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Academic Programs and Courses Quality Policy

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To describe the University's standards that underpin the development, accreditation and quality assurance of Academic Programs and Courses.

2 Scope

This policy applies to all Academic Programs including Pathway Programs offered by the University.

3 Policy Statement

The University is committed to offering a quality institutional Academic Program Portfolio including Pathway Programs in line with the University's commitment to access and equity.

4 Principles

The University is dedicated to continually enhancing the quality and reputation of its Academic Programs by ensuring that its programs:

  • are aligned with the University's strategic directions;
  • satisfy the University's prevailing requirements for the relevant type of program, and the requirements of any applicable external regulator and professional accreditation body; and
  • have a specified structure demonstrably effective in enabling the achievement of the program's stated Learning Outcomes including any applicable Graduate Attributes and inherent requirements.

And that its programs and Courses:

  • uphold the academic standards of the University;
  • encompass the principles of best practice in curriculum design and utilise learning technologies and teaching approaches to provide for the broadest range of delivery modes; and
  • when offered, are viable enough to be adequately resourced.

The University considers robust program and Course review and analysis essential in the provision of quality Academic Programs.

All Academic Programs made available for Student Enrolment at the University must be accredited by the University before establishment, in accordance with the Program Accreditation Procedure.

The University will undertake a systematic and tiered process of review to ensure that the quality and standards of its programs and Courses are maintained and enhanced over time.

Timeline

Activity

Applicable Procedure

Throughout program lifecycle

Course-level evaluation each Course offer, underpinned by academic quality assurance indicators and contextual data included in dashboards and other reports

Coursework Quality Assurance - Evaluation Procedure

Year 1

Annual program and Study Component review for all programs, based on the University's program performance data

Coursework Quality Assurance - Evaluation Procedure

Year 2

Annual program and Study Component review for all programs based on the University's program performance data

Coursework Quality Assurance - Evaluation Procedure

Year 3

Stage 1: Interim Program Review

Annual Program and Study Component reports inform the Interim Program Review which may trigger program changes, suspension or discontinuation

Program Quality Assurance and Re-accreditation Procedure

Program Change, Suspension and Discontinuation Procedure

Year 4

Annual program and Study Component review for all programs based on the University's program performance data

Coursework Quality Assurance - Evaluation Procedure

Years 5-7

Stage 2: Comprehensive Program Review

Interim Review and Annual Program Reports inform the Comprehensive Program Review which may trigger program changes, suspension or discontinuation

Program Quality Assurance and Re-accreditation Procedure

Program Change, Suspension and Discontinuation Procedure

If any change is made to an Academic Program, the University must ensure all Students enrolled in that program are informed of the change, and if relevant, any applicable transitional arrangements or options.

If an Academic Program is to be disestablished, any Students within that program must be supported to either complete the program within the designated 'teach-out' period, or transitioned to another program of a similar nature.

Award nomenclature will be standardised wherever possible.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Policy Information

Accountable Officer

Provost

Responsible Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs)

Policy Type

Academic Quality Policy

Policy Suite

Accreditation of Programs Offered by Other Institutions Schedule

English Language Proficiency Requirements Schedule

Professional Accreditation Schedule

Program Accreditation Procedure

Program Change, Suspension and Discontinuation Procedure

Coursework Quality Assurance - Evaluation Procedure

Program Quality Assurance and Re-accreditation Procedure

Program Development Team Schedule

Program Nomenclature Schedule

Protocol for Jointly Badged Awards Schedule

Standard Admissions Statements Schedule

Subordinate Schedules

Approved Date

22/2/2022

Effective Date

22/2/2022

Review Date

22/2/2025

Relevant Legislation

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021

Related Policies

Admissions Policy

Coursework Curriculum Design Policy

Related Procedures

Admissions Procedure

Coursework Curriculum Design and Structure Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Australian Qualifications Framework

Coursework Curriculum Design and Structure Schedule

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Program

An approved Higher Education Award of the University, consisting of a combination of Courses the successful completion of an offering of which, together with any credit transfers and Exemptions in accordance with the relevant requirements, will fulfil the prescribed requirements for that particular Award....moreAn approved Higher Education Award of the University, consisting of a combination of Courses the successful completion of an offering of which, together with any credit transfers and Exemptions in accordance with the relevant requirements, will fulfil the prescribed requirements for that particular Award.

Academic Program Portfolio

The collection of programs that may be offered by the University....moreThe collection of programs that may be offered by the University.

Award

The qualification conferred upon a Student following the successful completion of an Academic Program. The categories of Award are listed in the Program Nomenclature Schedule....moreThe qualification conferred upon a Student following the successful completion of an Academic Program. The categories of Award are listed in the Program Nomenclature Schedule.

Course

A discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single Teaching Period, in which the Student enrols, and on completion of which the Student is awarded a grade....moreA discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single Teaching Period, in which the Student enrols, and on completion of which the Student is awarded a grade.

Enrolment

The process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year....moreThe process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year.

Graduate Attributes

Qualities, skills and disciplinary expertise that Students should develop during their time with the University and which are valued by the University community, employers and society....moreQualities, skills and disciplinary expertise that Students should develop during their time with the University and which are valued by the University community, employers and society.

Learning Outcomes

The expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of learning....moreThe expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of learning.

Pathway Program

Generally programs of study designed to provide access to higher education to Students who have not qualified through prior study for direct entry; they generally act as an entry point into an appropriate higher education degree for those who successfully complete the program. They normally focus on getting potential Students ready for higher education by helping them to build the skil...moreGenerally programs of study designed to provide access to higher education to Students who have not qualified through prior study for direct entry; they generally act as an entry point into an appropriate higher education degree for those who successfully complete the program. They normally focus on getting potential Students ready for higher education by helping them to build the skills they need for university such as literacy, numeracy and critical thinking. These are programs normally offered under the heading of Pathways to University and include Tertiary Preparation, Diploma of University Studies and English Language (preparation) programs.

Student

A person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled....moreA person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Keywords

Accreditation, re-accreditation, professional accreditation, inherent requirements, graduate attributes, program learning outcomes, curriculum design, academic quality assurance, program review, program portfolio

Record No

13/614PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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