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Course Approval Procedures

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) These Procedures outline the implementation of the Course Approval Rule ("the Rule") and must be read in conjunction with that Rule.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) These Procedures apply to all coursework courses offered by the University in regard to:

  1. the development of new courses;
  2. amendments to existing courses; and
  3. withdrawal of courses.

(3) These Procedures do not apply to higher degree by research courses.

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Section 3 - Procedure

General

(4) The University will develop and maintain templates and resources for each category of new, amended or withdrawn course proposal. These will provide guidance as to the areas to be addressed and instructions for each element of a proposal.

(5) Administrative amendments to the templates can be made by the responsible Business Unit providing they do not affect the intent of the Rule or these Procedures. Any such amendments will be notified to the University Academic Program Committee (UAPC).

(6) A new, amended or withdrawn course proposal must be documented and progressed in accordance with the Rule and these Procedures before it can be offered or withdrawn.

New Course Proposal

(7) The University process for developing and approving a new course is subject to three stages of approval, which are captured in the New Course Form (the "Form") and associated financial template.

Part A - Course Concept Proposal

(8) The purpose of this stage is to establish a robust justification for a new course before further effort is invested in developing the course curriculum components. A proposal must be submitted for all new courses.

(9) The proposer should discuss the new course with their Head of School. If the Head of School endorses the proposal then the proposer completes and submits Part A of the Form (with the Head of School endorsement) to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (PVCA) for submission to the Senior Executive. The Senior Executive will consider the proposal in terms of the University's strategic direction and current course profile.

(10) The School will be notified of the outcome of the Senior Executive's consideration of the proposal including:

  1. date of approval; or
  2. required amendments or additional information; or
  3. that the proposal was not approved.

Part B - Business Case

(11) This stage takes place if the Course Concept Proposal is approved.

(12) A Business/Resource plan is required with detailed revenue projections and must include a detailed analysis of resources required to support implementation. The verification of applicable accreditation, publication and funding requirements is also critical.

(13) During this stage, the proposer should consult with external stakeholders, other University business units and Schools (if applicable) to establish the strongest possible case for submission.

(14) Part B of the Form and the associated financial template should be completed, endorsed by the Head of School and submitted to the Course Commercial Evaluation Panel (CCEP).

(15) The CCEP will consider the proposal in terms of: financial viability; market demand through potential student load and potential graduate employment; institutional risk; accreditation requirements and additional staffing and infrastructure requirements.

(16) The School will be notified of the outcome of the CCEP's consideration of the proposal including:

  1. date of approval; or
  2. required amendments or additional information; or
  3. that the proposal was not approved.

Part C - Course Details

(17) This stage takes place if the CCEP has approved the Business Case.

(18) Part C of the Form should be completed and submitted for endorsement to all (if applicable) School Teaching and Learning Committees involved in the teaching of the course.

(19) The School Teaching and Learning Committee/s will consider: the academic rigour of the proposed course; academic requirements and the structure of the course in relation to the achievement of the course aims, learning outcomes and graduate attributes; any professional accreditation and/or industry requirements; compliance with current legislative and regulatory requirements (e.g. Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and the Higher Education Standards Framework).

(20) If the relevant School Teaching and Learning Committee/s endorse/s the proposal the Head of the School owning the course will consider the advice of the Teaching and Learning Committee/s but will have the final approval of the new course proposal at School level. If the new course proposal is approved by the Head of School the New Course Form is submitted to UAPC for consideration.

(21) UAPC will consider from a University-wide perspective: the academic merit of the course; the course structure; admission and inherent requirements. If UAPC approves the course the proposal will be forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (or delegate) for final approval and then Academic Board for noting.

(22) If a new or amended course is advertised or implemented prior to approval by the relevant authority then promotional material must clearly indicate that offering of the course is subject to final approval and/or accreditation.

Course Withdrawal Proposal

(23) A course withdrawal is discussed, in the first instance, with the Head of School and, where there is a partner or pathway agreement, with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations), prior to notification to the School Teaching and Learning Committee/s.

(24) If the Head of School endorses the proposal, the Withdrawal of Course Approval Form is completed and submitted for endorsement to all (if applicable) the School Teaching and Learning Committees involved in the teaching of the course.

(25) The proposal for withdrawal should provide a rationale for the withdrawal, the transitional arrangements to accommodate Students currently enrolled in the course or on approved intermission, or an approved pathway to the course, the proposed end date for any teach-out arrangements as well as the effect on other courses that may share units with the course.

(26) If the School Teaching and Learning Committee/s endorse/s the proposal, the Head of the School owning the course will consider the advice of the Teaching and Learning Committee/s but will have the final approval of the proposed withdrawal of the course at School level. If the withdrawal of the course is approved by the Head of School the Withdrawal of Course Approval Form is submitted to UAPC for consideration.

(27) If UAPC approves the withdrawal of the course the proposal will be forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (or delegate) for final approval and then Academic Board for noting.

(28) Advice to any affected Students should include a formal letter from the Head of School which includes, where appropriate, the available options or alternative arrangements.

(29) A course withdrawal is permanent and a request to resume a course will require the same procedure as a New Course Proposal.

