Standards for the support of RMIT students: offshore programs

Purpose

The primary focus of this paper is to outline a set of minimum standards for student experience and administration on all sites where RMIT programs are delivered. These standards are intended to be used when developing trans-national contracts involving offshore program delivery and as a guide in the conduct of contract reviews in conjunction with relevant RMIT policies. The standards assume that the relevant business case and program approval processes, including all legislative due diligence, have been completed and approved. Provisions in contracts with partners in the offshore delivery of programs make it clear that RMIT policies apply to all enrolled students and that offshore partners are to contribute to program management and the Program Annual Review process.

The standards are based on the following:

  • RMIT Student Charter
  • RMIT Student Transition Plan [Draft], July 2007
  • RMIT policy on Offshore Teaching Models

Themes

RMIT’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2007-2010 supports the University’s Academic Plan 2006 – 2010 with four defining objectives:

  • to produce work ready graduates with a hunger for life long learning;
  • to ensure student satisfaction;
  • to provide a ‘global passport’ for graduates; and
  • to maximise the University’s existing dual-sector advantage

The Strategy provides some of the philosophical and pedagogical underpinnings of learning and teaching, including an approach to curriculum that enables graduates to develop the ability to ‘deal effectively with novel situations in a changing work and social world.’ RMIT’s goal of providing students with a global passport to learning and work is reflected in programs and courses and in student mobility programs.

The student-focussed standards are organised around four themes.

1. Learning

The learning environment engages students and connects them with their peers and academic programs

a. Orientation and program induction are provided for students at the commencement of their programs

b. Information is available to students on academic policies

c. Policies are applied fairly and consistently to all enrolled students

d. Teaching facilities and resources are appropriate

2. Community

Support arrangements contribute to students’ personal skill development and academic success

a. Students have access to learning support and pastoral care as needed

b. Activities are provided to prepare students for their careers and employment

c. Student activities and events are conducted to build a lively student community

d. Students give feedback on their social environment and plans for improvement are developed on the basis of feedback

3. Recognition

Student achievements are validated and recognised

a. Student success and achievements are celebrated

b. Graduation ceremony is held

c. RMIT Alumni are promoted

4. Administration

Student progress and achievements are accurately recorded, managed, reported and validated

a. Robust administrative systems and processes ensure the timeliness, accuracy and integrity of student records

b. Procedures are in place for students to access their records and manage their enrolments

c. Timely and accurate advice and information is provided so students can select their programs and courses

d. Students have timely access to information on academic policies and processes such as selection, admission and enrolment, graduation and complaints

e. Assessment of student performance is moderated and validated and results regularly reported

Checklist of sample evidence of themes

1. Learning

The learning environment engages students and connects them with their peers and academic programs.

Sample evidence

RMIT responsibility

Partner responsibility

a) Orientation and program induction are provided for students at the commencement of their programs

b) Information is available to students on academic policies

c) Policies are applied fairly and consistently to all enrolled students

d) Teaching facilities and resources are appropriate

  • Timetable of orientation activities and overview of RMIT
  • Program materials that explain study expectations and approaches to Teaching and Learning
  • Course Guides prepared to RMIT specifications
  • Student handbook that includes Student Charter, academic policies and regulations (including assessment, appeals and academic integrity, student progress, Special Consideration)
  • Library facilities and easy access to library materials that support programs and courses. Learning materials and resources are contextualised for all students

2. Community

Student support arrangements contribute to personal skill development and academic success

Sample evidence

RMIT responsibility

Partner responsibility

a) Students have access to learning support and pastoral care as needed

b) Activities are provided to prepare students for their careers and employment

c) Student activities and events are conducted to build a lively student community

d) Students give feedback on their social environment and plans for improvement are developed on the basis of feedback

  • Promotional materials for learning support (eg English language, study skills) and specialist advice (eg counselling, health and medical, financial) available to students
  • Brochures on student groups and activities
  • Student leadership activities and student clubs activity schedule
  • Student bulletin or newsletter
  • Student survey and action plan
  • Career planning and job application workshops
  • Careers fairs

3. Recognition

Student achievements are validated and recognised

Sample evidence

RMIT responsibility

Partner responsibility

a) Student success and achievements are celebrated

b) Graduation ceremony is held

c) RMIT Alumni are promoted

  • Student leadership and citizenship awards
  • Prize giving ceremonies
  • Graduation ceremony
  • Alumni membership form available
  • Alumni networks and activities notified to students

4. Administration

Student progress and achievement is accurately recorded, managed, reported and validated

Sample evidence

RMIT responsibility

Partner responsibility

a) Robust administrative systems and processes ensure the timeliness, accuracy and integrity of student records

b) Procedures are in place for students to access their records and manage their enrolments

c) Timely and accurate advice and information is provided so students can select their programs and courses

d) Students have timely access to information on academic policies and processes such as selection, admission and enrolment, graduation and complaints

e) Assessment of student performance is moderated and validated and results regularly reported

  • Student administration handbook for staff is regularly updated
  • Student handbook is available to all students on enrolment
  • Student communication schedule including annual calendar and key dates
  • Documentation on appeals against assessment and complaints
  • Staff training on appeals and complaints handling
  • Documented procedures and guidelines for examination supervisors

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