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Third Party Arrangements - Review of Third Party Arrangements Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to provide detailed direction regarding the three kinds of reviews performed on Victoria University Higher Education (HE) courses which are delivered in partnership with other providers in Australia and offshore locations. These are:

  1. Annual Quality reviews;
  2. Triennial Quality reviews; and,
  3. Strategic reviews.
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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to the review of:

  1. formal delivery arrangements with domestic and international partners involving Higher Education (HE) award and non-award courses offered by Victoria University (VU);
  2. formal delivery arrangements with domestic and international partners involving research training courses;
  3. courses, staff and students of designated VU Campuses;
  4. courses, staff and students of wholly owned subsidiaries of VU;
  5. staff involved in course delivery in partnership with other providers; and,
  6. partner institution staff involved in course delivery on behalf of VU.

(3) This Procedure applies to all face to face delivery methods, including burst or block delivery.

(4) This Procedure does not apply to the review of:

  1. VU Online or other online delivery partnerships;
  2. Vocational Education and Training courses, whether award or non-award (see TAFE Third Party Arrangements Procedure);
  3. Commercial activity that does not involve an award or non-award course; or
  4. Research partnerships involving individual research projects, research funding or researcher collaborations.
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Section 3 - Definitions

(5) Third Party Arrangements

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Section 4 - Policy/Regulation

(6) Third Party Arrangements Policy

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Section 5 - Procedures

(7) Annual and triennial quality reviews of all third-party arrangements are conducted by Partnerships. Strategic reviews of third party arrangements are conducted at least every three years or when directed by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, out of schedule.

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles

Responsibilities

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Receives reports for Annual Quality Reviews, Triennial Quality Reviews and Strategic Reviews
Directs the commencement of out-of-sequence Strategic Reviews where necessary
Identifies and initiates any actions required as a result of Strategic Reviews
Vice-President: Future Students and International
Receives reports for Annual Quality Reviews, Triennial Quality Reviews and Strategic Reviews involving international partners
Communicates relevant report findings to the partner organisation
Director, Transnational Education (TNE) Development & Management Receives reports for Annual Quality Reviews, Triennial Quality Reviews and Strategic Reviews involving international partners
Dean of College or nominee
Approves the second reviewer for Triennial Quality Reviews
Receives reports for both Annual Quality Reviews and Triennial Quality Reviews.
Implements any required action arising from course-related matters in the review
Director, Learning and Teaching, Partnerships
Clears reports for Annual Quality Reviews for distribution and receives the Triennial Quality Review reports.
Implements any required action arising from the reviews
 
Director, Academic Quality and Standards
Approves the second reviewer for Triennial Quality Reviews
Receives reports from the Annual and Triennial Reviews
Campus Director and Principal, VU Sydney
Supports Annual and Triennial Reviews of courses at VU Sydney
Receives reports for Annual Quality Reviews, Triennial Quality Reviews and Strategic Reviews for VU Sydney
Implements any required action related to VU Sydney arising from the reviews
Educational Quality Coordinator (TNE and External Delivery) Initiates both Annual Quality Reviews and Triennial Quality Reviews and prepares reports
Site Coordinator Participant in Annual Quality Reviews and Triennial Quality reviews
TNE Program Manager Participant in Annual Quality Reviews and Triennial Quality reviews

Part B - Annual Quality Reviews

(8) Annual Quality Reviews provide a formal platform for:

  1. VU's partner to provide feedback regarding curriculum, teaching staff (including VU teaching staff) and other academic issues; and,
  2. VU to assess the academic and student performance at the partner institution and identify any emerging and ongoing issues that need to be addressed.

(9) Annual Quality Reviews are performed for each partner and each course.

(10) Annual Quality Reviews are evidence-based. Before the review meetings a report is prepared to facilitate the discussion which draws on  the following data snapshots:

  1. Progress rate at Course level: This data looks at the Progress Rate at Course level;
  2. Pass/fail rate at Unit level: This data considers the Pass/Fail rate of each Unit delivered at VU's partner location for the previous academic year;
  3. Student Feedback: This includes feedback from Student Evaluation of Units (SEU). This data considers the response rate, the level of reported student satisfaction and any areas in need of improvement as assessed by VU's student survey and/or comparable surveys conducted by the partner and provided to VU;
  4. Comparators of related data from the performance of VU International students onshore in the same or similar courses;
  5. Attrition and completion rates;
  6. Qualitative reports from:
    1. VU teaching staff. This includes information and reporting of activities and issues arising from teaching visits.
    2. TNE Unit Convenor. This includes information following each unit’s delivery after each delivery period.
    3. Site Coordinator: This includes information reported after each partner visit.
  7. The previous year's Annual Quality Review report: The current status is assessed to determine progress against the key priorities identified in the previous year's report;
  8. Issues raised during the discussion with the partner;
  9. Issues raised by VU at College or University level, including Academic Board and Standing Committees.

(11) Annual Quality Review discussions are performed via videoconferencing technology and include the following VU participants and their equivalents in the partner institution:

  1. Deans of Colleges or nominee;
  2. Director, TNE;
  3. Director, Academic Quality and Standards;
  4. Director, Learning and Teaching, Partnerships;
  5. Site Coordinator;
  6. TNE Program Manager;
  7. Educational Quality Coordinator (TNE and External Delivery);
  8. Senior Officer, Educational Quality (TNE and External Delivery).

Annual Quality Review Reports

(12) After the Annual Quality Review discussion, an Annual Quality Review Report, comprising the evidence gathered, minutes of the Quality Review discussion, and an Improvement Plan, is compiled.

