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Joint Higher Degrees by Research Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure was approved by the Academic Board on 15 September 2015.

(2) This Procedure is pursuant to the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Policy.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) To set out the requirements for establishing and managing joint higher degrees by research (HDRs) between Deakin University and one or more partner institutions.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies to all HDRs offered jointly by Deakin University and a partner institution or partner institutions.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Joint HDR arrangements

(6) The University may offer an HDR jointly with one or more partner institution/s in accordance with the following:

  1. Type A: inter-institutional joint arrangements for the development, delivery and assessment of a course:
    1. into which students will be admitted on a regular basis; and
    2. that leads to the award of a single jointly badged testamur or, where this is not allowed by the regulatory requirements of the partner institution/s, separate testamurs that indicate that the course was undertaken as a joint course
or
  1. Type B: arrangements established for the joint supervision of one or more students on a case-by-case basis (including Cotutelle arrangements) whereby:
    1. student management and assessment may be administered separately by each institution
    2. separate testamurs are awarded that indicate that the course was undertaken jointly.

(7) All joint HDRs will be established and delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Higher Education Standards Framework. Where there are inconsistencies between Deakin University's policies and procedures and those of the partner institution/s, the parties will agree on procedures that ensure that the requirements in the Higher Education Standards Framework are satisfied.

(8) The University will retain the right not to award a joint HDR, in which case the testamur and any supporting documentation of the partner institution/s must not refer to Deakin University.

Approval of joint HDRs on strategic and business grounds

(9) Proposals for joint HDRs will be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research Training and Performance Enhancement (PVCRT&PE) on strategic and business grounds.

(10) Proposals will be made in writing using an approved template or equivalent and will include:

  1. an outline of the strategic value of the partnership to the University and its contribution to achieving the University's goals
  2. an outline of how the proposed arrangement would benefit HDR students
  3. a risk and benefit analysis
  4. a due diligence report on the partner institution/s, including the standing of the partner institution/s and their authority to award the proposed HDR course in accordance with relevant regulatory requirements
  5. evidence that appropriate physical and information technology infrastructure and information resources are available at the partner institution/s.

(11) The PVCRT&PE may approve a proposal for a Type A inter-institutional arrangement on strategic grounds where:

  1. there is a history of successful research collaboration with the partner institution/s or research group/s which has demonstrated strategic value to Deakin University
  2. the arrangement is likely to build or further strengthen a long term relationship between the institution/s
  3. it is likely that there will be ongoing research collaboration with the partner institution/s or research group/s; and
  4. the arrangement is likely to attract a cohort of several HDR students on a regular basis.

(12) The PVCRT&PE may approve a proposal for a Type B joint supervision arrangement on strategic grounds where:

  1. a researcher or research group is successfully collaborating with a researcher or research group from another institution/s although there may not necessarily be long-term strategic benefits or involvement of cohorts of students, or
  2. a student is awarded a scholarship to spend one year or more at Deakin University while being enrolled at the partner institution/s.

Approval of joint HDRs on academic grounds

(13) A Type A joint HDR must be approved as an award course by the Academic Board in accordance with the Higher Education Courses Approval and Review Procedure.

(14) A Type B joint HDR will not need to be approved by the Academic Board unless the rules to be applied are less stringent than those specified in Deakin University's HDR policies and procedures.

(15) The academic course proposal requiring approval of the Academic Board must be accompanied by a joint HDR agreement/s developed in accordance with clauses 16-17 and agreed to by all parties.

Joint HDR Agreements

(16) A joint HDR must be the subject of a written agreement between the University and the partner institution/s that may be in the form of:

  1. For Type A inter-institutional arrangements, an agreement between the University and the partner institution/s, supplemented by a separate agreement with the student.
  2. For Type B joint supervision arrangements, an agreement between the University, the partner institution/s, the supervisors and each student.

(17) Joint HDR agreements are:

  1. drafted or reviewed by the University Solicitor's Office's in accordance with the Contracts Policy
  2. approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research.

Relationship management between the partner institutions

(18) The PVCRT&PE will oversee joint HDRs and ensure that agreed procedures are complied with, inter-institutional arrangements are working effectively and supervisory arrangements are appropriate.

(19) A report will be provided by the PVCRT&PE to the Research and Research Training Committee on an annual basis on all joint HDRs.

New or changed arrangements

(20) The PVCRT&PE will notify the Director, Academic Governance and Standards of new or changed joint HDR arrangements or issues with a partner institution relating to the quality of the HDR. The Director will ensure that the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards (TEQSA) is notified of changes where required by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(21) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Joint higher degrees by research (joint HDR): an HDR course offered jointly by Deakin University and a partner institution/s.
  2. Higher degrees by research student (HDR student): a student whose application to enrol in a HDR is accepted by Deakin University.
  3. Higher degrees by research (HDR): academic awards of Deakin University, as addressed in Regulation 5.2(2) Higher Education Award Courses — General.
  4. Partner institution: an Australian or international higher education provider with the power to award the degree being undertaken and recognised by Deakin University for the purposes of this policy.
  5. Home institution: the institution where the student is intended to spend the majority of time during the degree.
  6. Host institution: the institution where the student is intended to spend the minority of time during the degree.