UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON (UCL)
UCL Australia Academic Board
1.1 University College London (“UCL”) operates in Australia as a non-resident foreign corporation pursuant to the Corporations Act (Cth) 2001.
1.2 UCL Australia is an academic department of UCL, an institution established in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, by Royal Charter, in 1826.
1.3 The objects of UCL Australia are to conduct research and to award the degrees as listed in Schedule 1, complying with the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act (Cth) 2011 (“TEQSA Act”) and the Higher Education Standards Framework. The TEQSA Act establishes TEQSA as an agency. The objects of the TEQSA Act include: providing for national consistency in the regulation of higher education and to regulate higher education using a standards-based quality framework and principles relating to regulatory necessity, risk and proportionality. TEQSA is also a designated authority under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (Cth) 2000 (“ESOS Act”). TEQSA has responsibility under the ESOS Act for higher education providers registered under the TEQSA Act.
1.4 UCL Australia governance arrangements are fixed by approvals under the TEQSA Act.
1.5 The elements of UCL Australia’s governance arrangements comprise:
(i) a UCL Council (UK) which oversees all UCL Australia activities including the conferral of awards under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF);
(ii) a UCL Academic Committee (UK) with delegated powers and authoritative in all matters relating to academic governance;
(iii) a UCL Australia Academic Board (Australia) which assists the UCL Academic Committee and is authoritative in matters relating to the Australian education regulatory environment; and
(iv) a Head of Department (Australia) (the Chief Executive Officer) responsible for the day–to-day operations of UCL Australia.
2 Relationship of the UCL Australia Academic Board with the UCL Academic Committee and UCL Council and UCL Australia Executive
2.1 The UCL Australia Academic Board assists the UCL Academic Committee to provide advice on scholarship and associated activities, academic quality assurance relating to, and compliance with, the Australian education regulatory framework specified in paragraph 3 below.
2.2 The UCL Academic Committee advises the UCL Council on all academic matters and questions affecting the educational policy of UCL in respect of the organisation of teaching, examining and courses of instruction. The UCL Council is the principal organ of UCL governance, on academic matters specified at paragraph 3 below.
2.3 The UCL Australia Academic Board is appointed by the UCL Academic Committee and is delegated, pursuant to the Academic Committee’s powers (see paragraph 2.2 above), to provide advice on academic and compliance matters under and relating to the Australian education regulatory framework.
2.4 The Chief Executive Officer of UCL Australia is responsible for implementing policies as determined by the UCL Council or the UCL Academic Committee or by such other UCL committee of the UCL Council or the UCL Academic Committee as may be empowered to determine such policy. The Chief Executive reports to the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences but liaises closely with the Vice-Provost (International).
2.5 In circumstances where there is an irresolvable conflict between the UCL Australia Academic Board and any other form of UCL governance in matters relating to the TEQSA Act, the issue of conflict is referred for resolution to the government agency responsible for the administration of the same Act.
3 Terms of Reference of the UCL Academic Committee
3.1 The powers and duties of the UCL Academic Committee are as follows:
Subject to any general or particular direction that may from time to time be given by the UCL Council, the UCL Academic Committee is charged by the UCL Council:
(a) To consider and advise the Council, through powers delegated by the UCL Academic Board, on all academic matters and questions affecting the educational policy of UCL, the organisation of teaching, examining, research, and courses of instruction, including the following: (i) matters concerning academic cooperation between UCL and any other body; (ii) appointments to established Chairs and Readerships tenable at UCL; (iii) the award or revocation of degrees of UCL and of the University of London.
(b) To maintain an overview of UCL’s academic strategies, policies and procedures pertaining to the following: (i) research; (ii) teaching and learning; (iii) definition and maintenance of academic standards; (iv) student recruitment and admissions; (v) examinations assessment; (vi) innovations in educational practice; (viii) programme development and review; (viii) student behaviour and discipline; (ix) student experience; (x) academic staff development; (xi) quality management and enhancement.
(c) In discharging the foregoing responsibilities, to: (i) set up working groups etc to assist the Academic Committee; (ii) prescribe their terms of reference and constitution; (iii) maintain an overview of all matters falling within their purview.
