Date first approved:
Date of effect:
Date last amended:
Date of next review:
First Approved by:
Director, Academic Quality and Standards Unit
Manager Academic Quality and Policy, Academic Quality and Standards Unit
Academic Quality and Standards Unit,
Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:
Assessment of New Collaborative Delivery Procedures
Relevant Legislation & External Documents
Submit your feedback on this policy document using the Policy Feedback Facility.
- 1. The University of Wollongong (UOW) collaborates with partners to deliver its higher education qualifications to students, both within Australia and overseas.
- 2. International collaboration in the delivery of higher education qualifications is a key component of UOW’s international strategy.
- 3. UOW has the ultimate responsibility for the academic standards of all of its courses (including collaborative courses) irrespective of where these are delivered or who provides them.
- 4. The Australian Higher Education Standards Framework mandates that “when a course of study, or any parts of a course of study,… is delivered through arrangements with another party(ies), whether in Australia or overseas, the registered higher education provider remains accountable for the course of study and for verifying continuing compliance of the course of study with the [relevant] higher education standards”.
- 5. In all aspects of UOW’s processes with regard to collaborative delivery, the University has drawn upon guidance provided by the TEQSA Guidance Note on Third Party Arrangements.
- 1. This policy commits UOW to develop and maintain educational partnerships, in Australia or internationally, where these will further the University’s strategic goals.
- 2. The policy sets out the requirements for development, approval, management and review of higher education provision with others.
- 3. The policy aims to ensure that UOW students have equivalent learning experiences and learning outcomes regardless of the location or delivery arrangements.
- 4. This policy should be read in conjunction with the International Alliances Policy, which sets out requirements for developing and maintaining international partnerships.
All learning and teaching arrangements, leading or contributing to the award of academic credit or to an academic award, which are delivered, assessed or supported through an arrangement with one or more organisations.
A program of study leading to a UOW award which is either wholly or partially collaboratively designed, delivered and/or assessed by UOW and one of more partner institution(s) with or without degree awarding powers.
A program of study consisting of a combination of subjects and other requirements, leading to a UOW award.
A Dual Award involves UOW and another entity offering a course of study which results in two separate qualifications being conferred by each of the two institutions. A Dual Award may involve one AQF level, or two sequential AQF levels - for example, two Masters degrees or a Bachelor and Diploma award. Dual awards may provide students with the opportunity to complete two awards in a shorter timeframe than if completed separately. (TEQSA 2013)
A Joint Award involves the awarding of a single qualification which is jointly conferred by UOW and one or more higher education providers. Joint Awards typically involve close cooperation in curriculum development, design, organisation, course delivery, and assessment of learning outcomes as well as requirements necessary for awarding the qualification. (TEQSA 2013)
A collaborative delivery partnership involving the delivery of a UOW course (or subjects within a UOW course) offshore, or the delivery of a UOW course onshore by an Australian partner at a non-UOW location.
A collaborative delivery partnership involving:
the delivery of elective subjects by a partner onshore which are offered to provide students with a wider range of elective subject choices within a course or major study (for example, Theology subjects within the Bachelor of Primary Education); or
the delivery of one or more services by a partner in support of learning and teaching (such as library services) but that do not involve direct delivery of learning and teaching services.
Another institution or organisation (typically another higher education provider) with which the university has a partnership arrangement. This includes affiliated entities under the management of UOW Enterprises (UOWE): UOW Dubai (UOWD), UOW College (UOWC) and Community College of City University in Hong Kong (CCCU).
Any other legal entity contracted to deliver a service on behalf of the University.
An arrangement with an overseas university/institution to offer a program of study whereby a student can complete part of the program at their home institution and then transfer to UOW to complete the reminder of the program (typically this involves a 2+1 arrangement whereby the student completes their final year of an undergraduate degree at UOW). A Twinning program typically involves close cooperation in curriculum development and design between UOW and the partner institution. It is this which distinguishes it from an articulation or credit transfer arrangement.
- 1. This policy applies to coursework courses and subjects delivered in collaboration with one or more partner institutions, whether in Australia or overseas.