(30) Schools who are in doubt as to the course's permanent future should consider Suspension of the course rather than its withdrawal.

Amended Course Proposal

(31) Course Coordinators who wish to make an amendment to a Course must complete the Amended Course Form and submit for endorsement to all (if applicable) School Teaching and Learning Committees involved in the teaching of the course. Course amendments that affect articulation and pathway agreements must address how the amendments will be managed under those articulation/pathway agreements.

(32) If the relevant School Teaching and Learning Committee/s endorse/s the proposal the Head of the School owning the course will consider the advice of the Teaching and Learning Committee/s but will have the final approval of the proposal at School level. If the proposal is approved by the Head of School the Amended Course Form is submitted to UAPC for consideration.

(33) If UAPC approves the Amended Course Proposal it will be forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (or delegate) for final approval and then Academic Board for noting.

(34) Advice to any affected Students should include a formal letter from the Head of School which includes, where appropriate, the available options or alternative arrangements.

Suspension of a Course

(35) A School may wish to suspend an intake of Students to a course for a period of up to two years.

(36) The proposed suspension of an intake in the first instance is discussed with the Head of School, and, where there is a partner or pathway agreement, with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations), prior to notification to all the School Teaching and Learning Committee/s involved in the teaching of the course.

(37) The proposal for suspension should provide a rationale for suspension, the arrangements to accommodate Students currently enrolled in the course or on approved intermission or an approved pathway to that course as well as the effect on other courses that may share units with the course. The School Teaching and Learning Committee should provide details of proposed transitional arrangements to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for approval and, if approved, forwarded to UAPC for noting.

(38) Normally, a course will be withdrawn at the end of the period of suspension.

(39) If the suspension is to be lifted, advice should be provided to UAPC by the end of March in the preceding year before the planned intake.

Timelines for Submission and Approval, Publication and Reporting

(40) The University is required to meet internal and external deadlines, including those for reporting to the Commonwealth Government and for inclusion in internal and external publications.

(41) A variation to the timelines below to allow course proposals to be considered late may be made in exceptional circumstances to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

(42) Information Management (Student Administration and Services) will publish the deadlines for submission of new, amended or withdrawn course proposals for each year.

(43) Schools need to plan their academic program development to meet published deadlines. Ideally planning should commence at least eighteen months prior to the introduction of the new or amended course.

New Course Proposal Approval Timelines

(44) The Concept Proposal (Part A of the New Course Form) must be submitted to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) no later than the end of December in the year preceding the deadline for submission of the Business Case.

(45) In the year preceding the proposed first intake:

  1. the Business Case (Part B of the New Course Form and CCEP Financial Template Form) must be submitted to CCEP for approval no later than the end of January;
  2. the Course Details (Part C of the New Course Form) must be submitted to the School Teaching and Learning Committee for endorsement no later than the end of February;
  3. the New Course Form must be submitted to UAPC no later than the end of March if endorsed by the School Teaching and Learning Committee/Head of School; and
  4. all UAPC approved new Course Proposals are submitted for final approval to the Vice-Chancellor (or delegate) on a rolling basis, with all proposals being approved by mid-July.

Amended Course Proposal Approval Timelines

(46) In the year preceding the introduction of the proposed course amendment the Amended Course Form must be:

  1. submitted to the School Teaching and Learning Committee for endorsement no later than the end of March;
  2. submitted to UAPC no later than the end of April, if endorsed by School Teaching and Learning Committee/Head of School; and
  3. submitted to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (or delegate), if approved by UAPC, on a rolling basis, with all being finalised by mid-July.

Course Withdrawal Proposal

(47) In the year preceding the proposed withdrawal of the course the Withdrawn Course Form must be:

  1. submitted to the School Teaching and Learning Committee for endorsement no later than the end of February;
  2. submitted to UAPC no later than the end of March, if endorsed by School Teaching and Learning Committee/Head of School; and
  3. submitted to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (or delegate), if approved by UAPC, on a rolling basis, with all being finalised by mid-July.

Publishing and Reporting Timelines - New and Amended Courses

(48) UNE, Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) and the Australian Course Information Register (ACIR) publications are finalised in February and March for courses offered in the following year.

(49) Approved new and amended courses for the following year are built for the Course and Unit Catalogue and into Callista for:

  1. Commonwealth Reporting by 1 August; and
  2. Direct Online Admission for Trimester 1 of the following year by mid-August.

Records Management

(50) Records of all actions and decisions relating to the Rule and these Procedures must be kept in accordance with the University's Records Management Rule including the lodgement in TRIM of new, amended and withdrawn course forms endorsed and signed by the Head of School prior to submission to UAPC.

Authority and Compliance

(51) The Procedure Administrator, pursuant to the University's Course Approval Rule, makes these Procedures.

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

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

(54) Previous Procedures relating to course approval are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of these new Procedures.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(55) Effective Date means the day on which these Procedures are published or on such later day as may be specified in these Procedures.

(56) 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.

(57) 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.

(58) UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 No 68 (NSW).

(59) Withdrawn course means a course that the University has agreed to discontinue permanently, and in which current students will be allowed to complete under specific teach-out provisions that have a final end-date.