Review of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Programs - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures enact PPL 3.30.03a Curriculum and Teaching Quality and Risk Appraisal and Academic Program Review - Policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

ABSC - Academic Board Standing Committee

Academic Program Review (APR) – A process that ensures the qualitative and quantitative review of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs every seven years, and all other teaching programs (or suites of programs) every five years.

Curriculum and Teaching Quality and Risk Appraisal (CTQRA) – An annual process designed to:

  1. Support access to data for an annual appraisal of curriculum, teaching and program quality and risk
  2. Determine teaching and learning focused priorities
  3. Meet institutional regulatory obligations.

CTQRA is guided by UQ internal and external quality and risk indicators in conjunction with contextualisation from schools and faculties to manage curriculum and teaching alignment to the University Strategic Plan.

Executive Dean – In the context of a Review of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs, “Executive Dean” means the Executive Dean of the “administering Faculty”.

President – the President of the Academic Board

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to reviews of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs at The University of Queensland.

4. Procedures Statement

A generalist degree is a program of study, leading to a bachelor degree, in which students can choose from a broad range of majors from a diversity of different disciplines. Such a program provides its students with foundational knowledge and skills in the traditional academic disciplines, as opposed to training in a specific professional field. The generalist degrees at The University of Queensland are the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. In each case, several Faculties contribute to teaching in the program, but the program is administered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in the case of the Bachelor of Arts and the Faculty of Science in the case of the Bachelor of Science.

Reviews of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs are conducted by ABSC under delegated authority from the Academic Board.

As with the review of all programs of the University, the reviews of these two programs seek to:

  • examine the structure of the award with a view to attaining best practice;
  • benchmark the quality of the award in relation to comparable programs within Australia and internationally;
  • explore the graduate destinations and employer expectations for the program; and
  • focus on strategic planning matters including emerging national and international trends that may impact on the future development of the program.

The review process is undertaken collaboratively by the faculties responsible for teaching into the program, with the primary responsibility for facilitating preparation of the review submission residing with the administering Faculty. The review involves self-analysis, benchmarking and an assessment of the program's structure, content and quality in relation to the needs of students and external stakeholders, and by reference to national and international standards.

5. Procedures

5.1 Scheduling the review

ABSC will prepare a tentative schedule for reviews to be held in the next seven years. The normal duration of a review will be five days. ABSC, in consultation with the Executive Dean(s) and subject to approval by the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee, will prepare the review schedule for a particular year, no later than the end of first semester in the preceding year. This early advice is intended to give faculties adequate time to plan for the review including preparing their submission.

The Executive Dean(s) will identify a range of dates for the review to be held.

Early steps to secure the services of the external members of the review panel will be taken to give the faculties maximum notice of the exact timing of the review.

Invitations to join the review committee will be sent out by the President and, once availability is established, the final dates for the review are determined.

The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs must be reviewed on a septennial basis.

5.2 Composition and membership of review committees

The composition of the review committee is:

  • one to three external members with nationally/internationally recognised expertise and knowledge in relevant discipline(s), one of whom is appointed as the Chair;
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or nominee; and
  • President of the Academic Board or nominee.

The membership of each review committee is determined by ABSC in consultation with the relevant Executive Dean(s) and subject to approval by the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee.

If either the President or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) nominates a member to sit on the review committee in their place, that member would not normally belong to a faculty that administers, or contributes significantly to, the degree program under review.

On the recommendation of the President and subject to approval by the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee, ABSC will appoint one of the external members to chair the review committee. In making the recommendation, the President must consider:

  • discipline expertise;
  • impartiality;
  • experience in delivering generalist degree programs of a similar nature; and
  • experience in the conduct of similar reviews.

The review committee Secretary will be appointed by the Academic Registrar and will normally be a senior administrative officer. Administrative assistance will be provided in the conduct of the review by the office of the Academic Registrar.

5.3 Terms of reference

Standard terms of reference for the review of the program are provided, for guidance at Section 10 below. These terms may be varied to bring focus to the review, subject to the approval of ABSC and with the concurrence of the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee and the relevant Executive Dean(s).

The agreed terms of reference provide the context for analysis of the effectiveness of the program since the previous review and for the review committee’s recommendations on future development of the program.

5.4 Review process

5.4.1 Pre-review process

In the year prior to the review, the President will brief the Executive Dean, the relevant Board of Studies for the program, and faculty staff on the review process.

