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Timetabling Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to inform the University community of the principles that will be used by the University to:

  1. assign appropriate facilities to meet the requirements of the University's operations in an effective and efficient manner;
  2. inform the University community of their responsibilities in providing necessary accurate and timely information to enable this to be carried out;
  3. provide a framework for regular monitoring and review of the University's teaching facilities usage and needs;
  4. advise staff and students where and how all teaching space allocation and timetabling issues should be dealt with and by whom.

(2) This policy sets the framework within which the University will allocate spaces which have been designated by the University Executive as available for teaching and centrally coordinated casual room bookings and are recorded on the Corporate Central Timetabling System database. This system is managed and administered by Data Integrity, Quality and Operations.

(3) For information concerning the management of University facilities, refer to the University's Space Policy and Space Allocation Guidelines.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. Core Subject - is a subject which must be completed by a student in order to qualify for the award in which they are enrolled.
  2. Corporate Central Timetabling System - is the system to prepare the University teaching timetable.
  3. Elective - is any non-compulsory subject undertaken in a program of study.
  4. Program of Study - is the sequence of study the student pursues. Alternative term is 'program'.
  5. School - refers to the Academic Unit responsible for delivery and teaching of a subject and includes Western Sydney University The College and the Graduate Research School.
  6. Subject - is a subject of study of one term's duration unless otherwise specified.
  7. University - refers to the Western Sydney University.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) The University recognises the importance of allocating appropriate facilities to meet its operational needs. To this end the University has adopted a formal and structured approach to the booking and allocation of various facilities.

(6) Wherever possible, the Corporate Central Timetabling System facilities will be allocated in such a way as to:

  1. schedule classes at times and locations that will facilitate student attendance;
  2. ensure that students enrolled in a standard program are able to attend classes in all core subjects;
  3. ensure that students enrolled in a standard program have a reasonable selection of electives from which to choose;
  4. provide timetable details in time to enable students to make informed decisions and to make personal arrangements where necessary to accommodate a particular study timetable;
  5. minimise the number of changes made to the timetable after it has been published; and
  6. optimise the use of University teaching resources, teaching staff and facilities.

(7) Further to these objectives, the University will apply the following principles to the allocation and use of teaching facilities:

  1. Teaching spaces on each campus will be available for classes from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8am and 10pm.
  2. Classes may be held on Saturday or Sunday.
  3. Classes should normally commence on the hour and conclude 10 minutes before the hour.
  4. Automated scheduling will aim to ensure even distribution of scheduling across all days of the week.
  5. Preferences for specific days and times cannot be guaranteed.
  6. Schools that fail to use all days of the week, may be given lower priority in room allocation.
  7. Where practicable, same day attendance at more than one campus should not be required in order for students to undertake core subjects in standard programs. Students should be able to complete their degree on one campus, including electives and School staff should consider scheduling classes on the students' campus (i.e. taking the class to the students rather than bringing students to the class); and applying flexible delivery alternatives to their teaching.
  8. Once a teaching facility and time has been allocated, classes should be conducted within the scheduled times.
  9. Classes should not be conducted in teaching facilities without being scheduled or booked within the Corporate Central Timetabling System.

(8) The practice of overbooking and therefore over constraining the timetable is not acceptable, and classes will only be added to the timetable as warranted by the number of students registered in a subject.

(9) Data Integrity, Quality and Operations will have primary responsibility for managing and maintaining timetabling information on the Corporate Central Timetabling System and for preparing the teaching timetable. All other parties involved in the overall process are expected to co-operate and comply with reasonable requests in order to support achievement of the University's objectives with regard to the appropriate allocation of timetabled facilities.

(10) Deans of Schools:

  1. have overall accountability to ensure appropriate School staff provide information to Timetabling in order to schedule subjects and programs offered by the School in accordance with the published timeline for publication of the timetable;
  2. may nominate appropriate Academic staff within their School to perform some or all of the functions under this policy;
  3. may appoint designated professional staff to be the liaison points between the School and Data Integrity, Quality and Operations.

(11) Subject Coordinators, Directors of Academic Programs, Academic Program Advisors and Deputy Dean are responsible for ensuring appropriate quality checks are carried out with regard to the scheduling requirements and clash avoidance advised to Data Integrity, Quality and Operations.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(12) Refer to the Timetabling Procedures.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(13) Refer to the Timetabling Procedures.