Quality Assurance and Academic Standard Policy
1.1 Scope of the Policy
The policy statement highlights VEENY University approach to maintaining her academic standards and the assurance and sustenance of the quality of learning opportunities and services offered to students, parents and other clienteles. It essentially provides an overview of policies and procedures which provide the framework within which colleges, schools, departments and units operate.
1.2 Guiding Principles
The University seeks and adopts policies which identify the minimum institution-wide requirements with which all departments and colleges are expected to comply but which can be augmented at each local level to provide greater specificity, in order to accommodate different disciplinary requirements. These policies are intended to provide a framework to ensure consistency of standards, consistency and equivalence in the student experience and to assure a high quality education whilst enabling appropriate diversity at every level of practice and interests.
University policies and procedures for developing and maintaining academic standards and for assessing and enhancing the quality of learning opportunities are essentially in line with the National Universities Commission (NUC) benchmarks for ensuring standards.
Departments are responsible for their implementation of the policies. Colleges are expected to monitor and ensure that their constituent departments do this effectively. Colleges report on the outcomes of this activity to Senate in order to inform consideration of University-wide issues or provision, to identify areas of good and effective practice which might be disseminated to other areas of the University and to identify areas of potential weakness where there may be scope for improvement.
The key quality assurance and enhancement procedures benefit from the participation of external peer reviewers. Policies and procedures take account of appropriate external reference points and national and international good practices.
There is a deliberate framework for the development and support of quality assurance, for regular review and reflection, and for setting targets for improvement.
1.3 The Relationship between Teaching and Research in the University
VEENY University is a research-intensive institution. We aspire to ensure that our teaching is informed by cutting-edge research and that it takes place in a research-enriched environment. This involves ensuring that assessment and the learning development of students enables them to understand the nature of research, the opportunity to engage with cutting-edge research, to carry out independent research projects (especially at postgraduate level) and be eager to be part of a research community.
1.4 The Organization of the Quality Assurance Process
1.4.1 Academic Standards
Academic standards established by National Universities Commission (NUC) are maintained through the Academic Framework and the Examination and Assessment Regulations for all courses. The academic framework details the design, structure, volume and level of credits for courses leading to University degrees delivered by the University. The examination and assessment regulations specify the requirements for the courses taught in the University.
1.4.2 Approval, Monitoring and Periodic Review of Courses
The University has a formal mechanism for the approval of new academic courses and changes to the existing curriculum which is set out in the Departmental Handbook. The formal procedures for the monitoring of courses are set by the Curriculum Review Committee of the University. This procedure sets out the aims and criteria for the review, specifies issues to be addressed by the department under review, and indicates the documentary requirements of the review panel. All reviews, changes or modifications are presented to Senate for final approval. The principal aim is also to ensure the continuing validity and relevance of the courses on offer and to confirm their academic standards with NUC benchmark/international standards.
1.4.3 Assessment of Students
The University has established general, University-wide, requirements and policies in order to enhance the standards of its degrees and in order to ensure fair and robust assessment of its students. There is a single classification system in operation across the University for the courses taught. The requirements for the examination and assessment of postgraduate students are set out in the regulations for Postgraduate programmes.
1.4.4 Quality Assurance of Teaching Staff
The University is committed to attracting and appointing scholars who are capable of excellence in teaching and research and who support the core University values of teaching and learning. Academic staff new to research degree supervision is expected to undertake an intensive introductory training for new supervisors. A series of training workshops on aspects of supervision, examination and mentoring are also provided for existing supervisors.
The University encourages a philosophy of teaching that is student centered and interactive.
1.4.5 Learning Resources
The strategic planning and management of the Main University Library, College Libraries rest with the Librarian while the IT services, rests with the ICT Committee. The teaching and learning spaces are supervised by the Deputy Vice Chancellor. The Registrar has management responsibility for the Information Service Unit. The budgets for the library, IT services and other Units are set through the submission of operational plans as part of the University annual planning process. The Director of IT services and the Librarian are both members of the ICT Committee. Services resources to support learning and teaching are monitored and updated throughout the year, with major changes such as the upgrade of computers and changes to computer software on regular basis, by the ICT Committee.
1.4.6 Student Support
The University has a Dean of Students responsible for the strategic development of student support systems in the University. In terms of personal support and guidance, academic advisors are available within Departments whose principal role includes providing individual advice to students on academic matters. There is a comprehensive range of institutional services which integrates with supports systems at college-level. The full range of student services is managed by the Student Affairs Division.
Colleges/Departments also produce handbooks which detail local arrangements, facilities and support for students including more detailed information on academic advising arrangements.
There is also a Human Help Services in the University that provides counseling to students and it is managed by trained Counselors.
1.5 The Involvement of Students in Quality Assurance
1.5.1 Course Evaluation
All students on degree courses are asked to complete a survey of their learning experience on their course as a whole and of their opinion on Non-academic services. This supplements and provides a framework for course evaluation questionnaire where the policy, at a minimum, is to seek student opinion on a new course/existing courses.
1.5.2 Staff Evaluation
The University operates a Staff Evaluation System in which students are made to complete a survey of their various lecturers.
2.1 Quality Assurance Committee
The University has a Quality Assurance and Academic Standards Committee responsible for policy frameworks on academic standard and quality assurance.
The Committee functions with the help of College Quality Assurance Officers and the Quality Assurance Co-ordinators in the Departments.