The faculty will normally engage in a detailed strategic planning exercise several months prior to the finalisation of the submission.  The faculty might wish to obtain copies of recent submissions made by other faculties to assist them with preparing its documentation.

The faculty will provide its submission at least one month before the scheduled date for the commencement of the review. It will be provided to the review committee, the President and the Provost; and will be made available to other University units and to individual University staff members. The faculty submission will also be made available, upon request and at the discretion of the Executive Dean, to persons external to the University.

The President invites interested parties (including all faculty staff and students in the program) to make a written submission to the review.

Submissions received from (i) the heads of University units, e.g. Heads of Schools, Executive Deans of faculties, heads of administrative units (and therefore written on behalf of those units), (ii) other individual University staff members, (iii) individuals external to the University, and (iv) students; will be made available to the review committee, the President and the Provost.

At the same time, all submissions will be released to the faculty; and after approval of the review committee's report by the Vice-Chancellor, also to any enquirer; under the following conditions:

  • in the case of students' submissions, all identifying details will be removed from the submission prior to release, as standard practice; and
  • if an individual University staff member or a person external to the University requests confidentiality (by completing the Request for Confidentiality form), identifying details will be removed from their submission prior to release.

5.4.2 Timetable

The timetable for the review is developed by the Secretary to the review committee in consultation with the Chair of the review committee and the President. The interview schedule and list of interviewees will be made available to the Executive Dean for advice, except where an individual has requested that their identity remain confidential.

A summary of review events and suggested days for these to occur and a timeline of the entire review process are available in PPL 3.30.06c Review of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Programs – Guidelines.

While noting the importance of interviewing relevant persons with respect to issues arising in the review, some limitation should be placed on the number of people interviewed so that repetition is avoided. Interviews should not crowd the timetable so that insufficient time is available for discussion by the committee. Scheduled opportunities to discuss issues that arise during interviews should be incorporated into the review program. It is not necessary that discussion occur only at the beginning and end of the day. There should also be sufficient time available in the program to enable follow-up discussion with those already interviewed, if required.

Notwithstanding this proviso, the review timetable must ensure that adequate opportunity is provided in the early part of the review for all interviewees to express their views candidly to the full committee or to individual committee members if desired.

Interviews with representatives of professional and employer organisations must be arranged. There will also be an opportunity to hold informal discussions with external bodies in a joint session at the stakeholder dinner during the review.

5.4.3 Stakeholder dinner

A stakeholder dinner will be held on the evening of the second or third day of the review, which all members of the review committee will attend. Representatives of industry, government, professional bodies, and employer groups, as well as alumni will be invited.

A draft invitation list must be prepared well in advance by the Executive Dean for consideration by the President, who will vet it to ensure that those attending from the community will be able to offer insights into the program that are relevant to the terms of reference for the review. The secretariat will also vet the approved list of invitees to determine whether Protocol need play a role. Invitations will be issued three months prior to the date of the dinner.

5.4.4 Conduct of the review

The review committee's task is to provide an objective view of the faculty’s perceptions and plans for the program, and either confirm or recommend changes to those plans. The review committee is expected to give detailed feedback to the faculty on how and where its perceptions and plans fall short in meeting performance targets.

The review process must include a review of the faculty submission, consideration of individual submissions, interviews and discussions over the period of the review. The review process must be flexible enough to allow time for early planning, review of progress, consideration of new features, and development of recommendations.

5.4.5 Initial briefings

On the first day of the review, the committee will meet with the Vice-Chancellor and the Provost to discuss specific issues relevant to the program. The first day also includes an interview with the Executive Dean.

The second day of the review will include interviews with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement), and Dean of the UQ Graduate School.

5.4.6 Committee considerations

In undertaking the review, the committee will consider the submission prepared by the faculty, together with other submissions made by interested persons and organisations, and consult with University staff and students and with other persons as deemed appropriate.

The faculty’s submission must be informed by the submission guidelines (see Section 9).

Following perusal of the faculty submission and briefings by the senior executive officers, the committee will determine whether there are additional questions to be asked relevant to the review so that the terms of reference are addressed fully. The committee will also identify those areas where answers to relevant questions are not to be found within the submitted material and determine how best to obtain that information.

6. The Review Report

6.1 Structure of the report

The review report will be prepared by the members of the review committee with support from the Secretary.