(d) To maintain an overview of the work of the following standing committees which report to Academic Committee, by receipt of an annual report on the work of the committee in the preceding 12 months and by such other arrangements as Academic Committee may define in particular cases: (i) Education Committee; (ii) Equalities and Diversity Committee; (iii) Joint Staff Student Committee; (iv) Library Committee; (v) Quality Management and Enhancement Committee ; (vi) Research Degrees Committee; (vii) Research Governance Committee; (viii) Scholarships and Student Funding Committee; (ix) Student Recruitment and Admissions Committee.
(e) To receive the Minutes of all meetings of standing committees and working groups etc reporting to Academic Committee.
(f) To receive an annual report from the Vice-Provost (Research) on the development and implementation of UCL's research strategy and from such other UCL officers as may be determined by the Committee.
(g) To report to Academic Board and Council by submission to the Academic Board officers and Council officers of the Minutes of each meeting of Academic Committee.
4 Role of the UCL Australia Academic Board
4.1 The Higher Education Standards Framework set forth in the TEQSA Act requires that course outcomes are equivalent in standards to courses at the same level in a similar or cognate discipline area at an established Australian university.
4.2 The UCL Australia Academic Board is delegated to assist the UCL Academic Committee and function as UCL Australia’s principal source of advice on academic standards and compliance with academic arrangements under the Australian education regulatory framework, including, but not limited to, the:
• Australian Qualifications Framework
• TEQSA Act Higher Education Standards Framework
• ESOS Act and Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework
4.3 UCL Australia Academic Board also functions as the authoritative body of UCL Australia in academic matters under Australian regulatory frameworks, ensuring that the outcomes of UCL Australia-delivered awards as listed in Schedule 1, are:
(i) consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Doctoral and Masters Degree, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate descriptors;
(ii) at least equivalent in standard to outcomes leading to similar awards at an Australian university.
4.4 The UCL Australia Academic Board provides advice and oversees reviews for compliance relating to the Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework, principally comprising the:
• ESOS Act 2000,
- the ESOS Regulations 2001,
- ESOS Registration Charges Act (Cth) 1997 and the
- National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students, 2007 (National Code 2007)
• Tuition Protection Service (TPS):
• The Education Services for Overseas Students Legislation Amendment (Tuition Protection Service and Other Measures) Act (Cth) 2012
- The Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment (Tuition Protection Service) Act (Cth) 2012 and
- The Education Services for Overseas Students (TPS Levies) Act (Cth) 2012.
4.5 The UCL Australia Academic Board fulfills its functions through oversight of and advice on issues relating to the TEQSA Act Higher Education Standards Framework including, but not limited, to:
(a) the quality of delivery of courses delivered by UCL Australia leading to UCL qualifications;
(b) assessment methods deployed by UCL Australia leading to the awards;
(d) benchmarking UCL Australia course standards to ensure comparability with similar courses at an Australian university and compliance with the AQF Doctoral Degree descriptor;
(e) admission policies relating to the courses delivered by UCL Australia;
(f) monitoring the progress of UCL Australia students, including feedback and student progress and attrition;
(g) monitoring the completion rates of UCL Australia courses and recommendations for graduation;
(h) UCL Australia student academic grievances and appeals;
(i) performance by UCL Australia research degree supervisors including student evaluations in relation to research supervision and related aspects of scholarship and research;
(j) reviews of UCL Australia documented policies and procedures for compliance with the TEQSA Act Higher Education Standards Framework and the ESOS Act and Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework;
(k) assessing the compliance of UCL Australia with the Guidelines for the registration of non-self-accrediting institutions and the accreditation of their courses (relating to National Protocols A and B) across all of its operations relating to its higher education activities and identifying quality improvements;
(l) the Annual Report required under the Higher Education Standards Framework set forth in the TEQSA Act.
