University welcomes independent quality report
Tuesday, 8 April 2003
The University of Adelaide welcomed the report of an independent academic audit by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA), being issued tomorrow.
"Academic audit is an extremely constructive and positive process from which everyone can learn," said Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha.
Professor McWha expressed his pleasure that the report supports the University's own analysis of what needs to be done and the actions it is already taking to increase quality assurance.
"We are delighted that the AUQA report confirms our own view of our strengths and areas for improvement," he said. "Our preparation for the audit was rigorous and inclusive, and I am very pleased that the great commitment of our staff and students to the process has been recognised in a commendation."
The University's self-assessment was documented in the University's Performance Portfolio and presented to AUQA prior to the visit of the audit panel in October last year. During the visit, the panel interviewed more than 200 people, including staff, students, members of the University Council, union representatives, and external stakeholders. Its report commends the University for the "thorough and open manner" of its participation in the process.
The report praises a range of the University's activities and processes, including its impressive research performance, its contribution to the establishment of start-up companies through its Thebarton Campus Research Park, its support services for international students, and the "significant national role" played by its Centre for Australian Indigenous Research and Studies.
Among the report's recommendations are more systematic planning and benchmarking, strengthening the quality assurance role of the Academic Board, and increased emphasis on review and development mechanisms for the University's academic and general staff.
Professor McWha said that the report would be a valuable element in the University's planning processes.
"The next step for the University is to prepare an action plan that outlines our response to the recommendations," he said. "We will be ready to present our plan to AUQA in July and to show the considerable progress we have already made in addressing the issues."
AUQA is an independent, not-for-profit national agency that will promote, audit and report on quality assurance in Australian higher education.
The Ministerial Council of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) formally established it in March 2000. It operates independently of governments and higher education sector, under the direction of a Board of Directors.
AUQA is owned by and receives core operational funding from the Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers for Higher Education, who are members of MCEETYA.