It is anticipated that the review committee will develop commendations and recommendations progressively throughout the review. It is expected that a penultimate draft of the report will be completed prior to the departure of the external committee members from the University.

Commendations will be made in those areas where the faculty has achieved outstanding outcomes for the program, or has made significant progress towards doing so.

In formulating its recommendations, the committee will take account of the resources available to the University and its collective goals and objectives, as expressed in its Strategic Plan and as advised by members of the Senior Executive. Every effort must be made to ensure that statements in the report are factually correct. Recommendations will not be directed toward senior officers of the University or to the University itself. They must be directed towards the Executive Dean so that it is clear how the faculty should proceed.

A case, supported by facts and evidence, is to be made for all review recommendations, and particularly those proposing significant change or that impact other organisational units, University rules or policies.

Review committees are encouraged to include time-frames for the implementation of recommendations.

The report consists of the following sections:

  • Membership of the Review Committee;
  • Terms of Reference;
  • Procedures;
  • Summary of Commendations and Recommendations; and
  • Report of the Review Committee.

There is no mandatory format for the section ‘Report of the Review Committee’. One possible format is to organise the report around the major themes on which the review committee wishes to make recommendations. Another option is to arrange the contents based on the terms of reference.

A review report template is available in PPL 3.30.06d1 Review of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Programs Report Form.

Appendix 1 to the review report must contain a list of names of all individuals who made written submissions to the review committee and Appendix 2 will contain a list of all those interviewed by the review committee. An exception to this requirement is for students: names must not be listed for either postgraduate or undergraduate students. The number of students in each category who were interviewed or made a submission is sufficient. Written submissions must not be included in the report. Other appendices follow, if required.

6.2 Presentation of the findings

Prior to the finalisation of the recommendations:

  • the Executive Dean meets with the review committee so that there is an  opportunity to respond to the recommendations before they are made public; at the same time, the Executive Dean will be advised to communicate with individual staff who might be significantly affected by individual recommendations; and
  • the recommendations are presented to the Provost, usually over lunch on the final or penultimate day of the review.

The review committee will present the draft recommendations to a meeting of members of the Board of Studies at the end of the review period to provide a general overview of the findings from the review and an outline of the recommendations.

The Chair needs to ensure that concerns are allayed, by a willingness to clarify issues but not enter into a debate.

At the same time, the President will take the opportunity to inform staff about the process subsequent to the departure of the review team; touching on the time-frame for completion of the report; opportunity for the faculty's consideration and response; the deliberative process in the Standing Committee and the passage of the report through the Academic Board to the Vice-Chancellor; and the implementation and follow-up process.

All review committee members attend the presentation and, wherever possible, visual aids will be used to facilitate the presentation.

6.3 Finalising the report

Following the period of the review, the report will be finalised by the Chair in consultation with the Secretary and the other members of the review committee. The report will be finalised as soon as possible, but normally within two weeks after the conclusion of the review week.

6.4 Post-review process

Initially, copies of the review report are given to:

  • members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive;
  • the Executive Dean, for distribution to staff in the relevant faculties; and
  • members of ABSC.

Academic Board Standing Committee will request an initial post-review response immediately after the review, which the Executive Dean will prepare. This response, which must include implementation strategies, is to be submitted within four weeks of having received the final report, to:

  • ABSC; and
  • the Provost, who may refer it to the VCC for comment.

Anticipated challenges for the implementation of any recommendation will be included in the Executive Dean’s response to the review recommendations. Standing Committee, augmented by the Provost, will discuss the final report together with the written response. As part of its deliberations, Standing Committee, augmented by the Provost, will interview the Executive Dean, together with other members of the Senior Executive as required.

Standing Committee, with the assistance and subject to the approval of the Provost, prepares a report on its deliberations for the Academic Board, setting out the Committee’s comments on the recommendations.

The review report, the faculty’s response, and the report from Standing Committee, will be considered by Academic Board for forwarding to the Vice-Chancellor.

Following approval by the Vice-Chancellor, the review report, together with a composite statement from the Academic Board, is distributed.

7. Implementation

The Executive Dean is responsible for implementation of the adopted recommendations.

ABSC is responsible for monitoring the implementation, and accordingly, will request that the faculty submit two implementation reports.

