On Tuesday 11 October, Academic Senate held its sixth 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. Approval of Revised Course of Study Reaccreditation Policy Review 

The University has hosted 12 review panels to review 56 courses and Course in 2022, and Faculty Authorities are now engaged in the post-review process. Based on feedback during implementation, the Course of Study Reaccreditation Policy has been revised in order to streamline both the planning and post-review phases of the Course reaccreditation process. Academic Senate unanimously approved the proposed Policy amendments and was advised that any general themes or implications with institutional ramifications would be addressed in the annual report at the next Senate meeting. 

2. Approval of Revised Unit of Study Review Policy 

The Unit of Study Periodic Review Policy was approved by Academic Senate on 30 August 2021 as part of the suite of policies supporting the Curriculum Lifecycle Framework. The proposed amendments to this policy will direct a risk-based approach to Unit of Study Reviews. 

The amendments to the Unit of Study Review Policy and the associated Unit of Study External Referencing Guidelines were approved by Academic Senate with immediate effect. 

3. A new Peer Assisted Study Sessions Procedure

A revised Peer Assisted Study Sessions Procedure was approved, taking effect on 1 January 2023, replacing the existing Peer Assisted Learning and Peer Assisted Study Session (PAL/PASS) Policy. The revised procedure was designed to better facilitate the application of knowledge and practice expertise located in central teams. It also aims to ensure that supplemental instruction programs delivered at the University are quality assured in accordance with internationally recognised, evidence-based methodology; and most importantly, improve the student experience through consistent delivery, evaluation, and quality assurance of study support.

4. BPhil and MRes Course Accreditation Review

As one of the Course Reviews undertaken in 2022, The Academic Director (Graduate Research Academy) reported that the panel reviewing the BPhil/MRes made 10 commendations and 48 recommendations. Some recommendations will be implemented immediately while others will be implemented by the Graduate Research Academy more broadly. Any changes to the structure of the BPhil/MRes that result from the re-accreditation process will be submitted to Senate for consideration and approval by August 2023 for implementation/commencement in 2024. 

5. As one of the Quality and Effectiveness of Educational Innovations 

The Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) Evaluating Educational Innovations Working Group, led by the chair of SLTC, released the report on “Critically Evaluating the Quality and Effectiveness of Educational Innovations and Proposals for Innovations” Project to investigate how Macquarie University and other universities track, revaluate, share, and support educational innovation. The four observations recommended by the Working Group to advance educational innovation and its associated evaluation were taken note of and discussed by the Senate. The tension between the agility to innovate and the timelines required to ensure proper academic governance was also noted. Together with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), recommendations for additional action will be developed and reported back to Senate in early 2023.

Policies Under Review / Development

At the time of this meeting,  the following key policies were under review and development:  

  • Aegrotat and Posthumous Awards Policy; 
  • Academic Timelines Policy; 
  • Curriculum Architecture Policy; 
  • Death of a Student or Staff Response Procedure; 
  • Research Quality Assurance Policy; 
  • Third Party Arrangements Policy; 
  • Timetabling Policy; and 
  • University Centres Policy / Procedure.

The last Senate meeting of 2022 will be held on 22 November.  

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.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *