Policy

Academic Program Approval - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy seeks to provide a University-wide framework for the formal approval of academic programs and study sequences that assure teaching and learning quality. In turn, faculties, schools and centres must also establish a formal approval process through Faculties’ program-based Boards of Studies (see Senate Rules), which articulates into the University process and ensure that appropriate consultation across schools and faculties occurs.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic Programs – sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as an undergraduate degree or diploma, and/or postgraduate coursework qualification.

Educational Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act) – Commonwealth Government legislation that ensures providers of education and training are regulated in the delivery of education services to international students. The Act provides for obligations and restrictions on students to comply with the conditions of their student visa. Under the Act, the University is required to monitor and report on some of these conditions to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Faculty Boards of Studies – Faculty committees which report to the Faculty Boards on matters associated with particular degree programs for which the Faculty has responsibility. Boards of Studies will generally include representatives of the staff teaching the degree concerned, the students and relevant external professional or employer groups.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all academic programs and non-award studies.

4. Policy Statement

4.1 Principles

The academic program approval process aims to ensure that:

  • proposals to offer new programs or new discipline fields in existing programs are consistent with the University's academic and strategic priorities;
  • programs and courses have been designed to incorporate

o    appropriate learning experiences

o    appropriate teaching methods and methods of evaluation of student learning

o    desired graduate attributes;

  • program and course evaluation and quality assurance procedures are embedded in each stage of program development;
  • the quality and integrity of the program meets the highest academic standards;
  • the program has been developed within the established policy framework for teaching and learning;
  • consultation has occurred with all relevant academic units that can contribute to respective areas of discipline expertise, including adherence to the requirements of PPL 3.20.05a Collaborative Service Teaching - Policy;
  • direct consultation has occurred with all relevant faculties and organisational units that have discipline expertise relevant to the program in relation to resource implications. Such consultation must be at appropriately senior levels (e.g. executive dean, head of school, University Librarian and Director of Learning Services);
  • consultation has occurred, where applicable, with relevant external and accreditation bodies; and
  • the University complies with relevant legislation, such as the ESOS Act.
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Procedures

Academic Program Approval - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures are intended to give effect to the uniform implementation of PPL 3.20.01a Academic Program Approval – Policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic Board (the Board) - the principal academic advisory body to the University Senate. The Board provides independent authoritative advice to the Senate and the Vice-Chancellor on all matters relating to and affecting University teaching, research and educational programs.

Academic Calendar – a calendar developed by the University that contains important dates, deadlines, events and matters related to students’ progress through the academic year. This information includes deadlines for enrolment and fee payments, semester dates, and examination periods.

Academic Program – a sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as an undergraduate degree or diploma, and/or postgraduate coursework qualification.

Committee for Academic Programs Policy (CAPP) – a committee of the Academic Board. Its role is to consider and advise the Board on matters of educational significance, to maintain the quality and effectiveness of the University’s programs.

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) – an Australian Government register listing all Australian education providers offering courses to people studying in Australia on student visas and the courses offered.

Course – a distinct unit of study within a program, for which a result is given. Each course is identified by its alphanumeric code, a title and a fixed unit value. Courses are normally completed in one or two semesters.

DVC(A) - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Educational Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act) – is Commonwealth Government legislation that ensures providers of education and training are regulated in the delivery of education services to international students. The Act provides for obligations and restrictions on students to comply with the conditions of their student visa. Under the Act, the University is required to monitor and report on some of these conditions to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Foundation Year program – a UQ Certificate IV program that prepares international students for study at UQ. The UQ Foundation Year program guarantees graduates admission to a range of UQ programs, provided requirements including quota restrictions, grade point average, subject prerequisite and English language proficiency are met.

Faculty Board of Studies – a Faculty committee which advises the Executive Dean on current and future issues that relate to the development, content, structure and rules pertaining to academic programs. Boards of Studies will generally include representatives of the staff teaching the degree concerned, as well as of students and relevant external professional or employer groups.

Global Strategy Sub-Committee – the principal body advising the Vice-Chancellor on matters associated with the University’s international education policies, strategy and management.

Programs Sub-Committee (PSC) - a sub-committee of CAPP that provides advice on changes to programs requiring amendments to program rules. PSC does not have authority to recommend program changes which incorporate academic policy changes.

Stand-alone Learning Module – a university-led structured learning endeavour for which participants are not enrolled in a UQ course. Frequently, emphasis is placed on meeting the continuing professional development needs of individuals newly entering a field, returning to a field after a time of non-practice, maintaining currency, or in need of upgrading or updating skills. Stand-alone learning modules are not normally configured in SI-net.

