The review process is an integral part of the University's quality assurance system. All coursework programs offered by the University are subject to review as part of a seven year cycle. Oversight of these reviews is the responsibility of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice President (Academic).
Reviews are designed to provide program teams, schools and faculties with:
- Opportunity for formative self-evaluation and constructive dialogue with key stakeholders including students, employers, alumni and the wider community;
- Independent feedback, advice and recommendations in response to self-evaluation and planning, within a benchmarked context and with reference to national and international exemplars, standards and quality assurance frameworks, and relevant institutional data;
- An evidence-base for strategic and outcomes-focused identification of future prospects and enhancement priorities;
- Transparent implementation plans for strategic and enhancement initiatives.
The broad aims for Academic Programs Reviews are:
- evaluate the quality of the curriculum and its delivery in undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs in relation to the expectations set out in relevant University strategies and the University’s Graduate Attributes, national and international trends in the discipline(s) and, where relevant, accreditation by professional statutory and regulatory bodies;
- evaluate the quality of program governance, management and enhancement processes, including approaches to working with students as partners and to external engagement;
- assess the program’s progress since the previous review, with reference to the outcomes of the implementation plan in response to the recommendations of that review;
- identify and give recognition to best practice and successful outcomes;
- identify opportunities and priorities for development and enhancement, including for curriculum renewal and enhancement of delivery, and with a focus on student recruitment, experience, engagement, satisfaction, retention, academic performance, graduate destinations and employer satisfaction;
- identify areas where resources and support might be needed to enable enhancement priorities to be addressed;
- ensure that a high standard of academic program awards is maintained.
A seven-year Academic Program Review Schedule is developed by Learning and Quality Support in consultation with Executive Deans, and approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice President (Academic) (DVCA&VP(A)). The schedule is updated on an annual basis. The updated schedule for a given calendar year is reported to Academic Board at the end of the preceding calendar year.
To avoid unnecessary duplication, cognate programs are often grouped for the purpose of review, and the schedule is developed with due consideration to the timing of external accreditation processes for programs with professional accreditation requirements.
The Academic Program Reviews Process map provides a high level overview of the complete process.
Details of the current Academic Program Reviews scheduled.
Terms of reference
The Terms of Reference for a particular review should address any particular issues specific to the program(s) concerned, while also being cognisant of priorities determined by the University's strategic direction. In particular, the Terms of Reference should address the quality of the program(s) offered.
Executive Deans will submit draft Terms of Reference to Learning and Quality Support. While the use of standard Terms of Reference is recommended, the Executive Dean can provide modified or alternative Terms of Reference. The PVC(SL) will approve the final Terms of Reference for the review.
Program reviews are conducted by a review panel which is established with the aim of facilitating independent peer-review, and must include an external reviewer. While Review Panels for program reviews are usually restricted to two members, in certain circumstances, the PVC(SL) may approve an increased panel size.
Member Selection Senior Academic (Convenor) - Internal Staff Member Professor - Independent to the School/Discipline area of the program(s) under review Academic - External Appointee Professor - From the same or similar area to the program(s) under review
International panel members can only be included if travel and accommodation costs are met by the Faculty. Executive Deans will submit a list of prospective panel members for consideration and approval by the PVC(SL).
Further details are available in the factsheet Responsibilities of Review Panel Members and Learning and Quality Support Staff.
Standard reviews of Programs focus on the quality of the curriculum and its delivery, its governance and progress since the last review, best practice, and opportunities for development and enhancement with a focus on student participation, and are guided by the Terms of Reference.
An Internal Team appointed by the Executive Dean after consultation with the academic unit, undertakes a self-evaluation process commencing no less than seven months prior to the Review Panel visit. The outcome of the process is the preparation of a Self Evaluation Report for submission to the Review Panel one month prior to the Panel visit. Guidelines are available on the development of the self evaluation report, and it should be noted that faculties are permitted to provide additional information considered relevant to the review.
Invitations to provide submissions to the Review Panel are made to internal and external stakeholders. The faculty, in consultation with Learning and Quality Support, develops a list of relevant stakeholders inclusive of students and representatives from both industry and professional groups. Learning and Quality Support engages stakeholders for invitation of written submissions, and may also invite some of the stakeholders to an interview with the Review Panel.
The Review Panel commences drafting of the Review Report during the final session of their visit, with a particular focus on developing the recommendations.
At the conclusion of the visit, the Panel delivers an oral debrief of their recommendations and commendations to review participants and stakeholders.
Supported by Learning and Quality Support, a draft set of written recommendations is finalised with the Convenor in the week following the Review Panel's visit, with the final Review Report submitted to the PVC(SL) within two weeks of the visit.
On receipt of the Review Report, the PVC(SL) will provide an opportunity for the relevant Dean(s) to review and respond to the report and its recommendations. Following this consultation, the PVC(SL) presents the Report to Academic Board. Recommendations requiring discussion of resource matters (eg. staff, financial and physical) will be considered by Vice-Chancellor's Executive in the first instance.
Academic Board or the Vice-Chancellor's Executive, where appropriate, is responsible for endorsing the final recommendations (to the extent that they fall within its Terms of Reference), and recommending their approval to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Approved reports are available from the review reports and implementation plan page.
Responsibility for the development, execution, and monitoring of Implementation Plans is as follows:
- For academic programs reviews - responsibility rests with the Executive Dean, with carriage assigned to an Implementation Working Group chaired by the Program Coordinator. Membership of the Working Group will be approved by the Executive Dean in consultation with stakeholders, and will include representation from course coordinators, students, and the Faculty Associate Dean Learning and Teaching.
- A finalised Implementation Plan will be provided to Learning and Quality Support within six weeks of Academic Board’s consideration of the Review Report. The PVC(SL) will provide the Implementation Plan to the next available meeting of Academic Board.
- The Executive Dean/Unit Head will submit updates on the progress of the actions described in the Implementation Plan to Learning and Quality Support. These updates will be required after another four months and then a further eight months following the initial implementation plan. The PVC(SL) will provide progress reports on Implementation Plans to the next available meeting of Academic Board as unstarred items in the first instance.
Implementation plans and progress reports are available from the review reports, recommendations and implementation plans page. For details regarding the process for development, execution and monitoring of implementation plans please view the process map.