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Course and Unit Revision and Closure Procedure
1. Purpose:
  1. This document sets out the University's procedures governing revision and closure of courses and course components.
2. Scope:
  1. This procedure applies to all award courses offered by the University of Canberra and is applicable to revisions and closures of courses and course components, including majors, minors and units.
  2. This procedure complements the New Course Development Policy and New Course Development Procedure. In some circumstances revisions to an existing course may be treated as a new course proposal.
3. Procedure:
Revisions to courses and course components
  1. The approval process is facilitated by Learning and Teaching (LT) for any approvals required above the faculty level.
  2. On receipt of a revision request from a faculty, Learning and Teaching will review the submission for quality assurance and AQF compliance. If approval is required above the faculty level, this will be arranged by Learning and Teaching. (Templates with guidelines are available from the Course Manager, Learning and Teaching.)
  3. Once approval is granted, central business units will implement the revisions and communicate these changes to other relevant units. If the revisions require transitional arrangements or other communication with students, this will be managed at the Faculty level.
  4. A revised course that has been formally closed, or involves a change to course name, award title, Field of Education (FoE), total number of credit points or course level must be allocated a new course code and is therefore treated as a new course. Please see New Course Development Policy and New Course Development Procedure for more information on this process.
  5. A revised course component that has been closed previously or involves a change to title, Field of Education (FoE), credit point value, level, faculty or discipline must be allocated a new unit or unit set code.
  6. Revisions to a course or course component other than those listed at 3.4 and 3.5 may require a new version but not a code. This will be determined by Learning and Teaching after reviewing the proposal.
  7. Unless specifically approved by Academic Board, revisions to a course or course component will only apply to new students who commence from a specified teaching period.
  8. Proposals to revise courses or course components which are to be applied to existing students must specify transition arrangements for enrolled students where applicable, to minimise detrimental impact on students. These arrangements must be managed at the faculty level, including communication with students and organising any necessary changes to credit or enrolment with Student Connect.
  9. Information required by Learning and Teaching for revisions includes a rationale and details of the proposed revisions, year and teaching period of effect, to whom the revisions will apply (current and/or new students) and consultation processes and outcomes.
  10. Additional considerations include any agreements with other institutions, articulation arrangements, and impact on expected completion dates of current international students. Associate deans (education) (AD(E)s) will ensure that all relevant implications have been identified.
Closure of courses and course component
  1. A course closure takes place in three stages:
    1. A course on the Academic Program may be suspended for all students in all teaching periods of a given year. This decision must be approved by the dean of faculty, and noted by Academic Board. Courses suspended in this way are recorded separately on the Academic Program with a note of the approval date.
    2. If there is no decision to re-open the course to admissions within two years, Learning and Teaching will notify the relevant faculty that the course will be formally closed. A faculty may request an extension of up to one year if required. Learning and Teaching will then request that Academic Board approve the permanent removal of the course from the Academic Program and recommend the permanent closure of the course to Council.
    3. Council approves final course closure on advice from Academic Board, subject to appropriate teach-out.
  2. Proposals to suspend a course must address transition issues for enrolled students, the needs of applicants who have been offered places and any applications in the admission process. This should be reflected in the course closure proposal.
  3. The University has obligations under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000. Faculties must seek advice from the International Compliance Office and the Admissions Office before initiating closure of a course.
  4. Details required for course closure from faculties include the rationale for closure, consultation process, teach-out arrangements and expected duration, course components to be closed as part of the course closure and impact on other University courses, and any Memoranda of Agreement or articulation arrangement(s) for the course.
  5. After approval of the Academic Program for a calendar year (see section six), proposals to suspend a course or course offering within that calendar year, must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (DVC(A)) prior to being submitted to Academic Board. The Faculty must provide supporting statements from Advancement, Marketing and Communications and UC International.
  6. Staff and committee responsibilities in relation to course closures are set out under Roles and Responsibilities (section 4).
  7. For closures of units and unit sets, faculties must provide a rationale which includes:
    1. Information on potential negative impacts on students,
    2. Consultations and transition or teach-out provisions as applicable in relation to courses to which the relevant component is attached,
    3. Endorsement by the ADE indicating that all considerations have been addressed.
Timelines
  1. When setting timelines for course development, revisions and closures, faculties should take into account:
    1. Time for consultation (including inter-faculty where relevant)
    2. External reporting requirements
    3. Deadlines for Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) guides and similar publications
    4. Domestic marketing and allowance for effective international marketing (to note, a course must not be marketed before it is approved by Academic Board)
    5. Registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) before courses can be advertised or offered to international students on student visas (for new course offerings only)
    6. Transitional arrangements and implementation responsibilities for current or prospective students, where applicable.
  2. It is recommended that the March Academic Board meeting is the last meeting to accredit new undergraduate courses to commence the following year. This meeting approves the next year’s Undergraduate Academic Program.
  3. It is recommended that the May Academic Board meeting is the last meeting to accredit new postgraduate courses to commence the following year. This meeting approves the next year’s Postgraduate Academic Program.
  4. To avoid confusion for students, revisions requiring new course codes or new course versions should be avoided wherever possible during admission periods (from May to semester 2 census date and from October to semester 1 census date).
  5. For new and revised course components not associated with a new or revised course proposal, Academic Board has approved the following timelines. Timelines should be met to reduce impact on students immediately prior to the commencement of a teaching period:
    1. For Semester 1, proposals must be approved by November of the preceding year.
    2. For Winter Term, proposals must be approved by March of that year.
    3. For Semester 2, proposals must be approved by June of that year.
4. Roles and Responsibilities:
  1. For a summary of course-related responsibilities under University legislation and policy see the Course Policy.
  2. Subject to the following requirements, faculties will determine their own processes to manage course revisions before consideration and approval by University-level committees. Course proponents should seek the ADE’s advice on faculty consultations and procedures.
  3. The below must be followed:
    1. Faculty boards must consider new course proposals and significant revisions which may affect other courses.
    2. The ADE must endorse course revisions.
    3. The Dean must endorse proposals with strategic or resource implications.
  4. At University level, all course revisions are reviewed by Learning and Teaching and submitted to Academic Board with the DVC(A)’s endorsement[1].
  5. Developments with policy or strategic implications and new courses, are considered by the University Education Committee (UEC) who endorse them for recommendation at Academic Board.
  6. Under the UC Academic Board Rules 2011, the Board is responsible for ‘the content, structure and assessment of courses of study, approved for introduction by the Council’[2].
  7. The UC Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules 2013 require Academic Board to determine the academic requirements of courses including course components and unit descriptions[3].
  8. The DVC(A) may approve streamlined procedures for particular course developments within the framework of University legislation and policy.
[1] With delegated authority from UEC, as determined at UEC meeting 07/3 on 30 May 2007.

[2] University of Canberra Academic Board Rules 2011, Rule 6.

[3] University of Canberra Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules 2013, Rules 6 and 7.

Table of roles and responsibilities
Who Responsibilities
Deans
  • Ensure that the faculty board meets its course-related responsibilities, determine relevant responsibilities of staff and committees in the faculty and ensure arrangements are known by staff;
  • approve the course closure forms to initiate the process to suspend a course;
  • endorse course and course component revisions which have strategic or resource implications; and
  • monitor course suspensions, closures and revisions in the faculty
Faculty boards
  • Consider significant revisions to courses and course components that may affect other courses;
  • consider other course and course component revisions in accordance with committee structures, staff responsibilities and procedures determined by the faculty’
  • endorse or approve major revisions to course components in accordance with this policy and faculty procedures; and
  • consider other course and course component revisions in accordance with committee structures, staff responsibilities and procedures determined by the faculty.
Associate Deans (Education)
  • Advise academic staff on appropriate faculty consultations and approvals for new, revised or closed courses, majors, minors and units;
  • encourage staff to seek advice and support from courses staff in Learning and Teaching;
  • endorse or approve course component revisions in accordance with this policy and faculty procedures;
  • endorse course revisions in accordance with this policy and faculty procedures, before consideration at University level;
  • endorse course closure forms to confirm that the impact of the course closure has been properly considered; and
  • advise Admissions and International Compliance Office (ICO) of courses to be suspended to ensure any issues are addressed as part of a course closure proposal.
Faculties
(responsible committee or staff member designated by the faculty)
Course and course component revisions
  • Prepare proposals and consider all implications of revisions;
  • complete relevant forms for Learning and Teaching and Academic Board, for ADE and/or Dean’s endorsement; and
  • communicate with students and organise any necessary changes to credit or enrolment with Student Connect.
Course closure
  • Advise Learning and Teaching of courses to be closed to new admissions via annual update of Academic Program or ad hoc, complete and forward course closure template to Learning and Teaching, with Dean’s approval.
Course component closure
  • Advise Learning and Teaching of course components to be closed as required, complete and forward course component closure template to Learning and Teaching, with ADE’s approval.
Learning and Teaching
  • Advise and support staff on specific matters and policy, procedures and processes for course and course component revision and closure;
  • maintain, publish and monitor course documentation including forms to provide all details needed for University and external requirements;
  • check faculty proposals for course revisions and closures for policy compliance and unforeseen impacts before processing as required;
  • arrange for UEC consideration of course matters when required;
  • present course revision proposals to Academic Board, and implement decisions after approval;
  • ensure that Admissions and International Compliance Office (ICO) are aware of upcoming course suspensions and have addressed any issues as a result;
  • process revisions or suspensions once approved then advise staff in Student Connect, Global Student Recruitment, University of Canberra College, Partnerships Office and Advertising, Marketing and Communications of action taken as applicable;
  • advise Academic Board of course suspensions, for noting;
  • monitor suspended courses and request that Academic Board approve the removal from the Academic Program and recommend to Council the formal closure of a course once a course has been closed to new admissions for at least two years (subject to any extensions requested by the Faculty);
  • update Academic Program after each Board meeting; and
  • close units and unit sets, as required.
Council
  • Approve course closures on Academic Board recommendation, subject to appropriate teach-out.

Implementation
Advice on policy implementation is available from the Course Manager in Academic Quality and Development. Supporting documentation is available from Learning and Teaching.
6. Supporting Information:
Supporting documentation for new, revised and closed courses, majors, minors and units available from the Course Manager in Learning and Teaching.
7. Definitions:
  1. For common definitions applying to all academic policies please refer to the academic policy and procedures glossary (under development).
  2. The following specific definitions and abbreviations relate to this policy and procedures.
Terms Definitions
Academic Program The Academic Program lists all courses from the Register of Courses for the University of Canberra that are open to new admissions for the current year. The Program normally includes a provisional academic program for the following year.
Unit revisions (minor) Small wording changes to learning outcomes or syllabus. These may be approved by the Associate dean (education)
Unit revisions (major) Large changes to learning outcomes or syllabus, changes to pre/co-requisites or other major changes to unit content. These may be approved by the relevant Faculty Board, unless a new unit code is required. New units are approved at Academic Board level, with endorsement from Faculty Board.
Field of Education (FoE) A government classification for reporting purposes. Once established for a course or course component it cannot be changed. If a change is required a new course/course component code must be established
Course Suspension When a course (or course offering) is closed to new admissions for a given academic year, it is considered to be suspended for that year. A suspended course can be reopened to new admissions.
After a given amount of time (two years by default), a suspended course will be forwarded to Academic Board to recommend formal closure.
Course Closure When a course is formally closed through Academic Board and Council, subject to any teach-out required for existing students within the course. No new admissions are permitted, and the course cannot be reopened with the existing course code. A new course proposal would be required with a new course code proposed to reopen a formally closed course.