- 2. The policy applies to arrangements between UOW and a partner institution that allow for the partner institution to undertake or provide course design and development, course delivery (teaching and assessment); library and information services and student support services.
- 3. The quality assurance principles outlined in this policy extend to courses delivered at UOW Dubai and to UOW courses delivered by UOW College (UOWC) and Community College of City University in Hong Kong (CCCU) - all of which are managed by UOW Enterprises. Variations to the application of this policy to UOWD, UOWC and CCCU are described in separate Quality Assurance agreements between UOW and UOW Enterprises. Where there is a conflict between this policy and those Quality Assurance agreements, the latter will take precedence over this policy.
- 4. This policy does not apply to student mobility or study abroad arrangements, which are covered by the International Alliances Policy.
- 5. This policy does not apply to internships, practicums or placements undertaken with another organisation, which are covered by the Code of Practice - Student Professional Experience.
- 1. UOW has a number of models of collaborative delivery as follows:
- • Collaborative UOW Award
- • Joint Award
- • Dual Award
- • Twinning
- 2. The distinctions between these collaborative models are defined in Section 3 above.
- 3. As Joint and Dual Awards are jointly conferred and quality assured, UOW has developed separate policy provisions to govern their development, approval and review (please refer to the Joint and Dual Awards Policy).
- 4. Twinning arrangements are not covered by this policy. Although different from articulation arrangements (see Section 3 above), Twinning programs involve students receiving an agreed amount of credit for their study undertaken at a partner institution and are thus treated in a similar way to articulation arrangements for these purposes and are governed by the Credit for Prior Learning Policy.
- 1. All collaborative delivery will conform to the following principles:
- 1.1. There is a clear rationale and strategic intent for the collaborative arrangement.
- 1.2. Appropriate levels of resources (including staff) are committed to the activity to ensure that the necessary quality oversight is sustained.
- 1.3. The risks of each arrangement are assessed at the outset and reviewed subsequently on a periodic basis. Appropriate and proportionate safeguards to manage these risks are determined and put in place.
- 1.4. Equivalence is established between the University and the partner institution(s) in terms of learning and teaching standards.
- 1.5. There are appropriate levels of learning and teaching support and infrastructure available to ensure that student learning outcomes for courses and components of courses delivered collaboratively are equivalent to those for the same or a cognate course of study when delivered wholly by UOW.
- 1.6. The overriding consideration for equivalence is whether students are supported in achieving the Subject and Course Learning Outcomes. Subject to pedagogical considerations being taken into account, delivery models may vary according to local requirements, as agreed between UOW and the partner institution. Agreed variations will be documented.
- 1.7. Effective management and quality assurance arrangements are put in place commensurate with the scale and nature of the collaborative arrangement.
- 1.8. Accountability for these activities is clearly communicated and consistently assured throughout the University, through both executive and committee structures.
- 1.9. The use of the University’s name and logo in association with a collaborative arrangement is approved by the University and appropriately reflects the nature of the relationship with the partner institution(s).
- 1.10. The University retains copyright and intellectual property rights over all course materials licensed for use by a collaborative partner.
- 1. The University will only enter into a collaborative arrangement with another institution or organisation whose quality of provision, vision, mission and values are compatible with its own.
- 2. A business case for the collaborative arrangement will be developed with reference to the Key Principles for Collaborative Delivery (Section 6) and in accordance with Assessment of New Collaborative Delivery Procedures.
- 3. The University will undertake rigorous quality assessment and due diligence checks before proceeding in any substantive way with the development of a new collaborative arrangement. This process will be appropriate and proportionate for each prospective partner, and will be conducted in accordance with the Assessment of New Collaborative Delivery Procedures.
- 4. In developing arrangements with privately funded higher education providers, international partners or organisations that are not primarily educational providers, steps will be taken to establish and foster a shared understanding of the University’s philosophy, culture and standards. The University’s requirements for the maintenance of its academic standards and the assurance of quality will be communicated clearly.
5. The assessment process will be evidence-based and will consider a range of matters relating to the potential partner such as its ability to meet UOW policy requirements and deliver on the responsibilities outlined in Schedule A of this policy.