5 Composition of the UCL Australia Academic Board
5.1 The UCL Australia Academic Board is composed so that collectively it is independent from management and comprises expertise and experience to:
(i) make judgments in matters relating to Australian standards in scholarship and research;
(ii) ensure equivalence in standards of UCL Australia courses to courses at an Australian university and their compliance with the relevant descriptors set forth in the current edition of the Australian Qualifications Framework Implementation Handbook;
(iii) advise on compliance with the Australian higher education and ESOS regulatory framework.
5.2 The UCL Australia Academic Board minimally is composed of four persons.
5.3 Members of the UCL Australia Academic Board are appointed by the UCL Academic Committee, for a term of five years in the first instance.
5.4 The UCL Australia Academic Board is supported by a Secretary who is the Chief Financial Officer/Departmental Administrator of UCL Australia or his/her nominee.
6 Procedures of the UCL Australia Academic Board
6.1 The UCL Australia Academic Board meets minimally four times per annum.
6.2 A quorum for the UCL Australia Academic Board comprises the Chair and three voting members, excluding the Secretary.
6.3 Agenda and meeting papers are received by UCL Australia Academic Board members 14 days in advance of the Board meeting.
6.4 Decisions are arrived at by consensus or agreed by majority. The Secretary is not a voting member of the UCL Australia Academic Board. Dissenting views are recorded.
6.5 The UCL Australia Academic Board maintains a record of proceedings including full and detailed particulars relating to its resolutions.
6.6 The Chair of the UCL Australia Academic Board may, from time to time, invite an appropriate person or persons to attend Board meetings for the purposes of contributing to the Board’s discussions.
6.7 Proceedings of the UCL Australia Academic Board are conducted in accordance with a meeting agenda which includes standing items drawn from paragraph 4 above, as determined from time to time, by the Chair in consultation with UCL Australia Academic Board members.
6.8 At the conclusion of each teaching period the UCL Australia Academic Board considers a written report on UCL Australia course delivery and student assessments made in the teaching period.
6.9 Over the course of a year, the UCL Australia Academic Board shall have considered written reports on all items set out at paragraph 4.5 above.
6.10 The UCL Australia Academic Board may appoint sub-committees for the purposes of assisting in meeting its responsibilities.
6.11 The UCL Australia Academic Board reports in writing annually to the UCL Academic Committee on its activities.
7 Roles and Responsibilities of members of the UCL Australia Academic Board (including the Chair)
7.1 Members are committed to the values and the enhancement of Australian higher education.
7.2 Members understand and are familiar with the regulatory framework for higher education and for providers of educational services to international students set forth in the following:
(a) TEQSA Act Higher Education Standards Framework;
(b) Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); and
(c) ESOS Framework.
7.3 Members understand and are familiar with UCL Australia’s ethos, strategic plan and policies and procedures.
7.4 Excepting in extraordinary circumstances, members attend all UCL Australia Academic Board meetings and ensure all responsibilities set forth in paragraph 4.5 above are met.
7.5 Members diligently read UCL Australia Board meeting papers and develop positions on relevant issues.
7.6 Members respect confidentiality requirements, and, where necessary, declare interest and act to preclude perceptions of bias and conflict of duties.
8 Role and Responsibilities of the Chair of the UCL Australia Academic Board
8.1 The Chair convenes meetings and, in consultation with UCL Australia Academic Board members, plans and organises work and meeting agendas on an annual cycle to ensure all responsibilities set forth in paragraph 4.5 above are met.
8.2 The Chair presides over the UCL Australia Academic Board meetings and ensures that meetings are conducted in an appropriate manner and that Board members, on any particular issue, do not have such interest as constitutes an unacceptable level of bias leading to a conflict of duties.
8.3 The Chair ensures all proceedings of the UCL Australia Academic Board are recorded accurately, including any particular Board members’ concerns or any dissenting views.
8.4 The Chair ensures that, within 14 days of formulation, all UCL Australia Academic Board determinations, recommendations and advice, in written form are communicated by the UCL Australia Chief Financial Officer/Departmental Administrator for forwarding to the UCL Academic Committee where appropriate.
8.5 The Chair oversees the preparation of an annual written report to the UCL Academic Committee on the UCL Australia Academic Board’s activities.