On Tuesday 24 May, Academic Senate held its third meeting of the year in the Arts Function Centre Room along with an option for members to attend by Zoom. Our Top 5 items from the meeting were:

1.   Research Performance Reporting

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Performance & Development) provided an update on ongoing work in preparation for the submission process for the national research evaluation framework Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2023. This included potential implications of changes in ERA benchmarking, world standards and rating scales for Macquarie’s outcomes in ERA 2023 and beyond.

2.   Approval of Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure

The Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure have been under review by a working group co-chaired by the Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Mariella Herberstein and the Chair of the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) Professor Matt Bower, with input from the Office of General Counsel and Governance Services. The review of this policy included extensive consultation, with 105 different points of feedback, all of which have been considered.

Key amendments include simplification of language, simplification of grounds for appeal, standardisation of timeframes, and the inclusion of a reference to the Complaint Management Resolution Policy and Procedure for Students and Members of the Public.

Academic Senate approved the revised Policy and Procedure with effect from 25 July 2022. Communication to students will include a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) website which will be linked in the Procedure.

3.   Approval of Special Consideration Policy and Procedure

A full review of the The Special Consideration Policy and Procedure  commenced in late 2021 in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Academic Senate has previously discussed and provided feedback on the Policy. The key amendments include:

  • the acceptance of a Statement of Fact as evidence for all students and introduction of the Statement of Fact declaration;
  • an updated definition of special circumstances to include circumstances or events which are anticipated but unable to be changed;
  • the removal of the requirement for supporting documentation to be supplied by a registered health professional or via a Professional Authority form for instances affecting a student more than one month after Difficult Personal Circumstances; and
  • the addition of wording to highlight that if a deadline for assessment is extended, in some circumstances this may result in the release of the final grade being delayed.

Additional monitoring and intervention for high-risk students will be introduced and managed through the Dean of Students portfolio. A post-implementation review will be undertaken in November 2022 to be co-chaired by the Chair of Academic Senate and the Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Academic Senate approved the amended Special Consideration Policy and Procedure and Supporting Evidence Schedule with effect from 25 July 2022.

4.   Approval of revised Micro-Credentials Policy and Micro-credentials Framework

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) and the Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor (Programs and Pathways) reviewed the Micro-credentials Policy to ensure it is aligned with recent policy developments and system changes within the University as well as further development of micro-credentials in the higher education sector.

The amendments include providing greater clarity regarding the lifecycle of micro-credentials and associated quality assurance; and a statement making it clear micro-credentials have been explicitly designed to cater to individuals external to the University (as opposed to current students).

The revised Policy was available for comment on the Bulletin Board in Policy Central. A table was provided which outlined how feedback has been actioned. The Academic Standards and Quality Committee endorsed the revised Micro-credentials Policy on 3 May 2022.

The Micro-Credentials Policy and Framework were approved with immediate effect.

5.   Higher Degree Research Transfer Policy

The Higher Degree Research Transfer Policy has been reviewed by the Graduate Research Academy. Stakeholders involved in the review included Associate Deans (Research Training and Performance), and Master of Research Directors in each Faculty; the Research Degree Subcommittee and Quality Assurance and Compliance.

There are no major changes proposed to the Policy, but it has been updated to:

  • remove out-of-date references and terminology, and include current names of positions and organisational units;
  • clarify that the policy does not apply to transfers from a PhD or MPhil to the BPhil/MRes, or to transfers to or from another Australian Higher Education Provider;
  • insert a reference to the Guiding Principles for Cotutelle and Joint PhD enrolment; and
  • add a reference to the potential impact on international student visas resulting from a course transfer.

The Higher Degree Research Transfer Policy were approved with immediate effect.

Our next meeting will be on 26 July. Keep an eye out for our ThisWeek notice in early July giving staff an opportunity to observe, or contact the Governance Secretariat by email at senate@mq.edu.au

Posted by Jacqueline Phillips

Jacqueline Phillips is a neurophysiologist and Professor of Neuroscience at Macquarie. She worked as a veterinarian before pursuing medical research. She is currently the Chair of Academic Senate.

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