6. The outcome of the assessment will be recorded in a report to accompany the Course and Partnership approval process.
- 7. The delivery of transnational education is subject to complex, changing legislative requirements and regulatory frameworks across different national jurisdictions. For this reason, the assessment and due diligence process for international partners and programs is managed through the Transnational Education and Alliances Unit.
- 8. In addition to the requirements set out in section 7(1-6) above, the assessment process for international partners and programs will take account of the University’s ability to operate within the legislative, political and cultural requirements of a particular country and, at the same time, to fulfil the expectations of the Higher Education Standards Framework.
- 9. The University will ensure that the relevant approvals are obtained where there is a requirement within other jurisdictions for a course to be approved, accredited or recognised by the relevant national authorising body.
- 1. All collaborative delivery will be realised through a written, legally binding agreement (or other, equivalent legal document) signed by a UOW officer with the relevant delegated authority and the equivalent officer at the partner institution(s).
- 2. An agreement with an Australian partner institution will require approval from the Executive Dean of the relevant faculty. The Memorandum of Agreement must be executed by the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
- 3. An agreement with an international partner institution will require approval from the Executive Dean of the relevant faculty. The Memorandum of Agreement must be executed by the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Strategy).
- 4. Written agreements documenting collaborative arrangements will be proportionate to the scale and nature of the activities involved and will allow the University sufficient powers to protect standards and quality.
- 5. The agreement will define clearly the obligations and responsibilities of each party, as outlined in Schedule A of this Policy.
- 6. The agreement will be finalised and signed only after the course proposal has been approved (see section 9 below).
- 7. If the course proposal is approved subject to the partner meeting certain conditions, these conditions and an agreed timeframe must be specified in the agreement.
- 8. An agreement will be in place before students can be admitted to the course or enrolled in the subject (where the agreement only relates to collaborative delivery of one or more subjects).
- 9. Before an agreement is extended or renewed, a strategic review must be completed as described in section 12 below.
- 10. The University will maintain a register (by type and category) of all collaborative arrangements that are subject to a formal agreement (see section 13 below).
- 1. Consideration of the business case and due diligence checks for the collaborative arrangement (see Section 7 above) will be conducted in tandem with the development of a proposal to deliver a course or courses through the proposed collaborative arrangement.
- 2. The new collaborative course concept proposal is subject to specific scrutiny by the Strategic Course Development Committee, in accordance with the Assessment of New Collaborative Delivery Procedures, and recommendations are taken into account for the development of the full course proposal through the Faculty.
- 3. On completion, the course proposal is referred to the Academic Senate for approval in accordance with the Course and Subject Approval Procedure that apply to all new courses offered directly by the University.
- 4. Proposals to establish new collaborative courses should be submitted to the University at least a year in advance of the date of their proposed introduction in order to allow sufficient time for discussion and amendment, should this be required, and to plan effective marketing and recruitment activity. Where this is not possible, the Course Approval Procedure relating to fast-tracking of course approvals should be used.
- 1. Students studying a collaborative course have the same rights and obligations as students studying a course wholly delivered by UOW. Those rights and obligations will be communicated clearly to the partner institution and to the students and include those relating to academic integrity, student complaints and right of appeal.
- 2. The University will take steps to ensure that students enrolled in a collaborative course understand the nature of the arrangement, including that UOW is the registered provider and that the award they receive will be a UOW award.
- 3. The University will ensure that it has effective control over the accuracy of all public information, publicity and promotional activity relating to collaborative courses, ensuring that it is fit for purpose, accessible and trustworthy.
- 4. For this reason, the University will monitor regularly all sources of information (including websites and prospectuses) produced by partner organisations for prospective students and/or for current students and staff involved in the arrangements.
- 5. All students enrolled in a collaborative course will:
- a. have access to appropriate academic support, resources and facilities to support their engagement and learning; and
- b. have the opportunity to provide feedback on their course and their learning experience more broadly and receive a response to that feedback.
- 6. To protect students’ interests, the University will put in place orderly course or subject discontinuation plans in the event that a collaborative arrangement is terminated.