7.1 12-month implementation report

The Executive Dean must prepare an implementation report on progress made on all of the approved recommendations, to be submitted to the President within 12 months of the Vice-Chancellor’s approval of the review committee’s report. It is expected that all stakeholders, including students, are consulted and involved in the implementation of the recommendations.

The implementation report allows Standing Committee to compare the response to each recommendation over the 12-month time-frame and assess the extent to which review recommendations have been implemented. Standing Committee, augmented by the Provost, will meet with the Executive Dean to discuss the 12-month implementation report. The President will introduce the discussion.

7.2  Three-year implementation report

A similar report will be prepared for the Vice-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor’s Risk and Compliance Committee within thirty-six months of the Vice-Chancellor’s approval of the review report.

8. Roles of Review Committee Members and Secretariat

8.1 Chair

The role of the Chair is to:

  • liaise with the President and the Provost in preparation for the review, to discuss issues such as special terms of reference, break-up of review committee to address specific terms of reference, etc. (this will be done via email with the President) or if this is possible, during a preliminary visit to the campus;
  • liaise with the Secretary prior to the review, to finalise the review timetable and determine the list of interviewees;
  • delegate report-writing tasks to each of the review committee members;
  • ensure the penultimate draft report is complete prior to departure;
  • present the review committee’s draft recommendations to the Executive Dean, the Provost, and relevant staff;
  • ensure completion of the final version of the report within two weeks of the review; and
  • approve the review report before its submission to the President.

8.2 Role of internal members of review committee

The internal members of the review committee will provide advice on policies and procedures.

All members of the review committee should:

  • thoroughly read the faculty submission and supporting documentation in advance of the review week;
  • participate actively in the review;
  • participate in the presentation of the recommendations to the faculties; and
  • contribute to the writing of the report.

8.3 Roles of the secretariat

8.3.1 The Secretary

The Secretary is a senior member of administrative staff and plays a key role in the preparation for and conduct of the review. The Secretary:

  • coordinates, collects and organises documentation for the review committee;
  • acts as a resource person for the Chair and members of the review committee;
  • provides relevant policy and procedural advice;
  • drafts a suitable review timetable in consultation with committee members;
  • liaises with the review committee members, Executive Dean, and those being interviewed;
  • facilitates and, where appropriate, undertakes follow-up action arising from review committee meetings; and
  • ensures that recommendations made by the review committee are consistent with University policy and practices and drafted accordingly.

The Secretary is not a member of the review committee, and therefore does not participate in the review committee’s deliberations. During the review, the Secretary reports directly to the review Chair in all matters relating to the review. The Secretary, in consultation with the President, may appoint an Assistant Secretary.

8.3.2 Review Coordinator

The Review Coordinator is appointed by the Academic Registrar and is usually the Assistant Secretary to ABSC. The role of the Review Coordinator is to:

  • send advice from ABSC to the Executive Dean on the finalised membership, terms of reference, duration and timing of the review;
  • confirm that members of the review committee, particularly external members, are available to attend the review;
  • arrange travel and accommodation for external members;
  • ensure that external members are provided with relevant information about UQ (including location of UQ in relation to the airport, travel time, currency exchange, pharmacies, etc.)
  • book rooms for the review committee meetings and interviews;
  • be readily available during the review and ensure that adequate documentation and supplies are provided to the Secretary;
  • organise catering;
  • provide place-cards with the names of the review committee members, to facilitate communication during interviews;
  • write to those people who are being invited to make written submissions;
  • receive the faculty's submission, written submissions from others and distribute these to members of the review committee at the appropriate time;
  • ensure that members’ expenses are reimbursed; and
  • provide other administrative assistance during the review as required.

9. Preparation of the Faculty Submission

9.1 Preparation

The faculty will normally engage in a detailed strategic planning exercise several months prior to the finalisation of the submission.

The faculty will ensure that the submission contains accurate information from authoritative data sources. All faculties and schools that contribute to the teaching of the program will be involved in the review process. The faculty must ensure that all stakeholders are consulted during the preparation of the submission.

9.2 Contents of the faculty submission

9.2.1 General

The role of the review committee is to review the program in accordance with the approved terms of reference. The submission allows the faculty to reflect upon and analyse activities in order to enhance the program. Consequently, the focus of the submission is to identify future directions and strategic intentions for the program.

However, to set the context for the review, it is important to briefly address the history of the program and its present circumstances with a focus on factors that have contributed to the current program.

