Macquarie University’s Academic Senate convened for its first meeting of the year on February 28th. Here are the top five takeaways from the meeting:

1. Review of Special Consideration Policy

The Senate has been reviewing the Special Consideration Policy and Procedure since late 2021. While some amendments have already been approved, other proposals are still under consideration, including the use of automatic extensions or “wild cards”. The Faculty of Arts is currently testing automatic extensions, and a working group of Academic Senate has now  been formed to consider the remaining proposed amendments.

2. Schedule 1: English Language Admission Requirements to Coursework and Non-Award Courses

Senate approved the introduction of Schedule 1 to the Admissions Policy, a new document that consolidates existing information on English requirements for Macquarie University College, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework, and non-award courses. The schedule aims to provide a clear and easily accessible source of information on English Language Requirements across the institution.

3. Report from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) provided an update on various matters in his portfolio, including the successful launch of Kickstarter (a series of events to help first year students transition to university) and O-Week. They discussed the development of the Education Strategy, which focuses on student benefits, and the University Accord discussion paper, which celebrates the positive impact of the higher education sector in Australia. They also shared information about ChatGPT and other AI engines, and the measures being taken to assist staff and students in comprehending what they are and how they can be used as educational tools while adhering to academic integrity standards.

4. University Medal Committee Equity and Diversity Report for 2022

ach year, the University Medal Committee provides an annual report to the Academic Senate, summarising the outcome of medal nominations, including equity and diversity matters, and comparative data from previous years. In 2022, 15 students were nominated, with an 80% success rate, which is higher than previous years. The report indicates that female students are nominated and awarded the medal more often than male students, with 89% of female nominees successful compared to 67% of male nominees. Domestic students were more likely to be nominated than international students, however, success rates were similar for both groups, at 69% and 73%, respectively. The Committee has also found that most successful recipients since 2018 have completed both their undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Macquarie.

5. 2022 Annual Report of Academic Senate to Council

Each year, Macquarie University Council receives a report summarizing Academic Senate’s activities from the previous year. In 2022, Academic Senate passed 61 resolutions, approved 24 new courses and 52 course amendments, as well as approving 4 new policies and 16 policy amendments. Additionally, the Senate completed a number of projects including Review of the Indigenous Connected Curriculum and the Recognition of and Partnership with Student Members project.

Preparations for the University’s application for re-registration from TEQSA was a significant focus of Senate’s work, and this will continue into 2023.

Policies Under Review / Development

Consultation on Admission Policy, Assessment Policy, and Assessment Procedure is currently being undertaken with staff and students via the Policy Central Bulletin Board and the following key policies are under development:

  • Admission Procedure;
  • Assessment Procedure;
  • Course Transfer (Undergraduate Coursework) Policy/Procedure;
  • Curriculum Architecture Policy;
  • Higher Degree Research iThenticate Procedure;
  • Higher Degree Research Thesis Preparation, Submission;
  • Examination Policy/Procedure; and
  • Aegrotat and Posthumous Awards Policy.

The second Senate meeting of 2023 will be held on 28 March. Keep an eye out for our ThisWeek notice in mid-March giving staff an opportunity to observe, or contact the Governance Secretariat by email at

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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