On Tuesday 22 November, Academic Senate held its last meeting of the year in the Senate Meeting Room. Our Top 5 items from the meeting were:

1. Work Integrated Learning Policy

The Work Integrated Learning Policy is a new policy that sets out the principles, responsibilities and procedures for work integrated learning within units and courses at Macquarie University. Work integrated learning is an umbrella term for the range of practical experiences designed to give students valuable exposure to work-related activities relevant to their course of study, designed to maximise opportunities for students to apply their academic learning to ‘real world’ contexts and facilitate students’ reflective practice, development of their sense of purpose, insight, competence and agency in relation to their career path and aspirations.

Following an initial review at the October Senate meeting, the draft policy was  amended to include a specific reference to community and volunteering work and work experience. .Senate acknowledged the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)’s effort on this project and unanimously approved the Policy with immediate effect.

2. Student Performance Reports

Senate received student performance monitoring reports on Higher Degree Research (HDR) students and students studying via Open Universities Australia (OUA) and Coursera (the Global MBA).  

  • HDR Report: The 2022 HDR Cohort Monitoring Report included an explanation of the measures being used to assess student success and satisfaction, comparison with sector benchmarks and breakdown of the data to compare specific cohorts within the HDR group. . The framework, criteria and reporting timeline for future reports were approved by Academic Senate. Senate particularly noted the comprehensive nature of the report, the detailed explanation of indicators and the inclusion of actions being taken to address identified issues. 
  • OUA Report: The annual report on students enrolled via OUA shows key findings on student enrolment trends, demographics, and success rates compared to the general student population. The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Programs and Pathways) also spoke regarding OUA students’ access to general support services at Macquarie University.
  • Global MBA / Coursera Report: The Macquarie Business School (MQBS)’s Global MBA is delivered via Coursera . The report provided information on the Global MBA course profile, course level performance examining success and retention rates, benchmarking against MQBS’ on-campus Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well as MBA degrees offered by other institutions and course level interventions that have been undertaken to address feedback.  

3. Annual Course Reaccreditation Report

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Programs & Pathways) presented the  first annual report on course reaccreditation activities since the implementation of the new Curriculum Lifecycle Framework and the approval of the Course Reaccreditation Policy. Senate took note of the report, which included a summary of the outcomes and panel commendations and recommendations from the review of 38 courses from all faculties and the Graduate Research Academy. The report was commended by Academic Senate for its categorisation of recommendations according to the principles of the MQ Way, thereby supporting the focusing of actions to be implemented at a course, faculty or institutional level.

4. Report on the Review of the Principles of Shared Teaching

Senate discussed the report of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee (ASQC) working group established to review the Principles of Shared Teaching. There are currently 743 units listed as co-taught or co-located in the Course Management System, with 7000/8000 level as the most common combination. Feedback from students via LEU surveys on co-teaching indicates a high number of neutral responses demonstrating no effect on the learning experience, with a number of students unaware they were being co-taught.

Senate accepted the recommendations of the report and requested that ASQC develop and submit an implementation plan for the recommendations.

5. 2023 Academic Senate Annual Agenda Plan and Projects

Members endorsed the proposed 2023 projectsfor Academic Senate and its committees for recommendation to the Academic Senate Standing Committee, noting that a review process was undertaken to look at work continuing from 2022, policies due for review as part of their planned review timelines, well as the need for new policies or procedures. Consideration of projects also involved alignment with legislative obligations including the Higher Education Standards, TEQSA, ESOS, and other external obligations, identification of emergent risks and feedback from members of Academic Senate and other key stakeholders.

The Annual Agenda Plan for 2023 was also approved at this meeting, with the understanding that it may be updated as required.

Policies Under Review / Development

Consultation on Aegrotat and Posthumous Awards Policy and Timetabling Policy is currently being undertaken with staff and students via the Policy Central Bulletin Board and the following key policies are under development:

  • Academic Timelines Policy;
  • Death of a Student or Staff Response Procedure;
  • Research Quality Assurance Policy; and
  • Third Party Arrangements Policy.

The first Senate meeting of 2023 will be held on 28 February. Keep an eye out for our ThisWeek notice in mid-February 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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