Excluding the appendices, the submission should be no longer than 100 pages in length. A submission includes:

  • an overview/summary of the submission;
  • the history of the program;
  • the present circumstances for the program;
  • the future plans for improvement and development of the program; and
  • appendices (including the faculty's strategic and/or operational plan, the faculty's budget and additional benchmarking data).

9.2.2 The history of the program

The section includes reference to:

  • origins and histories of the academic units and disciplinary groups teaching into the program;
  • major outcomes of the previous review;
  • any factors which might have had an impact since the previous review (e.g. restructures, changes in funding formula, changes in community perceptions, etc); and
  • any other significant changes since the previous review.

9.2.3 The program at present

This section includes a comprehensive analysis of the program’s current status and operations. An overview of the goals and priorities established for the program must be provided with an analysis of the extent to which these goals and priorities are being achieved.

There are two types of data required: (i) core data; and (ii) benchmark data. Where possible, data will span at least three and up to five years to enable an assessment of trends. Where the scope of the review includes dual-degree and associated programs, data should be presented for each of these programs as well as the core degree.

Core Data

Submissions include an assessment of the program according to the areas covered by the terms of reference. The standard data that are expected, according to each area of the standard terms of reference are in Section 10.

Where quantitative data are available, data for comparable programs at other tertiary education institutions will be supplied.

Performance of the program must also be explicitly linked to University Strategic Plans and operating priorities as well as faculty operational plans. Budget information provided is meant to inform discussion.

Benchmark Data

The program is benchmarked with programs at other institutions nationally (Go8), and within the State. The primary purpose of benchmarking with other institutions is to assist in determining the quality and direction of the program.

Minimum data requirements

The following data will be included in the appropriate section/s of the submission for at least the preceding five-year period where available:

  • QILT;
  • EFTSL for the program;
  • Pass degree and Honours enrolments per year of the program (by major/field of study);
  • number of pass degree and Honours graduates (by major/field of study);
  • number of students in each course offered by contributing schools;
  • number of graduates who progressed to research higher degree and postgraduate coursework awards (by major/double major/field of study);
  • SECaT results (or other similar instruments);
  • admission statistics (first preferences, OP/rank cutoffs, entry score means);
  • attrition statistics;
  • retention rates;
  • revenue (Commonwealth supported, international); and
  • program-related recommendations from reviews of schools that teach into the program.

Additional data might include:

  • results of employer surveys;
  • results of focus groups; and
  • results of other questionnaires.

9.2.4 The program in the future

This section is the focus of the submission. It describes plans and strategies for the future development and improvement of the program over the next three to five years. It is expected that the faculty submit a concise operational plan in order to clearly display strategic objectives and goals, and establish key targets.

The review committee will determine a program of action in each of the areas of the terms of reference. The review committee's task is to provide an objective assessment of the faculty's future directions and strategies for the program and either confirm or recommend changes to those plans.

Therefore, this section articulates goals and courses of action that are tied to:

  • Performance indicated by the data in Section 9.2.3 – The program at present. Strategies for maintaining excellence and improving identified deficiencies are included. An analysis of the data and an assessment of the program's strengths as well as factors preventing progress is required;
  • Areas of potential growth. Future plans for the program – some of these areas might arise from the benchmarking exercise or involve predictions of future directions of academic disciplines; and
  • Contribution to the faculty's and the University's strategic and operational plans. Include how the program contributes to operationalising these plans.

In each case, consideration will be given to the faculty’s human, financial and physical resources to enhance the program, to meet the faculty’s objectives and to achieve its targets. Key performance indicators will be identified clearly, alongside strategic priorities that link appropriately to specified timelines, milestones and resource allocations.

10. Description of Standard Terms of Reference and Performance Indicators

Term of Reference 1 – Structure, content and quality of the program

Structure, content and quality of the program, in relation to the needs of students and external stakeholders, and with reference to national and international standards

A summary of the degree rules and overall program structure which includes the list of majors/fields of study will be included in this section. Also included is a brief history of the program and comparative information on the program structure at other universities.

The submission will contain a critical analysis of the program structure in terms of relevant risk factors such as identification of fields that are perceived of little relevance (or small numbers of enrolments), whether students prefer taking out the award in named fields (if choice exists), whether flexibility in the program contributes to or detracts from cohesiveness, the students' ability to identify with a cohort and/or whether the current structure of the program enables the aims and objectives to be met.

