Strategy Management
  6. Director People and Culture
  7. Director, Regional Development
  8. Director, Research Services
  9. Director Strategic Research Partnerships 
  10. Director, UNE Graduate School

(6) By invitation:

  1. Senior Executive members or any person invited by the Chair.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Functions

(7) The functions of APEC are out in Table 1:

Table 1

Domain Advise the Deputy Vice Chancellor in relation to: Monitor

1. Composition of the UNE Academic Course Portfolio (which includes all UNE award and non-award courses)

a. the strategic alignment, commercial viability and the University’s capacity to support and deliver the academic course portfolio;
b. the alignment of the academic course portfolio with the University’s place-based and digital-first strategies;
c. strategic, business and operational approval of proposals (consistent with delegations) regarding changes to the academic course portfolio (such as withdrawal, suspension or major alterations to existing courses and approval of new courses); and
d. initiation and implementation of portfolio reviews.
the competitive market positioning and resource management of UNE's overall Course Profile including:
a. enrolment trends and forecasts for all courses each trimester;
b. revenue, cost of delivery and margin from academic programs; and
c. market intelligence

2. Delivery of the UNE Academic Course Portfolio, including personalised student learning journeys, student success and retention

Strategic, business and operational approval of strategies, plans and initiatives to improve the quality and efficiency of delivery of the academic course portfolio, including:
a. student success and retention;
b. academic transitions;
c. student engagement;
d. quality of teaching; and
e. curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.
a. implementation of key strategies, plans and initiatives, including personalised student learning journeys;
b. holistic assessment of performance metrics relating to delivery against student feedback on teaching, satisfaction and QILT; and
c. implementation of contemporary, knowledge-informed, fit-for-purpose curriculum, pedagogy and assessment practices.

3. Load, fees, scholarships and allocation of places

a. the load plan for the Course Portfolio;
b. domestic and international fees;
c. other pricing mechanisms, including scholarships, bursaries and package offers;
d. allocating CSPs to courses; and
e. setting enrolment caps or quotas for units and courses.
As at 1 above

4. Hypothecated Commonwealth academic funding streams (including HEPPP, NPILF and SSAF)

a. strategy for prioritising and allocating funding streams to projects and initiatives;
b. project proposals, including funding allocations and variations, for consideration and approval; and
c. reports to be provided to funders, including the Commonwealth.
a. allocation and expenditure of funding; and
b. performance and impact of funded projects.

5. Academic Staffing

strategies, plans and initiatives, as they pertain to different cohorts of academic staff, emeriti, adjuncts and volunteers, and relating to:
a. recruitment, induction, probation, promotion and performance;
b. planning and goal setting;
c. supervision, support, training and development;
d. workload; and
e. culture, wellbeing and engagement.
Implementation of key strategies, plans and initiatives

6. Academic Partnerships          

strategic, business and operational approval of proposals (consistent with delegations) regarding:
a. establishment of, changes to and withdrawal or disestablishment of third party arrangements; and
b. establishment of, changes to and withdrawal or disestablishment of academic partnerships (including MOUs), commercial activities or innovation pilot programs.
Performance of external academic partner arrangements, and commercial activities considering at outset and at least annually thereafter:
a. business case and value proposition/benefits realisation for UNE
b. priority and adequacy of resourcing;
c. structures and of ongoing relationship management, and
d. adherence to institutional compliance obligations including academic compliance and matters including modern slavery, foreign relations, autonomous sanctions and foreign interference as relevant.

7. Academic Benchmarks

a. recommend Institutional benchmarks for assessing Academic Performance and Quality across all academic portfolio functions and indicators; and
b. quality, compliance and key risks relating to operations of the Academic portfolio.
a. performance against institutional benchmarks; and
b. effectiveness of measures to address quality, compliance and key risks.

Overall Portfolio

a. progress and implementation of plans and critical business-as-usual activities
b. risk profile and compliance management;
c. budget and resource management;
d. performance against academic and operational performance benchmarks;
e. business case and value proposition / benefits realisation;and
f. internal and external benchmarks.

Sector learnings and developments as well as academic integrity issues, trends and emerging risks

In discharging all its functions, APEC considers:
a. strategic alignment, commercial viability and the University’s capacity to support and deliver the relevant strategy, plan or initiative;
b. alignment with the University’s place-based and digital-first strategies;
c. quality assurance, risk profile and compliance management;
d. budget and resource management;
e. performance against academic and operational performance benchmarks (internal and external);
f. business case and value proposition / benefits realisation; and
g. corrective action, including recommending changes to plans, policies, priorities and initiatives or other action, including further reporting, review or escalation
Top of Page

Section 4 - Committee Conduct

Chair and Deputy Chair

(8) The DVC will chair the meetings. In the event the DVC is unavailable the committee will elect a Chair for the meeting from the voting members.


(9) The Committee will meet monthly. Flying minutes (or circular resolutions) may be used for urgent matters.

(10) A simple majority of the membership of the Committee will constitute a quorum.

(11) Members will be required to consider and disclose potential conflicts of interest and may be required on resolution by the Committee to absent themselves from specific discussions and or business papers.


(12) The Chair of APEC or nominated delegate will:

  1. provide advice to the VC&CEO regarding matters within the Committee's terms of reference including key risks and issues;
  2. in accordance with delegations, refer proposals and reports considered by APEC for approval to the VC&CEO and/or Senior Executive Team;
  3. in accordance with delegations, refer proposals and reports considered by APEC for noting to the Academic Board or Committee; and
  4. provide a quarterly report of key matters considered and actioned by the Committee to the Executive Team.
Top of Page

Section 5 - Authority Delegation

(13) The provisions of these Terms of Reference take effect under the authority of VC&CEO consistent with Section 28(1)(a) of the University of New England Act 1993(NSW). APEC has delegated authority from the VC&CEO to perform on their behalf the advisory, monitoring and communication functions set out in the Terms Of Reference above, and all matters ancillary to those functions.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Definitions

(14) Academic matters - All management matters pertaining to learning, teaching and education services, programs and courses, including course and unit profile, academic quality and integrity, academic partnerships and collaborations, student retention and enrolment figures.

(15) Academic Portfolio Matters refers to the planning, resourcing and prioritising of the University's academic programs and offerings, consideration of academic risk and compliance obligations and of academic integrity and quality. Note that academic quality matters are subject to review and/or approval via Academic Board and Committees.

(16) Academic partner arrangements - In the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015, a 'third-party arrangement' (TPA) is referred to as 'delivery with other parties'. A TPA means an arrangement made by a registered provider with another party (in Australia or overseas) to deliver some or all of a higher education course that leads to the award of an Australian regulated higher education qualification.

(17) Academic Quality is defined by TEQSA as a demonstration or verification that a desired level of quality of an academic activity has or is likely to be obtained or sustained. Academic activities in this context include teaching, learning, scholarship, research and research training for higher degree research students.

(18) Course Profile - Management of the overall composition and profile of the University’s course offerings to ensure overall TEQSA compliance, academic integrity, and control or treatment of risk. This includes management of course rules, learning objectives and outcomes, course organisation and design (including formative learning, assessments, WIL, learning support and staff expertise).

(19) International Course Profile is management of the course offerings to international students.