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Academic Standards and Quality Committee Terms of Reference

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Section 1 - Establishment

Background

(1) The Academic Senate has established the Academic Standards and Quality Committee (the Committee). These Terms of Reference set out the Committee’s purpose, authority, membership and functions and responsibilities.

(2) The procedures for the Committee are set out in the Standing Orders of Committees of the Academic Senate.

Purpose

(3) The purpose of the Committee is to provide advice and assurance to the Academic Senate on the quality and standards of award courses against internal and external quality indicators, legislation, and University rules and policies.

Authority

(4) The Academic Senate may, from time to time, resolve to grant the Committee specific authorisations to discharge its responsibilities. The Committee may request the granting of such authorisations as it sees fit. All authorisations will be documented in Section 3, Functions and Responsibilities.

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Section 2 - Membership

(5) In accordance with Clause 21 of the Standing Orders of Committees of the Academic Senate, the Committee will comprise:

  1. the Chair of the Committee appointed by the Chair, Academic Senate;
  2. the Chair or Deputy Chair of Academic Senate;
  3. the Deputy Chair of the Committee (drawn from the membership of the Committee);
  4. the Chair of the Macquarie University International College (MUIC), as a subcommittee reporting to the Committee;
  5. the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Programs and Pathways);
  6. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic);
  7. the Deputy Dean, Education and Employability or nominated Associate Dean of each Faculty.

(6) The Committee will also comprise members appointed by the Chair, Academic Senate in consultation with the Academic Senate Standing Committee, including:

  1. up to four (4) members in a specialist capacity, nominated by the Chair of the Committee, noting that these will normally be:
    1. one (1) nominee of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy);
    2. one (1) nominee of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International);
    3. one (1) nominee of the University Librarian; and
    4. the Director, Macquarie University College or their nominee;
  2. one (1) member nominated by the Faculty Board of each Faculty, following a call for expressions of interest;
  3. one (1) member of Academic Senate nominated by the Chair, Academic Senate following a call for expressions of interest;
  4. at least two (2) student members nominated by the Chair of the Committee following a call for expressions of interest;

(7) The Chair of the Committee may co-opt up to three (3) appropriately skilled persons to the Committee for a specified term. The Chair may also invite individuals with specialist knowledge and expertise to attend Committee meetings as required.

(8) The term of office for members in clause 5 is subject to the member continuing in the specified substantive position.

(9) The term of office for members in clause 6 and clause 7 is two years, unless otherwise specified.

(10) The Chair, Academic Senate may renew any member’s term of appointment, in consultation with the Academic Senate Standing Committee.

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Section 3 - Functions and Responsibilities

(11) The Committee is directly responsible and accountable to the Academic Senate for the exercise of its responsibilities.

(12) The Committee will receive reports, monitor, provide advice and make recommendations to Academic Senate on:

  1. the alignment of University policies and procedures with external regulatory requirements relating to University award courses including but not limited to admissions, credit and recognition of prior learning, orientation and progress, learning outcomes and experience, qualifications and certification, diversity and equity; course design; approval and accreditation; monitoring, review and improvement; course and unit representation;
  2. new University policy, or amendments to policy, relating to the quality and standards of University award courses, including but not limited to micro-courses, foundation programs and articulation arrangements;
  3. the University award course profile and internal and external award course accreditation;
  4. the quality of award courses of the University and delivery of these by any partner organisations or third-party providers, including associated risks and measures to effectively treat and control those risks;
  5. the academic standards of award courses of the University and delivery of these by any partner organisations or third-party providers, including but not limited to admission, course transfer, student progression and retention, and student assessment;
  6. the appropriate mechanisms to monitor the quality and standards of University award courses including but not limited to comparison with institutional benchmarks, student cohort analysis, and a regular cycle of course review;
  7. the establishment or disestablishment of University award courses, supported by appropriate rationale;
  8. changes to University award courses;
  9. the progress of award courses undergoing accreditation/re-accreditation; and
  10. University responsibilities as defined by external regulatory requirements as well as internal policy and protocols with respect to the quality and standards of award courses and related matters (including learning outcomes), noting that additional responsibilities may be allocated to the Committee over time.

(13) The Committee may request reports on award courses and related activities from Faculties, the Macquarie University International College (MUIC), the Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) program, and non-academic units supporting academic matters, as required.

(14) The Committee may receive, consider, and decide upon matters referred to it by the MUIC Subcommittee and assume responsibilities that would otherwise be undertaken by a Faculty Board where they fall outside the MUIC Subcommittee Terms of Reference.

(15) The Committee may refer to, or seek comment from, the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee on matters of common interest as per the roles and responsibilities provided in their respective Terms of Reference. This may include joint meetings, or the establishment of joint working groups as required.

(16) The Committee may establish working groups to support the performance of its roles and responsibilities.

(17) The Committee will consider and report on any matters referred to it by Academic Senate, as required.

(18) Operational and budgetary matters are outside the role and responsibilities of the Committee. This includes the business case of any proposal which must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

(19) Academic Senate has granted the Committee the following authorisations:

  1. approve new PACE and Capstone units, and any amendments to PACE and Capstone units that have been endorsed by the respective Faculty Board;
  2. approve amendments to majors, minors and specialisations that have been endorsed by the respective Faculty Board; and
  3. in the absence of a Faculty Board, assume the responsibilities for all academic matters that would otherwise be performed by the Faculty Board (as per Academic Senate Rules Part 4, 8 (j)).
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Section 4 - Meetings

(20) The quorum shall be at least half the membership of the Committee plus one.

(21) Vacant positions on the Committee do not count toward the calculation of the number required for a quorum.

(22) Refer to the Standing Orders of Committees of the Academic Senate for meeting requirements and protocols.

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Section 5 - Variations

(23) Variations to this Terms of Reference must be approved by Academic Senate.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(24) For the purpose of this document:

  1. Committee – means the Academic Standards and Quality Committee of Academic Senate; and
  2. Faculty – a reference to the term “Faculty/Faculties” includes the Macquarie School of Business.