An analysis of the amount, purpose and effectiveness of compulsory courses, requirements to undertake advanced level/late year study and 'free electives' in the program will also be undertaken. Comparative data from other institutions must be included.

The submission might also explore items that are included in the APR process including program distinctiveness, teaching practices and assessment (See PPL 3.30.05 Academic Program Review), with special emphasis on the identification of any risks related to the program, its majors, and the forms of pedagogy and assessment, including opportunities for the improvement of the program.

Term of Reference 2 – Relevance and effectiveness of current majors

Relevance and effectiveness of current majors and the effectiveness of program architecture in those majors

An assessment of the majors’ contribution to the program’s learning objectives and required graduate outcomes, by a review of the structure and content of majors across the disciplines within the program, with special reference to the opportunities and hazards associated with the current suite of majors and, for each specific major, with its current configuration in terms of constituent courses and the program architecture.

Term of Reference 3 – Quality of the current program

Quality of the program in relation to perceptions of students, graduates, prospective employers and professional bodies, and peers in Australian and international scholarly communities

Information on the effectiveness of the current program will be provided, and include, at a summary level:

  • enrolments at the program level including Honours, for the previous five years, including dual programs, with special reference to both opportunities (to enhance offerings where there is potential for growth) and hazards (where there are declining enrolments or poor student satisfaction);
  • aims, objectives, and graduate attributes of the current program; and
  • survey instruments and a summary of the most recently available relevant questions and results (e.g. QILT data and its constituent metrics) against which the effectiveness of the aims, objectives and graduate attributes is analysed.

Detailed information may be included in an appendix.

Term of Reference 4 – Success as a multidisciplinary program

Quality of the program as preparation for further tertiary education and for effective participation in civil society and the workforce.

What sorts of opportunities are students offered to study across a number of disciplines, and which do they take in significant numbers?

How do students understand the value, for workforce and civic participation, of the specific disciplinary skills they have acquired during their studies?

Term of Reference 5 – Quality, diversity and preparedness of students

Quality, diversity, and preparedness of students entering the program, with special reference to risk controls and mitigations developed in relation to student retention and performance in the first year of study

OP/Rank cutoffs and first preferences for the most recent five years will be included, and data will include comparison with University-wide averages. Where the program is offered across campuses, the program data will be separated to enable the reader to determine if these data differ significantly. Available comparisons at a national level will also be included.

Term of Reference 6 – Graduate outcomes

Graduate learning outcomes and career pathways for those who complete the program

The submission will include information on graduate destinations from the most recently available surveys. Comparison with other universities as well as with other generalist degree programs at this University will be included. Are there opportunities to improve these outcomes? What are the risks associated with the destination data when they are compared with those for other programs? How well are students educated in disciplinary research methods and how well will they be able to apply these methods in the chosen employment or civic engagement?

Term of Reference 7 – Place and form of Honours

Place, form and effectiveness of Honours within the program

A description of the Honours program, enrolment and awards (including class of Honours) for the past five years (at the program and field of study level) will be included in a summary table. Also included will be a summary, for the same time period, of data on students who proceeded to research higher degrees (MPhil, PhD).

Term of Reference 8 – Administration and management of the program

Effectiveness of leadership and administration of the program as a whole and of discipline areas within the program

A statement of how the degree program is administered and managed will be included. A summary of all faculties and schools that contribute to the teaching of the program as well as details on how faculty/faculties deal with student and academic administration of the program will also be included. A critical analysis of the effectiveness of the administration and management will be a key element. Describe the committee, board, and student and academic administrative structures that support the program.

Term of Reference 9 – Effect of changes of course offerings

Effect of any change of course offerings in other programs (e.g. service teaching and dual degrees)

Advice on how the program is impacted by developments in other relevant programs.

Term of Reference 10 – Dual degrees, Advanced programs and specialist programs

Scope and strategic relevance of dual degree offerings with the program and of associated degrees such as Advanced or specialist programs

Lists of current dual degree offerings and associated Advanced and specialist programs should be provided, together with an analysis of student demand and attrition rates particularly for Advanced and specialist programs. Identify the opportunities and hazards for stakeholders in current and proposed future arrangements for dual and advanced offerings.

Term of Reference 11 – Future directions

Future development and delivery of the program

Proposed future program directions must take into account the strategic directions of the University and the faculty. Relevant objectives, particularly teaching and learning objectives, will be highlighted. What are the key opportunities for development of the program?

Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson


Review of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Programs - Guidelines

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These guidelines enact PPL 3.30.06b Review of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Programs – Procedures.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

No entries for this document.

3. Guidelines Scope/Coverage

These guidelines apply to reviews of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs at The University of Queensland.

4. Guidelines Statement

The following guidelines are provided to review committees to assist in the preparation for, and conduct of, the review:

Section 5.2 (Timeline) provides guidance to faculties and review committees on the general timeline of events for the pre-review, review, and post-review phases of the review process.

5. Guidelines

5.1 Review timetable – proposed broad model

Evening preceding review

  • dinner for all members of the review committee and the secretary to discuss review issues and orient external members to University procedures and protocols

Day 1 - morning

  •  interview with the Vice-Chancellor (30 minutes)
  •  interview with Provost (30 minutes)
  • interview with the Executive Dean (60 minutes)

Day 1 - afternoon

  • interviews with academic staff, professional staff, and students

Day 2 - morning

  • interviews with PVC (Teaching and Learning), PVC (Indigenous Engagement), Dean of the Graduate School (20 minutes each)
  • interviews with other University staff

Day 2 - afternoon

  • visit to faculty, tour of faculty facilities, informal gathering to meet faculty staff, student representatives, and alumni

Day 2 - evening

  • stakeholder dinner for all review committee members, secretary, and representatives of industry, government, professional bodies and employer groups

Day 3

  • interviews
  • report writing to commence

Day 4

  • report writing
  • meeting with Provost over lunch to discuss draft recommendations

Day 5 - morning

  • report writing, outstanding/unscheduled interviews
  • meeting with Executive Dean to discuss draft recommendations

Day 5 - afternoon

  • preparation for presentation to faculty
  • presentation of draft recommendations to all faculty staff – all review committee members to be in attendance (60 minutes)
  • finalisation of report in penultimate draft form

The Executive Dean should be available during the review in case the review committee requests to schedule further meetings to discuss specific issues.


5.2 Timeline

12 months prior to review


  • Faculty notified of date of review


  • President of the Academic Board briefs faculty staff on review process


  • Two-day Retreat held to discuss the faculty's Operational Plan and key review issues/priorities (to include address by President of Academic Board)


  • Detailed minutes from the Retreat used as ongoing reference during preparations


  • Determine benchmark universities and contact them for data


  • Check QILT data will be available

10 - 11 months prior to review


  • Check that preparation process is progressing as planned (e.g. consultative committees are meeting)


  • Executive Dean to commence meeting with staff/outside groups/stakeholders who are likely to be interviewed to discuss relevant issues

9 months prior to review


  • Explore in-depth key issues for growth or change


  • Meet with relevant schools to discuss their submission to the review

7 months prior to review


  • Executive Dean prepares faculty’s review submission template and nominates relevant staff to coordinate/write sections of the document


  • Collection of data for relevant sections of review submission undertaken by administrative staff


  • Section-coordinators meet with committees/groups to allocate writing of subsections where required

6 – 2 months prior to review


  • Intensive period of writing the review submission sections


  • Collating of draft sections by section heads


  • Draft sections sent to external editor


  • Overwriting of draft sections by Executive Dean


  • Commence final publishing layout of review submission


  • Executive Dean to commence final writing and editing of review submission

Week prior to review


  • Executive Dean to meet with potential interview groups to explain review process and purpose of their meeting with review committee


  • Plan review committee’s visit to faculty and tour of facilities


  • Arrange catering for review committee’s visit to faculty


  • Executive Dean to meet with senior staff to confirm faculty’s key messages



  • Schedule feedback meetings for staff interviewees with Executive Dean and relevant colleagues


  • Executive Dean and senior faculty staff to keep diaries clear for the five days of the review and be ready to assist as required



  • Review committee to finalise review report within two weeks of the review


  • Copy of report sent to Executive Dean for preparation of faculty’s written response (this is expected to be completed within four weeks of receipt of the report)


  • The review report and the faculty’s response are forwarded to the next meeting of Academic Board Standing Committee (the Executive Dean and the Provost attend the meeting to discuss the review recommendations)


  • The review report, the faculty’s response, and Standing Committee’s comments are submitted to the Academic Board for forwarding to the Vice-Chancellor for approval


  • Once the review report is approved by the Vice-Chancellor, the report becomes a public document


  • A 12-month implementation report is submitted by the Executive Dean to Standing Committee 12 months after approval by the Vice-Chancellor


  • A three-year implementation report is submitted to the Vice-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor’s Risk and Compliance Committee within thirty-six months of the Vice-Chancellor’s approval of the review report

5.3 Sample questions

The following list includes areas which might be explored.

