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External Advisory Committee Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The Courses and Units Approval Policy facilitates the development and approval of courses and units, taking into account the quality control delivered by schools, research institutes, External Advisory Committees, and other supporting units.

(2) In considering proposals for new undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses, or for substantial variations to existing courses, schools must establish processes to obtain external feedback on the proposals. An External Advisory Committee is one way to achieve this. The Committee may be used as a way of building relationships with communities and may offer advice on a wide range of matters but the core purpose is to provide feedback on proposed and current courses.

(3) Schools may need to establish a number of External Advisory Committees to cover the range of discipline areas, courses and key programs that they offer, either on their own or in collaboration with other schools or research institutes.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) Refer to the Courses and Units Approval Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(6) An External Advisory Committee may be established as an ongoing body or for a limited duration to provide feedback on a planned course or course review.

(7) The External Advisory Committee's core functions are to:

  1. provide advice on the relevance of planned and ongoing courses to prospective students, the community, to industry, and to appropriate professional bodies, including:
    1. the skills, knowledge and attributes sought by employers of graduates from the course or discipline;
    2. potential opportunities and likely demand from students and employers for new courses that align with the strategic plan;
  2. meet external accrediting authority requirements, where relevant.

(8) The External Advisory Committee may have other functions as required by the school which may include:

  1. facilitating networking with business, industry and community figures to leverage consultancy ventures, foster support for the University, and attract donations for scholarships;
  2. providing opportunities to develop research collaborations and/or vocational experience for students through placements.

(9) With appropriate membership, the Committee may provide expert advice about curriculum design for current or proposed courses.

(10) Feedback from the Committee may be incorporated into Annual Course Reports and can be used to inform quality improvement processes for the following period. The Committee may also be invited to comment on reports from the University's Annual Course Reports and review process.

(11) The relevant Dean, Deputy Dean or Director will:

  1. determine the Committee's terms of reference;
  2. appoint an external chair; that is, an individual who is not employed by the University;
  3. in consultation with the Deputy Dean, Directors of Academic Programs and other Deans, where relevant, or with other relevant academic staff, appoint the members of the Committee. A majority of members must be external to the University, for example, alumni, relevant professionals, academic staff at other institutions;
  4. decide how often the Committee should meet, and whether meetings are face-to-face or electronic, taking into account the wishes of the Committee; and
  5. arrange administrative support for the Committee.

Reporting

(12) The External Advisory Committee's reports will be referred to the School Academic Committee and the Academic Planning and Courses Approvals Committee, as part of the consideration of the course proposal.

(13) School Academic Committee will also consider reports on continuing courses and in relation to ongoing accreditation requirements where appropriate. They will use the reports as part of ongoing improvement activities within the school.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Other Sources of External Advice

(14) The University recognises that an external committee is not the only way to obtain evidence, information, external views, and feedback on courses and course proposals.

(15) Other sources of information include:

  1. the Annual Course Reports which include performance data on student demand, enrolments (EFTSL), retention, progression, completions, graduate outcomes and feedback on the course experience, including the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) and Graduate Outcome Survey (GOS);
  2. the Student Feedback on Unit survey covering the student experience of each unit; and
  3. other surveys, including the Student Experience Survey (SES) and the Commencing Student Survey (CSS).

(16) An example of possible terms of reference for a Committee is available under associated information.

(17) A reporting template for the External Advisory Committee is available under associated information.