- Background Information
- Policy Purpose
- Policy Statement
- Application of Policy
- Review Requirements
- Responsibilities of Faculties
- Responsibilities of University Approval Authorities
- Responsibilities of University Offices
1. Background Information
The Australian Catholic University (ACU) recognises the importance of ensuring that the educational programs offered by the University are of high quality, strategically aligned, financially sustainable and support University Mission.
The University requires that courses must be viable and justifiable in terms of cost and strategy. The Policy on Course Approval, Amendment and Review (Award Courses) requires faculties to undertake an annual assessment of the viability of courses. Proposals for the phasing-out of existing courses are to be prepared and submitted for approval to Academic Board in February each year. It is incumbent on faculties to ensure the annual analysis of courses and units is completed on time. Outcomes from this analysis are to be reported to the relevant operational areas prior to the mid-year finalisation of ACU's Enrolment Plan.
2. Policy Purpose
The purpose of this Policy is to provide a framework for the annual implementation of the Course Load Analysis (CLA). The Policy framework supports, strengthens and adds rigour to the CLA process. The course load analysis is intended to complement but not replace the five year academic review of each course.
The terms used in this policy and the associated procedures are consistent with ACU Glossary of Terms. In the context of this policy the following meanings also apply:
- Course Load Analysis
- is the recommendation that a course or unit be no longer available for new admissions at the commencement of the next academic year.
- Common unit
- is a unit which has common content with another unit but different learning outcomes and/or assessment tasks. The different learning outcomes and/or assessment tasks reflect the respective different level of the unit i.e. undergraduate or postgraduate.
- Course Phasing Out
- describes the status of a course that is no longer available to new enrolments. These courses continue to be available until all enrolled students complete, at which point they are suspended.
- Course Suspension
- describes the status of a course that is no longer available to any student.
- Dual units
- are units with different codes but identical learning outcomes, assessment tasks and teaching content. The need for different unit codes and Course Reference Numbers (CRNs) may relate to accreditation, study mode, location or other enrolment requirements.
- an EFTSL is an equivalent full-time student load for a year. It is a measure, in respect of a course of study, of the study load for a year of a student undertaking that course of study on a full-time basis. Course enrolment is reported by EFTSL.
- Eligible Courses
- courses subject to review include all courses of the University with enrolment in the review year, other than exempt courses.
- Eligible Units
- units of study subject to review include all academic study units with enrolment in the review year, other than exempt units.
- the number of students who are enrolled in a course and had consumed load in at least one unit of study with a census date in the collection year.
- Exempt Course
- an exempt course is an eligible course which is run by ACU under the terms of a current agreement with an external party. Other exempt courses include non-award programs, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy and undergraduate Honours.
- Exempt Unit
- are units associated with non-award programs, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy and undergraduate Honours. Exempt units include work integrated learning, practicum or clinical placement units.
- Low Enrolment Courses and Units
- are courses and units which meet the threshold criteria for the conduct of the annual review.
- Reasons for Continuing
- are the reasons approved by the Provost and relate to University Mission and strategic significance; course and unit content or structural requirements; mandatory requirements, etc.
- the course and unit annual enrolment number below which course and unit reviews are required.
4. Policy Statement
This policy is consistent with the Policy on Course Approval, Amendment and Review (Award Courses) and aligns with TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) expectations in relation to Financial Viability and Sustainability (Section 2). It informs ACU Faculty staff of CLA compliance requirements and provides the governance mechanism for the effective conduct of the annual review.
5. Application of Policy
This policy applies to all ACU Committees concerned with course and unit viability and alignment with University Mission, and to Faculties and Offices responsible for the efficient use of University financial resources.
6. Review Requirements
Eligible courses and units with fewer than the required number are to be assessed annually. Faculties are required to examine eligible course and unit enrolment data for the previous year and identify those courses and units meeting annual review requirements. CLA Procedures are to be followed for the conduct of the review.
The threshold criteria for conducting the review are as follows:
For undergraduate courses - an annual enrolment load of 75 EFTSL or fewer
For undergraduate units - an enrolment of 20 students or fewer (headcount)
For postgraduate courses - an annual enrolment load of 12 EFTSL or fewer
For postgraduate units - an enrolment of 15 students or fewer (headcount)
7. Responsibilities of Faculties
Faculties are responsible for initiating and implementing the required review and for reporting the outcome to the Courses and Academic Quality Committee which in turn will report review outcomes to Academic Board.
As part of CLA requirements, faculties will:
- Devise and implement faculty systems to ensure compliance with requirements.
- Examine and report on expected and actual load and enrolment differences.
- Make recommendations for the continuation, phasing-out, or suspension of each eligible course or the continuation or discontinuation of each eligible unit under review. A justifying case will be required for those recommended for continuation.
- In the justifying case, faculties will consider matters such as University Mission, strategic and financial considerations; the relevance of the eligible courses and units to other ACU faculties and academic offerings; whether a course is a dual degree or nested program; whether the unit is a common or dual unit; other matters of significance.
- Identify the impact on the workforce.
- Undertake the necessary processes to manage the impact on work units of course suspension once Academic Board has accepted Faculty CLA recommendations.
- Confer with and take advice from ACU's International Office, Executive Education and other relevant internal or external stakeholders affected by the changes brought about by the CLA requirements.
- Ensure all operational processes are followed for the phasing-out or suspension of courses so approved, and for the discontinuation of units.
8. Responsibilities of University Approval Authorities
The Faculty CLA results are to be submitted to the Provost as part of the Enrolment Plan process. The Provost will convene the annual CLA meeting with faculties to discuss their review results; ensure adequate justifications for actions and proper consultations have taken place in order to facilitate the aims of CLA; consider and approve recommendations.
The Courses and Academic Quality Committee will be responsible for ensuring all CLA courses and units are reviewed each year and will report on review progress to Academic Board at its February meeting, and where required, on a continuing basis.
9. Responsibilities of University Offices
ACU's Office of Planning and Strategic Management will ensure that CLA reports incorporating the appropriate data elements can be prepared and run by faculties as required.
Once approved by Academic Board, CLA decisions will be implemented by the relevant University and Faculty offices and Committees with reference to the Course Load Analysis Procedures.
- Policy on Course Load Analysis (Policy, PDF File, 124.1 KB)
|Policy applies to||
All Staff And Students
|Policy Status||New Policy|
|Approval Authority||Academic Board|
|Governing Authority||Academic Board|
|Date of Last Revision||18/02/2015|
|Effective Date of Last Revision|
|Date of Policy Review *||18/02/2020|
* Unless otherwise indicated, this policy will still apply beyond the review date.
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols
ACU Enrolment Planning Policy
ACU Academic Regulations
ESOS Act 2002
Policy on Course Approval, Amendment and Review (Award Courses)
Higher Education Standards Framework
Page last updated: 2017-06-28
Short url: https://policies.acu.edu.au/727768