- 1. The University will ensure that staff teaching collaborative courses (whether employed by UOW or by the partner institution) have the appropriate qualifications and experience to teach at the required level.
- 2. For this reason, teaching staff employed by the partner institution to teach into a UOW course must be assessed by the University as appropriate prior to their appointment, in accordance with the Collaborative Delivery - Subject Quality Assurance Procedures.
- 3. While not the employer, the University retains the right to terminate the partner staff’s approval to teach into a UOW course via notification in writing to the partner institution at any time.
- 4. Staff teaching into a UOW course who are employed by a partner institution must observe the rules, codes of practice, standards and policies of the University.
- 5. The University, in conjunction with the partner institution, is responsible for ensuring that staff teaching into a UOW course who are employed by a partner institution:
- a. receive an induction to teaching at UOW;
- b. are made aware of UOW policy and course requirements;
- c. have access to the support and professional development they need to be effective teachers; and
- d. have opportunity to develop in research and scholarly activities, and to interact with other UOW staff.
- 6. The partner institution will monitor the teaching performance of their staff teaching into a UOW course, in conjunction with the relevant UOW Executive Dean or nominee.
- 1. The review process for collaborative courses is similar to that for other courses offered directly by the University, except that additional scrutiny is required at the three levels listed below:
Subject Level Quality Assurance
- 2. Any new proposal for offering a UOW subject at a partner institution must pass the normal subject approval process to ensure equivalence in subject learning outcomes, in accordance with UOW Equivalence Principles).
- 3. The content of subjects, textbooks and readings and the nature of assessment tasks may vary between subjects delivered by a partner institution and the equivalent UOW subject so as to reflect the pedagogical needs of the student cohorts at each location, and to reflect particular requirements imposed by relevant local accreditation agencies. Such variations must be incorporated in the relevant Subject Outline for the subject.
- 4. Subject Outlines for subjects delivered by a partner institution must be approved by the University in accordance with the Collaborative Delivery - Subject Quality Assurance Procedures.
- 5. In order to ensure equivalence of student learning outcomes, a regular review of subject delivery and grading of assessment tasks will be conducted in accordance with the Collaborative Delivery - Subject Quality Assurance Procedures.
- 6. A regular review of student performance in subjects across all delivery locations is conducted in accordance with the Comparative Student Outcomes Monitoring Procedure.
- 7. All collaborative courses will be subject to an Annual Review conducted in accordance with the Collaborative Delivery Review Procedures and reporting template.
- 8. The Annual Review is a two-way process involving input from all parties and will normally be conducted at the partner location.
- 9. The outcomes of the Annual Review will be recorded in an Annual Review Report using the template prescribed in the Review Procedures. This report will be finalised in consultation with all parties. A minimum period of two weeks will be provided for the partner institution(s) to provide comments on the report.
- 10. Where recommendations for improvement are made, parties responsible for implementing improvements and a timeframe for the implementation of these improvements will be agreed by all parties. Implementation of any recommendations will be reviewed three months following the release of the report and again at the next annual review.
- 11. Once finalised, a copy of the Annual Review Report will be submitted to the Academic Quality & Standards Unit for record keeping.
- 12. A Summary Report will be submitted to UOW’s University Education Committee and in the case of international delivery, also to the University Internationalisation Committee. The partner institution will be responsible for submitting the final report through its own Governance structures.
- 13. A Strategic Review of the collaborative arrangement will be initiated normally 12 monthly prior to the expiry of the contractual agreement. An agreement cannot be extended or renewed without a review taking place. This process is described in the Collaborative Delivery Review Procedures.
- 14. The Strategic Review will consider all the issues covered in the annual review as well as broader issues relating to the strategic nature of the collaboration and whether or not that collaboration should be continued beyond the term of the agreement. For example, matters relating to course viability, continuing strategic relevance, ongoing quality of delivery, graduate outcomes, placement opportunities and industry links will be considered.
- 15. At a minimum, the Strategic Review process will include comparative assessment based on evidence from external references. The use of an external reviewer in this process is highly recommended.
- 16. The outcome of the Strategic Review will be recorded in a report which will accompany the proposal to renew, extend or terminate the partnership agreement.