Vice-Chancellor – the chief executive officer of the University.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to the approval process for new, amended and discontinued undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs and non-award studies. They include non-standard program proposals, such as integrated undergraduate or postgraduate coursework or research programs, as well as changes to guaranteed pathway arrangements for the UQ Foundation Year program.

4. Procedures Statement

4.1 Governance

Governance of the academic program approval process is undertaken as follows:

a) proposals, including arrangements with third party providers and other institutions, are first endorsed by the Executive Dean for strategic purposes

b) proposals endorsed by the Executive Dean are submitted first to CAPP for academic review, and then to Academic Board for advice

c) the DVC(A) considers the advice of the Academic Board before making a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor.

4.2 Executive Deans

Notification of new and major program initiatives

Executive Deans consider the strategic aspects of new and major program initiatives before more detailed academic aspects of the programs are developed. Proposals to be submitted to a relevant Executive Dean for consideration are:

  • new coursework programs, including those offered offshore only
  • structural changes to existing programs (may include new majors and fields of study), including significant changes to program lists
  • discontinuations of coursework programs, majors and fields of study
  • the offshore offering of existing programs, where a change in curriculum is involved.

Proposals to the Executive Dean will briefly summarise the following information:

  • outline of the major program initiative
  • justification for the initiative
  • estimated demand and business case
  • marketing requirements
  • resources
  • existing staff and infrastructure
  • additional staff requirements/infrastructure
  • student load issues
  • involvement of other faculties/schools in delivery arrangements and advice on consultation process
  • potential duplication with other program offerings/faculties/institutes/schools.

4.3 Committee for Academic Programs Policy (CAPP)

New and major program initiatives

CAPP considers the academic and quality assurance aspects of new and major program initiatives and develops academic policies for consideration by the Academic Board. Proposals to be submitted to CAPP for consideration are:

  • new coursework programs, including those offered offshore only [Form 1]
  • structural changes to existing programs (may include new majors and fields of study) and significant changes to program lists [Form 2 or Form 3]
  • discontinuations of coursework programs, majors and fields of study [Form 6]
  • offshore offering of existing programs, where there is a change in curriculum involved
  • new dual programs created from existing programs [Form 4]
  • introduction of, and changes to, non-award programs (e.g. enhanced studies, enrichment studies) [Form 10]
  • changes to guaranteed pathway arrangements and admission requirements for the UQ Foundation Year program [Form 3]
  • nomenclature amendments to programs, majors and fields of study [Form 5]
  • suspension of existing programs, majors and fields of study.

Detailed proposals for major and minor program changes

Programs Sub-Committee (PSC) provides compliance oversight, on behalf of CAPP, to ensure that the detailed aspects of program proposals comply with the University’s academic policy framework. Proposals to be submitted to PSC, for consideration on behalf of CAPP, include changes to programs requiring amendment to program rules [Form 7].

Program variations to the Academic Calendar and courses to be offered in non-standard teaching periods [Form 14] will be submitted for approval, via app@uq.edu.au, to the President, Academic Board.

Approval of new courses or changes to existing courses

Approval to offer new courses is normally to the responsibility of the relevant Faculty. However, occasionally details of a new course [Form 11] may need to be considered by CAPP. This can occur when the course:

  • forms part of an introduction of a new program or new study sequence in an existing program
  • details quality assurance arrangements [Form 12] for offshore program offerings
  • is planned to be offered outside a standard teaching period
  • requires consultation with relevant academic units that can contribute to respective areas of discipline expertise, including adherence to the requirements of PPL 3.20.05 Collaborative Service Teaching - Policy
  • requires consultation with relevant external and accreditation bodies.

4.4 Approval of Stand-alone Learning Modules

Stand-alone learning modules must be approved and quality assured. This is normally the responsibility of the relevant school. However, approval and/or quality assurance may be differently managed at the discretion of the Executive Dean or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

5. Deadline for Submissions

Proposals must be submitted to CAPP and PSC, via app@uq.edu.au, in accordance with the submission deadlines displayed on the Academic Board website.

6. Regulatory Requirements

In accordance with PPL 1.10.06 Senate Governance Framework, the Vice-Chancellor exercises delegated authority from the Senate. The Vice-Chancellor receives advice from the Academic Board when exercising powers delegated to him by Senate under PPL 1.10.06 Senate Governance Framework for the approval of new programs and changes to existing programs.

