On Tuesday 30 August, Academic Senate held its fifth 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.  New Academic Language and Literacies Policy.

A new Academic Language and Literacies Policy has been developed in response to a review of the University’s English language requirements. This Policy specifies the principles and responsibilities that develop students’ academic language and literacies throughout the course of their studies at Macquarie University.

Academic Senate unanimously approved the Policy, which went into effect immediately.

2. Amendments to the Academic Integrity Breach Procedure.

The Academic Integrity Breach Procedure was implemented in Session 1 of 2022 and has undergone a 6-month post-implementation review. Senate noted the resources and training that have been made available to Academic Integrity Officers and the development of clearer guidance around the concept of Poor Academic Practice, as well as changes designed to streamline the implementation of the procedure.

The amendments to the Academic Integrity Breach Procedure, including its Flowchart and Outcomes Matrix, were approved by Academic Senate with immediate effect.

3. New Higher Degree Research Offsite Research Enrolment Policy.

A new Offsite Research Enrolment Policy has been approved by Academic Senate to replace the Higher Degree Research Offsite Research Procedures for Commencing and Continuing Candidates. The new policy has responded  to changes in distance/online learning, especially as a result of the global pandemic and puts in place strong controls to support candidates and supervisors.

4. Amendments to the Higher Degree Research Variations to Candidature Policy.

Academic Senate approved amendments to the Higher Degree Research Variations to Candidature Policy that serve to both clarify and simplify the process for HDR candidates to take sick leave as well as other personal leave types such as caring responsibilities, bereavement leave, family/domestic violence, housing insecurity and cultural leave and introduces Internship Leave. Changes were also made to ensure the policy is compliant with Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act).

5. Defining Standards-Based Assessment At MQ.

Professor Matt Bower, Chair of the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC), presented a final report from the working group which has examined what the application of standards-based assessment means in practice at Macquarie University. He highlighted the issues and suggestions included in the report, particularly the following observations:

  • There need for a system to enable efficient tracking of student performance according to unit and course learning outcomes.
  • The value of a curriculum alignment initiative to assure the quality and alignment of learning tasks across unit learning and course learning outcomes
  • Consideration of a pilot study undertaken across a range of units and courses to better understand the issues associated with tracking student performance according to outcomes.

This report will inform the post-implementation review of the Assessment Policy.

Policies Under Review / Development 

There are no policies currently posted on the Policy Central Bulletin Board for consultation.

However, the following key policies are under development:

  • Aegrotat and Posthumous Awards Policy
  • Academic Timelines Policy
  • Exit Awards Policy
  • HDR Admissions Policy
  • Research Quality Assurance Policy
  • Timetabling Policy
  • University Centres Policy / Procedure
  • Work Integrated Learning Policy.

Our next meeting will be on 11 October. Keep an eye out for our ThisWeek notice in early October 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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