- 1. The following provides an overview of high-level roles and responsibilities.
- 2. The Faculty is responsible for monitoring and ensuring the quality of its courses delivered in collaboration with partners. Specific responsibilities include:
- a. carefully vetting all new collaborative delivery proposals and, where these involve an international partner, working closely with TNE&A to assess the suitability of the partner and the capacity of the Faculty to deliver the course to the required standard;
- b. ensuring approval of subjects and courses delivered collaboratively by the Faculty Education Committee prior to submission of course documentation to the central committees;
- c. facilitating the sharing of information on good practice in teaching and assessment between subject coordinators across different locations and ensuring that all requirements of the University’s Code of Practice Teaching & Assessment and Standards for the Finalisation of Student Results are met; and
- d. ensuring the quality assurance of subject delivery as outlined in the Collaborative Delivery - Subject Quality Assurance Procedures.
Transnational Education & Alliances Unit
- 3. The Transnational Education & Alliances (TNE&A) Unit is responsible for fostering and managing transnational education partnerships. In relation to collaborative delivery with a partner institution overseas, TNE&A:
- a. coordinates the process for developing new collaborative arrangements with international partners, including the assessment and due diligence process as outlined in the Assessment of New Collaborative Delivery Procedures;
- b. ensures that new agreements conform to the requirements as outlined in Schedule A of this Policy and are approved by the relevant Executive Dean and DVC-Global Strategy.
- c. coordinates operational processes for quality assurance of subject delivery as outlined in the Collaborative Delivery - Subject Quality Assurance Procedures;
- d. coordinates the operational process for annual review of collaborative arrangements as outlined in the Collaborative Delivery Review Procedures;
- e. coordinates the operational process for the strategic review and renewal of agreements as outlined in the Collaborative Delivery Review Procedures;
- f. facilitates liaison between partner institutions and relevant UOW faculties and units and assists all parties to understand and meet University and host country regulatory requirements;
- g. provides financial management of the partnership in consultation with UOW Financial Services and the relevant UOW Faculty;
- h. maintains copies of all original international agreements; and
- i. maintains a register of all international alliances which feeds into a register of all collaborative arrangements maintained by the Academic Quality & Standards Unit (AQS).
Academic Quality & Standards Unit
- 4. The Academic Quality & Standards Unit (AQS) is responsible for managing the approval and review process for all courses delivered in collaboration with partners. In relation to collaborative delivery, AQS:
- a. develops, maintains and supports the governance of collaborative delivery through an appropriate suite of policies, procedure and processes established in collaboration with affected stakeholders and in conformity with relevant Higher Education Standards;
- b. coordinates the course approval process at a central level and ensures that the delivery of all collaborative courses is approved as outlined in Section 9 of this policy;
- c. oversees the process for developing new collaborative arrangements with Australian partners as outlined in the Assessment of New Collaborative Delivery Procedure;
- d. ensures that new agreements with Australian partners conform to the requirements as outlined in Schedule A of this Policy and are approved by the relevant Executive Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic);
- e. oversees the course review process for collaborative courses;
- f. monitors the annual and strategic quality assurance reviews of onshore partner institutions;
- g. where required to do so, coordinates and supports academic quality assurance aspects of annual and strategic reviews of international partner institutions;
- h. where applicable, works with TNE&A and UOWE to ensure that the reporting from annual and strategic reviews are considered by the appropriate oversight committee;
- i. assists all parties to understand and meet University and Australian regulatory requirements;
- j. maintains copies of all original agreements involving Australian partners; and
- k. maintains a register of all collaborative arrangements relating to learning and teaching and of the currency of the quality assurance reviews carried out thereunder.