In the case of new programs available to international students, the Vice-Chancellor’s approval of preliminary proposals referred by Academic Board will allow the University to meet the provisions of the ESOS Act by obtaining a CRICOS program code. A CRICOS program code will enable the program to be marketed.

7. Program Bulletin

The Program Bulletin provides details of submitted program proposals, and progress of these submissions through the committee approval process.

The aim of the Program Bulletin is to:

  • facilitate information sharing at each stage of program development
  • encourage communication and collaboration
  • encourage wider scrutiny and early resolution of cross-faculty issues
  • document the progress of proposals through the various stages of approval
  • provide access to relevant forms.

8. Quality Assurance Arrangements for Offshore Program Offerings and Third Party Providers (including both onshore and offshore institutions)

Faculties must establish, manage and review quality assurance arrangements for all offshore program offerings and arrangements with third party providers, including both onshore and offshore institutions.

A quality assurance statement for an offshore program offering and third party providers (Form 12) must be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor as part of:

  • the program approval process (where the offshore offering involves the development of a new program) and/or
  • the development a partnership arrangement, where an offshore program offering and third party arrangement involves a partner institution (either domestic or international).

Quality assurance arrangements must be developed, implemented and managed by faculties for the following offshore and third party program arrangements:

  • offshore offering of an entire UQ program;
  • any third party arrangement of an entire UQ program;
  • offshore offering of part of a UQ program;
  • third party arrangement to teach part of a program;
  • offshore programs delivered in collaboration with a partner institution.

Faculties must address principles outlined in Form 12 when developing quality assurance statements for their offshore program and third party offerings. Faculties are required to develop a business case for offshore proposals, for submission to the Global Strategy Sub-Committee for consideration. Where offshore delivery of an existing program requires a change to that program’s curriculum, a proposal must be developed and submitted as per section 4.3 of these procedures.

Where no curriculum change is required, Executive Deans must submit the business case to the Global Strategy Sub-Committee and a quality assurance statement to the Vice-Chancellor.

Faculties must address principles outlined in Form 12 when developing Quality Assurance statements for third party arrangements for program offerings onshore.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Forms

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Academic Quality Assurance Statements (Form 12) - Form

Academic Quality Assurance Statements (Form 12) - Form

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Description: 

Form 12 - Academic Quality Assurance Statements Form

This form must be submitted to the President of the Academic Board. See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Discontinuation (Form 6) - Form

Discontinuation (Form 6) - Form

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Description: 

Form 6 - Discontinuation Form

This form must be submitted to the Committee for Academic Programs Policy (CAPP). See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
New Course Submission (Form 11) - Form

New Course Submission (Form 11) - Form

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Description: 

Form 11 - New Course Submission Form

See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
New Coursework Proposal (Form 1) - Form

New Coursework Proposal (Form 1) - Form

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Description: 

Form 1 - New Coursework Proposal

This form must be submitted to the Committee for Academic Programs Policy (CAPP). See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
New Dual Program Proposal (Form 4) - Form

New Dual Program Proposal (Form 4) - Form

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Description: 

Form 4 - New Dual Program Proposal Form

This form must be submitted to the Committee for Academic Programs Policy (CAPP). See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
New Field/s in Existing Coursework Programs (Form 2) - Form

New Field/s in Existing Coursework Programs (Form 2) - Form

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Form 2 - New Field/s in Existing Coursework Programs

This form must be submitted to the Committee for Academic Programs Policy (CAPP). See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Nomenclature Amendment (Form 5) - Form

Nomenclature Amendment (Form 5) - Form

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Form 5 - Nomenclature Amendments Form

This form must be submitted to Programs Sub-Committee. See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Non-Award Studies (Form 10) - Form

Non-Award Studies (Form 10) - Form

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Description: 

Form 10 - Non-Award Studies Form

This form must be submitted to the Committee for Academic Programs Policy (CAPP). See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Program Rules (Form 7) - Form

Program Rules (Form 7) - Form

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Form 7 - Program Rules Form

This form must be submitted to Programs Sub-Committee. See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Structural Amendments to Existing Coursework Programs (Form 3) - Form

Structural Amendments to Existing Coursework Programs (Form 3) - Form

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Form 3 - Structural Amendments to Existing Coursework Programs Form

This form must be submitted to the Committee for Academic Programs Policy (CAPP). See PPL 3.20.01b Academic Program Approval - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Variations to the Academic Calendar (Form 14) - Form

Variations to the Academic Calendar (Form 14) - Form

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Form 14 - Variations to the Academic Calendar

This form must be submitted to Academic Policy and Programs (app@uq.edu.au). The form will then be forwarded to the President of the Academic Board for approval.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson