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Joint Award Courses Procedure
1. Purpose:
  1. This document sets out the University's procedure to inform staff involved in the management and development of joint courses leading to joint awards with third party providers, both nationally and internationally, and the production of joint testamurs and graduate statements.
2. Scope:
  1. This procedure outlines the development of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for a Joint Award Course, the development of a Joint Award Course, Higher Degree by Research Courses, Management and quality assurance, and the production of testamurs and transcripts for a joint award course.
3. Procedure:
  1. These procedures detail the processes that need to be undertaken to develop and support a joint award course, irrespective of whether the University of Canberra is the hosting institution or a member of a collaborative agreement.
  2. This procedure sits alongside several other UC policies that must also be adhered to in the development of a joint course to lead to a joint award. These are detailed below.
Development of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for a Joint Award Course
  1. Joint award courses may be developed with more than one institution provided a clear contractual arrangement is made detailing the responsibilities of each institution, and with one institution being nominated as the host.
  2. The host institution is normally the institution responsible for delivery of the highest proportion of the course.
  3. The MoA must detail which institution will deliver which course component and determine minimum proportional requirements for the course at each institution.
  4. Each joint course arrangement must be covered by a formal MoA, which includes a quality assurance schedule to protect the standards of each partner institution and to make explicit the various responsibilities and obligations.
  5. The host institution must be identified and specified in any formal agreement and accreditation document. Each institution should consider proposals for joint courses through their own accreditation processes.
  6. Financial issues such as the responsibility for fees collection, student support, examinations (where applicable), disbursement and reporting should be explicitly addressed in the agreement and the accreditation document.
  7. It should be noted that in some countries the issuing of a joint award is illegal. This must be considered and checked in the development of all MoAs.
Development of a Joint Award Course
  1. The development for a joint award course must meet the principles set out in the UC New Course Development Policy and Procedures.
  2. The process for establishing joint courses should pay special attention to need, demand and viability criteria, and how institutional and external record keeping and reporting requirements are to be met.
  3. Joint award courses should not be offered where the University already offers such degrees. Instead, alternative approaches should be considered, e.g. a joint course leading only to a UC or UCC award, an alternative course which could be produced collaboratively, or through articulation arrangements allowing students to move from one institution to the other.
  4. Each joint award course should have its own Determination of Course Particulars (DCP) which covers all the components of the course, regardless of which institution delivers the particular component.
  5. The new joint award course proposal must explicitly state the educational rationale and financial viability for creating a joint course that leads to a joint award.
  6. There must be clearly defined study components and where possible timeframes, to inform staff and students which institution will manage which component of the course.
  7. The DCP must include overall details of the intended primary location of study, and modes of study available for all elements of the course.
  8. Content produced for the relevant study period by the responsible institution that can map assessment tasks to the learning outcomes of the units, and course, must be available.
  9. Details of any arrangements that allow the student to geographically move between the institutions, or where the course may be delivered online or through other flexible methods, must be specified in the DCP.
  10. Components of a joint award course delivered by different partner institutions should be able to be undertaken concurrently or sequentially as determined by the academic requirements of the course.
  11. There should be clear provision for students to transfer from a joint award course and apply for admission to a non-joint course at any of the participating institutions. University policies would apply.
Higher Degree by Research Courses
  1. For joint Higher Degree by Research (HDR) courses (AQF level 9, Masters by Research and level 10, PhD) the MoA must include details of institutions’ agreements on acceptable codes of supervision practice to ensure a duty of care for the student is met and how this will transition from one provider to another.
  2. Each collaborative HDR course established under the terms of an MoA must be subject to the conditions of a separate individual student agreement between the institutions concerned.
  3. HDR students must be enrolled concurrently at both institutions for the entire period of the award but must only be active at one institution at a time, while on leave at the other(s).
  4. HDR courses must individually provide HDR students with a clear consensus of how much time is to be spent at each institution during the course of their study.
  5. Specific supervisory arrangements including the proportion of time each supervisor will spend with a student should be specified in the HDR student’s individual agreement with each provider.
  6. For all HDR joint courses, the collaborative partners must agree on what training will be provided to students by each institution. Training costs are to be met by the institution within which the student is actively enrolled.
  7. The individual student agreement should specify which institution will provide the student’s Australian Postgraduate Award and/or International Postgraduate Research Scholarships funding, should the student be eligible. In the majority of cases the host institution will fund the entire payment for the student.
  8. The University and other provider/s must determine and report on the proportion of a successful completion from a joint HDR. Proportional completions are to be reported yearly as part of all completions reported within the Higher Education Student Data Collection (HESDC) to the Commonwealth Department of Education.
Management and quality assurance
  1. All participating institutions should maintain records as necessary, to be able to confirm that a student is enrolled in a joint award course and the nature of the relationship between the participating institutions.
  2. The host institution’s rules, statutes, policies and procedures governing academic matters (apart from matters that relate to individual subjects only) would apply.
  3. Matters related to student (unless otherwise stated in the MoA) or staff conduct issues and individual subject matters would be the responsibility of the partner institution responsible for delivering that component of the joint award course.
  4. Dispute resolution processes should be identified in the formal agreement document and wherever possible, follow existing processes.
  5. For joint award courses delivered by institutions based only in Australia, all elements of the course must comply with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.
  6. For courses developed with partners outside Australia, elements delivered in/by UC must be compliant with the HETS. Other components of the course (delivered by non-Australian partners) must be able to demonstrate how the learning outcomes meet the overall requirements for the course and align with other course components and relevant learning outcomes.
  7. Local government requirements relating to international students and institutional responsibilities are applicable if the joint award course is offered to international students, whether studying in Australia or elsewhere.
  8. For courses delivered in Australia, the arrangement must adhere to regulations set out in the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (2000) (ESOS).
  9. All courses are subject to the UC’s normal quality assurance processes in relation to assessment moderation, course quality, reporting and annual/contractual monitoring.
  10. Joint award courses will also be subject to reaccreditation as determined by the Course Quality Framework and any schedules detailed through the MoA or other contractual arrangement, and the Course Delivery by Third Party Providers Policy and Course Delivery by Third Party Providers Procedure.
Production of testamurs and transcripts for a joint award course
  1. The host institution is responsible for producing testamurs and arranging conferral.
  2. The University provides standard templates that must be used for testamurs and transcripts, unless otherwise specified in the MoA for the joint award course.
  3. The collaboration with other institutions in the teaching of an award course is acknowledged at the foot of the testamur in the following manner:   “A joint degree of the University of Canberra and the (name of institution/s)”
  4. The joint degree and testamur is awarded in accordance with the legal frameworks governing the awarding institutions and is recognised as a joint degree in the higher education systems of the awarding institutions.
  5. Where required, the testamur includes reference to all relevant (sub) national legal frameworks in accordance with which the degree was awarded.
  6. References to higher education institutions (logos and/or full names and signatures of competent authorities) are limited to the awarding institutions/authorities that award the joint degree.
  7. The testamur must include the qualification’s full name(s) as recognised in all the relevant legal frameworks.
  8. An academic transcript will be provided by each of the crediting institutions which details the credit the student has undertaken in their institution.
  9. Academic transcripts from each participating institution should contain the comparable information in the applicable format. Transcripts can make reference to the host institution.
  10. The Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement (AHEGS) must provide details of all institutions formally aligned under the delivery of the joint course. The partnership should be described in Section Three of the AHEGS.
  11. In arrangements that involve more than one Australian-based institution, the AHEGS can be issued by all institutions involved (unless through the MoA it was agreed that only one institution would issue formal documentation detailing completion of the course).
4. Roles and Responsibilities:
Who Responsibility
UC staff with the authority to sign MoAs
  • To ensure that a full agreement is signed regarding proportionality for the joint award course, and that arrangements for total credits to be completed at UC follow this policy and other related policies as specified.
  • To agree upon (before commencement of the course) all arrangements regarding fees, management of learning content, delivery arrangements and location, contractual and legal requirements, agreement on the testamurs, transcripts and AHEGS, confirmation of who is to be the host institution and who will consequently arrange the conferrals for the joint courses.
Faculty Dean
  • To ensure that the joint course fully supports the learning outcomes of the degree, and that material and course content provided by more than one institution demonstrate that learning outcomes are mapped from assessments, to unit outcomes, to the expected course outcomes.
Associate Dean (Education) and (International, where relevant)
  • To oversee the management of joint award courses and ensure that they adhere to University policies relating to quality assurance and quality monitoring.
  • That on production of the DCP for the joint award course, a clear rationale is presented on the marketing and financial viability for developing a joint course leading to a joint award.
  • That all arrangements for teaching and provision of learning content are clearly articulated to all involved and that unit conveners are identified at the relevant institution for each component of the course.
Course Convener
  • To ensure that in the development and delivery of the course, all learning outcomes are clearly mapped throughout units, irrespective of where, or by whom, they are delivered.
  • To work collaboratively with the partner institution/s course conveners to ensure the effective transition of course components from one provider to another.
Student Connect
  • To produce testamurs, transcripts and AHEGS documents which adhere to University and government policy.
  • To monitor University compliance and related management processes where the course is offered to international students.
  • To arrange conferrals for students completing a joint award, where UC is the host institution.
Graduate Research Office
  • To ensure that specific arrangements required for HDR students are supported, documented and monitored as per the requirements detailed above.