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The University of Adelaide undertakes formal reviews of its Units and Programs. Review activities are an integral part of the University's approach to quality assurance. The review process follows the University's Quality Assurance Planning and Budgeting, Implementation, Review and Improvement (PIRI) with cycles of review, implentation and reflection on improvements. Reviews include external assessment and are conducted with reference to the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), the Australian Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF), and the University's policies, strategic plan and relevant associated plans.

Reviews also provide an opportunity to address future prospects and enhancement through critical self-evaluation, embrace success and benchmark against national and international universities. Overall responsibilities for the review process rests with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) but Learning and Quality Support manages the review process.


The TEQSA HESF Threshold Standards (2015) require under section 5.3 that all accredited (programs) of study are subject to periodic comprehensive reviews that are overseen by peak academic governance processes and include external referencing or other benchmarking activities.

The outcomes of Reviews are reported to Academic Board as the peak academic body, and where there are non-academic issues they are sent to VCE. Program Reviews are held every 5 years and Academic, and other Unit Reviews are held every 7 years.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of institutional reviews and improvement of academic activities are required under Clause 6.3.2g, which the University meets through the development and monitoring of Review Implementation Plans.

Core Principles

The general principles that underpin the University's approach to Reviews are:

  • The University is committed to the review and evaluation of its activities as an integral part of its quality assurance processes.
  • Reviews are primarily directed towards addressing the improvements to the Program or Unit in the context of the University's priorities established in text of its strategic plans.
  • The review process requires critical self-evaluation of the Program or Unit to reflect on good practice and enhancements that might be made for the future direction of its Self Evaluation Report (SER).
  • Reviews will be conducted in a clear and orderly manner, with public and transparent processes.
  • Discussions and submissions will be treated with discretion and confidentiality.
  • Review Panels will make a verbal report to the Program or Unit Staff at the conclusion of their visit and also provide a formal report.
  • There will be regular evaluation of the review processes.

Types of Reviews

Centrally-managed Reviews

Overall responsibility for the review process rests with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic).

Centrally-managed reviews include Program Reviews (which focus on coursework programs) and Organisational Unit Reviews - which include both academic and other academic units.

Type of Review Unit of Review (Focus) Overseen By Managed By
Program Reviews
Academic Programs Academic Program (Undergraduate and Postgraduate Coursework Programs) PVC(SL)* Learning & Quality Support
Organisational Unit Reviews
Academic and other Academic Units School (performance, management, structure, resources, facilities and plans of Academic Units). Research centres and research institutes may also be included. PVC(SL)* Learning & Quality Support
Administrative and Para-Academic Units Non-Academic Units/Branches (quality of services that support academic activities) Divisional Heads

* Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning)

Locally-managed Reviews

Responsibility for locally-managed reviews rests within the senior managers of Faculties/Schools (e.g. Executive Deans, Heads of School). Such reviews are supported directly by the local academic area. These reviews may focus on courses, ongoing monitoring of academic programs, and other activities of an individual Faculty/School.

Templates and information on Course Reviews are available on this website.

Division of Academic and Student Engagement

The University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005

Street Address

Level 7, Wills Building
North Terrace Campus


T +61 8 8313 5901
F +61 8 8313 8333