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Academic Partnerships procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 29 May 2014 and incorporates all amendments to 10 July 2015.

(2) This Procedure is pursuant to the Partnership policy.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Procedure governs academic partnerships.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies to the development and maintenance of partnerships with other entities in Australia and overseas. It may be focussed on domestic or international students or domestic and international activities. For the purposes of this policy, it does not include partnerships specifically related to research and research training matters.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Partnership policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(6) The process associated with the development and maintenance of partnership arrangements that cover a combination of types of partnerships must be consistent with the requirements for each individual type of partnership as set out in the relevant procedures.

(7) Any proposals to enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with another domestic or international institution or organisation in relation to academic partnership matters must be reviewed and approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement (DVCGE) and prepared in accordance with the Contracts policy.

Establishment and approval

(8) Faculty Executive Deans as partnership sponsors (or their nominees), may propose the establishment of domestic and international academic partnerships. The Directors of the domestic and international partnerships areas within the Global Engagement portfolio may also propose the establishment of academic partnerships.

(9) The proposer/s will prepare a partnership proposal for a proposed domestic or international academic partnership (for partnerships involving student mobility refer to later clauses) for consideration and approval by the DVCGE on strategic and business grounds which includes:

  1. an outline of the strategic value of the partnership to the University and its contribution to the achievement of the University's goals
  2. a risk and benefit analysis of the proposal
  3. a due diligence report on the partner institution(s), as appropriate
  4. evidence of consultation with and support from other relevant sections of the University, including the faculty or faculties affected by the partnership, Corporate Finance and Deakin International.

(10) For partnerships involving course delivery, the partnership proposal will also include the following additional matters which will be reviewed by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Integrity) (PVCPI) to ensure that internal and external requirements relating to quality and standards are met:

  1. an outline of the course(s) involved
  2. the availability of appropriate physical and information technology infrastructure at the partner institution
  3. the capacity of the partner to provide appropriate library and digital access, academic support and infrastructure for that support as required by the proposed arrangement
  4. consultation with and support from other relevant sections of the University, including the faculty or faculties affected by the partnership, the Division of Student Administration, the Library, Commercial Management Unit, Corporate Governance, Risk and Compliance Services and Deakin International
  5. quality assurance arrangements that will be in place to ensure compliance with relevant Australian standards
  6. any compromise arrangements in place to ensure that any contradictions between Deakin University's policy and procedures and that of the partner do not diminish Deakin's standards.

(11) Proposals to revise courses to reflect new partnership arrangements will be considered by the PVCPI and the Academic Board in accordance with the Higher Education Courses Approval and Review procedure.

(12) For academic partnerships involving course delivery, the nomination of staff members by a partner institution to provide academic services relating to course delivery to students must be approved by the relevant University Head of School.

(13) The Human Resources Division will maintain appropriate records on the approval of academic partner staff members.

(14) The Sponsoring Faculty will provide academic partner staff members with induction services to enable them to meet their obligations under the agreement.

(15) The Academic Board will determine on academic grounds whether to approve the proposed partnership. Criteria for determining approval may include:

  1. the academic suitability of the courses for offering through an academic partnership
  2. evidence that a comparable academic standard to that for students undertaking the course in Australian located, cloud or converged delivery forms will be maintained
  3. the suitability of the proposed staffing for the course delivery at the partner institution
  4. the sufficiency of library access and academic support
  5. the availability of appropriate infrastructure at the partner institution.

(16) Changes to a course or the addition or removal of a course from an academic partnership involving course delivery will require the approval of DVCGE, and the PVCPI and/or the Academic Board in accordance with the Higher Education Courses Approval and Review procedure.

(17) The DVCGE will notify the Director, Academic Governance and Standards of new or changed arrangements with a partner involving course delivery. The Director, Academic Governance and Standards will ensure that the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is notified where required under the TEQSA Act.

Academic partnerships involving student mobility

(18) Academic partnerships involving student mobility require the approval of:

  1. the DVCGE or their nominee for partnerships outside Australia
  2. the relevant faculty Executive Deans in consultation with the DVCGE or their nominee.

(19) The proposer/s will prepare a partnership proposal involving student mobility that sets out the information relating to the following criteria:

  1. the academic suitability of the student mobility proposal
  2. the appropriateness of any cross-institutional credit to be provided to University students as a result of the student mobility
  3. an assessment of the capacity of the partner to provide academic support to University students, as appropriate
  4. an assessment of the academic and administrative infrastructure capacity of the partner, including the availability of student support services
  5. for international study experiences, the general level of safety of the country in which the partner is located.

(20) Provision for, and approval of specific student mobility program arrangements must comply with the Student International Programs and Placements procedure.

Monitoring and review

(21) The DVCGE through the domestic and international partnerships areas within the Global Engagement portfolio manages and monitors academic partnerships, with additional responsibilities allocated to:

  1. The Sponsoring Faculty for partnerships involving course delivery:
    1. The Sponsoring Faculty will monitor formal student evaluation of courses and units and follow established communication protocols regarding the results
    2. The Sponsoring Faculty will monitor the teaching performance of academic partner staff members and will discuss unsatisfactory results with the academic partner institution. Where a resolution of the issues is not achieved, the Sponsoring Faculty will refer the matter to the DVCGE.
  2. Faculty Executive Deans for partnerships involving student mobility within Australia in consultation with the DVCGE or their nominee.

(22) Student mobility outside Australia is reviewed and monitored directly by the DVCGE or their nominee.

(23) The DVCGE or nominee will normally visit each partner institution annually to meet with staff members and students, or they will invite the partner to provide a written report on the partnership.

(24) The DVCGE will provide annual reports to the Academic Board on all types of academic partnerships in the previous year. Where applicable, these reports (except those relating purely to student mobility) will include:

  1. information on visits to partners and/or the partners' reports, as well as reports provided by the Sponsoring Faculty/ies
  2. evidence of the continued strategic value of the partnerships to the University
  3. student numbers
  4. information on student participation (including, where relevant, incoming enrolments which have flowed from reciprocal student mobility programs)
  5. financial performance
  6. issues raised by the partners in relation to the University
  7. issues in relation to quality assurance.

(25) The annual report to the Academic Board on student mobility partnership in the previous year will include information on student numbers, relevant information from student evaluation surveys and any issues in relation to quality assurance that have been identified.

(26) Between six and nine months prior to the expiration of a contract for partnerships involving course delivery or student mobility within Australia, the DVCGE in consultation with Sponsoring Faculty or Faculties will review the operation of each academic partnership. The review forms the basis for the renewal and/or renegotiation of each partnership agreement.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(27) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Academic partnership: a formal collaboration with a public or private institution or organisation in Australia or overseas which is principally focused on the University's teaching and learning. Academic partnerships may include partnerships for course delivery, articulation, staff and student mobility, or general academic collaboration.
  2. Academic partnership involving course delivery: a partnership involving teaching Deakin students in Deakin award courses at another location in conjunction with a partner institution, or licensing Deakin course materials to form the basis of delivery by a partner institution to its students.
  3. Academic partnership involving student mobility: a partnership involving the hosting or receiving of Deakin students for a study experience at another location in Australia or overseas. Student mobility may include student exchange, study abroad, short-term programs, internships, practicums and placements.
  4. Partnership sponsor: a member of the Executive who proposes the establishment of a partnership.
  5. Sponsoring Faculty: the Faculty responsible for developing and delivering a course through an Academic Partnership or developing, managing and monitoring a community or industry partnership.