1. Curriculum and teaching

  • To what extent does the program meet expressed demand by students and by external stakeholders?
  • How does the program compare with those of a similar nature throughout the state and Australia in terms of course offerings, quality of students enrolling (e.g. OP/rank entry score), and employment of graduates?
  • What procedures does the faculty have in place for regular review of the program outside the Academic Board’s septennial review cycle?
  • What are the findings of previous curriculum review processes?
  • What developments have occurred in the relevant disciplines during the past seven years?
  • How have these developments been reflected in the courses offered in the program?
  • How does the faculty's future planning take into account current community needs?
  • To what extent have the new developments been encouraged/supported by the University?
  • What demands are there for the offering of compulsory courses for specific disciplines?
  • What is the balance of offerings between courses which are compulsory for one or more disciplines and electives?
  • What attempt is made to meet the intellectual and cultural needs of society?
  • What innovative teaching methods are employed?
  • How does the faculty promote and reward excellence in teaching?
  • What arrangements does the faculty have for regular review of all courses?
  • How does the faculty use such reviews to improve the quality of its courses and its teaching?
  • What teaching and learning facilities are available to students?
  • Is there a sustained pattern of demand for the program?
  • Is there a sustained pattern of demand, or lack of demand, for any of the courses offered in the program?
  • Does the faculty have, or does it need, a program for effective recruitment of students to the program?
  • What are the career destinations of the graduates?

2. Research

  • Are students involved in research activities and is the value of research promoted at undergraduate level?
  • What are the faculty's recognised areas of research excellence?
  • Does the faculty's research reflect and complement the major areas of its teaching?
  • What steps are taken to foster honours and postgraduate education?

3. Industry/professional links and community service

  • What steps does the faculty take to promote public awareness of the program and its contribution to the social, cultural, and economic development of society?
  • What links does the faculty have with alumni, government at all levels, industry, commerce, the professions, and the community in relation to the program?
  • To what extent is the faculty aware of the needs of industry, commerce and the professions in relation to the program?

4. Internationalisation

  • Does the faculty have, or does it need, a program for effective recruitment of international students to the program?
  • What attempts are being made to increase the proportion of international students?
  • Does the faculty have mechanisms to support international students in the program?

5. Equity and diversity issues

  • Does the faculty ensure equality of opportunity in the program?
  • What effort is made to encourage the enrolment of students from minority and disadvantaged groups?
  • Is there a need to attempt to disturb traditional gender patterns within the disciplines?
  • What attempt is made to increase the proportion of women who continue to honours and postgraduate level?

6. Organisational issues

  • Does the full complement of academic staff provide the range of expertise necessary to provide effective undergraduate education in the range of courses offered and, in particular, in those courses that are compulsory for some disciplines?
  • Does the program have effective administrative and technical support?
  • How effectively does the faculty conduct its strategic planning, including regular reviews of program objectives?
  • Are equipment, accommodation and other facilities adequate for program delivery?
  • How does the faculty's budget for the program compare with the budgets of other faculties delivering programs similar in size and function?
  • How does the faculty allocate its funds in relation to courses offered?
  • Are the resources to the faculty adequate to meet its commitments to high quality teaching?
  • Is accommodation sufficient for current activities and planned or anticipated growth?
  • Are teaching and research facilities (e.g., equipment) up to date and in sufficient supply to ensure an efficient and effective program?

7. Advisory Boards

  • If the faculty has an advisory board for the program, is it functioning well?
  • If not, how can it be improved (e.g. revise composition/membership, change terms of reference, increase frequency of meetings)?
  • If the faculty does not have an advisory board for the program, would the program benefit from establishing one?
  • If so, what would the main functions of the advisory board be (e.g. to increase industry engagement, strengthen links with the scientific community, ensure input from employer groups)?
  • Would the faculty be able to secure a membership that would ensure the satisfactory functioning of the advisory board, and therefore, be able to meet its objectives?


Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson


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Review of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Programs - Form

Review of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Programs - Form

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Template for review report.

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