- 5. UOW Enterprises (UOWE) is responsible for managing the operations of UOW Dubai (UOWD), UOW College (UOWC) and Community College of City University in Hong Kong (CCCU). In relation to these programs, UOWE:
- a. oversees financial and human resource management in consultation with the relevant UOW Faculty;
- b. coordinates the process for developing all collaborative delivery proposals, in accordance with the Key Principles (Section 6 above ) and Schedule A, as set out in this Policy, and with the assessment and due diligence process as outlined in the Assessment of New Collaborative Delivery Procedures;
- c. ensures that courses and subjects delivered collaboratively are approved in accordance with the governance requirements for the entities concerned;
- d. supports the process for annual review of collaborative arrangements as outlined in the Collaborative Delivery Review Procedures; and
- e. coordinates the process for the strategic review and renewal of Quality Assurance agreements as outlined in the Collaborative Delivery Review Procedures.
Legal Services Unit
- 6. The Legal Services Unit is responsible for:
- a. developing and reviewing standard templates for agreements and MOUs relating to collaborative delivery; and
- b. providing advice and support with the drafting of agreements and MOUs varying from the standard template, and with other legal requirements.
- 7. Other officers and units are involved in the assessment of new collaborative delivery proposals depending on their scale and nature, including the University Librarian, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer. These roles are outlined in the Assessment of New Collaborative Delivery Procedures.
22 April 2016
First version (in replacement of parts of the Transnational Partner Teaching Staff Approval Procedures).
This checklist is based on Appendix A of the TEQSA Guidance Note on Third Party Arrangements issued April 2015.
The scope and extent of legal agreements relating to collaborative delivery of a UOW course will vary in accordance with the scope and extent of functions being undertaken by a third party provider.
Legal agreements should clearly allocate rights and responsibilities between the University and the third party in each of the following areas as applicable to the functions being delivered by the third party.
An agreement with a partner institution will generally cover:
The rights and responsibilities of UOW for matters, such as:
o Provision of and rights over current intellectual property
o Policy and procedural framework
− Clarify which of the registered provider’s policies and procedures apply, and which of the third party’s policies and procedures apply
o Provision of current administrative guidelines/manual
o Provision of academic support to third party managers and academic staff
o Student and staff induction
o Best endeavours to maintain TEQSA registration and course accreditation
o Marketing and promotion
o Student admission and enrolment requirements and processes (including English language requirements)
o Credit transfer and recognition of prior learning (RPL)
o Setting of student fees
o Maintenance of student records
o Student complaints and grievances
o Provision of assessment and marking, monitoring of student progress, academic integrity, student appeals and grievance processes
o Course and unit management, including evaluation of courses and teaching
o Provision of support services
o Compliance with laws and regulatory obligations in the home jurisdiction, including the ESOS Act and National Code
The rights and responsibilities of each partner institution for matters such as:
o Provision of and rights over intellectual property (especially if licensing of courseware is involved)
o Best endeavours to maintain local registration or accreditation
o Representation as appropriate on UOW’s academic bodies
o Compliance with UOW’s specified policy and procedures and provision of information to students about all applicable policies and procedures
o Marketing and promotion of the course, and ensuring that marketing and pre-enrolment materials are:
− Current and accurate
− approved by UOW
o Student admission and enrolment requirements and processes (including English language requirements), academic integrity
o Delivery of the course at the equivalent level of quality to delivery by UOW including:
− Student and staff induction
− Local (i.e. provided by the third party) employment of teachers with the required qualifications and experience, approved by UOW
− Provision of required property and facilities (for face-to-face or blended delivery)
− Provision of local course materials
− Provision of local tutorial services
− Maintenance of accurate local student records and student administration
− Provision and regulation of local assessment activities and marking, monitoring of student progress and feedback to students
− Co-operative participation in moderation of assessment and periodic audits
− Remittance and payment of fees
− Provision of support services, including English language support where required
o Student complaints, grievances and appeals
o Periodic audit requirements
o Management of work placements (if applicable)
o Compliance with laws and regulatory obligations in the third party’s jurisdiction
o Reporting requirements, including:
− requirements to notify UOW of material changes
− reporting of student performance data including student satisfaction.
o Arrangements for review or amendment of the agreement, termination (for example if either party breaches its designated responsibilities), and for teach-out in the event of a contract being terminated or not renewed
o Whether further sub-contracting is permitted, and if so, what controls are put in place to ensure that UOW retains the ability to ensure that the Threshold Standards are met
o Dispute resolution processes.