(13) Annual Quality Review Reports are prepared by the Educational Quality Coordinator TNE and External Delivery and are cleared by the Director, Learning and Teaching, Partnerships.

(14) Annual Quality Review Reports are provided to all participants in the meeting.

(15) Annually, a consolidated report comprising all Annual Review Reports, and progress against the previous action plan,is provided to:

  1. Deans of all relevant Colleges;
  2. Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
  3. Vice-President: Future Students and International;
  4. Academic Board;
  5. If directed by Academic Board, Learning and Teaching Quality Committee (Academic Board Committee).

Part C - Triennial Quality Reviews

(16) Triennial Quality Reviews are reviews of all the components of the student lifecycle involved in the partnership arrangement.

(17) Triennial Quality Reviews are conducted in person via a site visit by nominated VU staff to the partner.Two VU staff members attend the site visit:

  1. the Educational Quality Coordinator (TNE and External Delivery), and
  2. another reviewer, recommended by the Educational Quality Coordinator (TNE and External Delivery) and approved by the College Dean and the Director, Academic Quality and Standards.

(18) The following elements of the student experience of the partnership arrangement are discussed and reviewed:

  1. Marketing and student attraction activities;
  2. Admission criteria, including monitoring of the performance of specific cohorts of students, including coverage of all admission channels;
  3. Orientation material and services;
  4. Enrolment processes;
  5. Student files and recordkeeping;
  6. Teaching facilities, including but not limited to:
    1. library;
    2. learning commons;
    3. IT infrastructure.
  7. Teaching staff qualifications;
  8. Student support services;
  9. Student complaints and appeals;
  10. Student Academic misconduct;
  11. Student outcomes, including employment outcomes;
  12. Teaching and curriculum issues;
  13.  Management of academic progress, including unsatisfactory progress;
  14. Assessment, including standards of assessment and moderation practices;
  15. Examinations, including the security process, and examination administration;
  16. Administrative and operational issues that impact on learning and teaching.

(19) Triennial reviews will use a range of evidence, including:

  1. Progress rate at Course and and Pass/fail rate at Unit level across the three-year period;
  2. Student attrition and completion rates;
  3. Student Feedback  This includes feedback from Student Evaluation of Units (SEU). This data considers the response rate, the level of reported student satisfaction and any areas in need of improvement as assessed by VU's student survey and/or comparable surveys conducted by the partner and provided to VU;
  4. Reports from:
    1. VU teaching staff. This includes information and reporting of activities and issues arising from teaching visit;
    2. TNE Unit Coordinator: This includes information from each unit's delivery after each delivery period;
    3. Site Coordinator. This includes information reported after each partner site visit.
  5. The previous three years' Annual Quality Review reports and progress made against Improvement Plans;
  6. Meetings with partner staff, including teaching, academic support staff and administrative staff;
  7. Physical evaluation of facilities and resources;
  8. Focus groups with partner students, including alumni and pathway students.

Triennial Quality Review Reports

(20) Triennial Quality Reviews result in Improvement Plans, shared internally and with the partner.

(21) Triennial Quality Review Reports are prepared by the Educational Quality Coordinator TNE and External Delivery, in consultation with the second VU reviewer. Reports are cleared by the Director, Learning and Teaching, Partnerships.

(22) Triennial Quality Review Reports are provided to:

  1. Director Transnational Education (TNE) Development & Management;
  2. Director, Learning and Teaching, Partnerships;
  3. Dean of the relevant College;
  4. The partner organisation. The partner organaisation receives a summarised version of the report.

(23) Annually a consolidated report with all annual quality review reports and the triennial review reports for that year and a report on the implementation of recommendations and other actions required from each review are provided to:

  1. Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
  2. Vice-President: Future Students and International;
  3. Academic Board;
  4. If directed by Academic Board, Learning and Teaching Quality Committee (Academic Board Committee).

Part D - Strategic Reviews

(24) Strategic Reviews are reviews of the partnership arrangement as a whole, including achievements or variations from the approved business plan, conducted at least every three years. They look at:

  1. Market contexts;
  2. Competitor analysis;
  3. Regulatory environment review;
  4. Financial status of the partner and of the partnership arrangement;
  5. The balance of responsibilities between VU and the partner;
  6. Reputational advantages and risks of the partnership;
  7. Relationship of the partnership to VU's strategic objectives;
  8. Relationship of the partnership to the partner's strategic objectives.

(25) Strategic Reviews are generally initiated by VU and involve the collection and analysis of any relevant evidence via documentation as required. Evidence may include:

  1. Financial reports showing the viability of the partner and the profit/loss status of the partnership;
  2. Existing or new market analysis reports which consider new or emerging competitors;
  3. Any relevant changed or new regulations in either Australia or the partner's country;
  4. Any documentation of relevant world or local events that may effect the viability of the partnership;
  5. VU's current strategic plan;
  6. The strategic plan of the relevant College.

(26) Strategic Reviews are carried out every three years or more frequently as directed by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

(27) Strategic Reviews are carried out by VU representatives nominated by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Strategic Reviews are designed to help VU  assess whether the partnership is continuing to meet VU’s objectives.

Strategic Review Reports

(28) Strategic Review Reports are written by the nominated VU representative who leads the review.

(29) Strategic Review Reports are provided to:

  1. Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
  2. Vice-President: Future Students and International;
  3. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students;
  4. Dean of the relevant College;
  5. Academic Board.

(30) The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor determines and initiates any actions arising from the report.

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(31) Nil.