University of Waikato - Te Whare Wänanga o Waikato

 
University
        of Waikato
Te Whare Wänanga o Waikato
        Academic
     audit report
    Cycle 3   January 2006
New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa

                 University of Waikato
             Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

             Academic audit report

                          Cycle 3

                        January 2006
This audit report is the fifth report of Cycle 3 academic audits to be administered by the
          New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit during the period 2003-2006.
                                    The focus for Cycle 3 audits is:

                              • teaching quality
                              • programme delivery, and
                              • the achievement of learning outcomes

       The hardcopy printed version of this report is the version authorised by the Board.
              An electronic version of the report is posted on the Unit’s website.

                 © 2006 New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
          Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa

                                          Postal address:
                                          P O Box 9747
                                            Wellington
                                           New Zealand

                                            Location:
                                             Level 3
                                           West Block
                                         Education House
                                         178 Willis Street
                                           Wellington
                                          New Zealand

                                              Website:
                                       http://www.aau.ac.nz

                                    ISBN 0 - 9582298 - 4 - 8

                                  Q:NZUAAU\020\05WaikatoReportFinal

ii                                                           New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Preface
Background
The New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit was established in 1993 to consider and review New
Zealand universities' mechanisms for monitoring and enhancing the academic quality and standards
which are necessary for achieving their stated aims and objectives, and to comment on the extent to which
procedures in place are applied effectively and reflect good practice in maintaining quality.1
Cycle 1 academic audits were full institutional audits of the then seven universities; they were conducted
during the period 1995-1998. Cycle 2 academic audits focussed on research policy and management, the
research-teaching nexus and the support of postgraduate students, as well as a theme specific to each
university; they were conducted during the period 2000-2001. In 2001, a full institutional academic audit
was conducted at the eighth New Zealand university - the newly-created Auckland University of
Technology.
Cycle 3 academic audits, of which this audit of the University of Waikato is the fifth, are focused on:
    • teaching quality,
    • programme delivery, and
    • the achievement of learning outcomes,2
and are being conducted over the period 2003-2006.

The process of audit
The process of audit requires a self-review which informs an audit portfolio (structured with respect to the
Cycle 3 framework) in which the university evaluates its progress towards achieving its goals and
objectives related to the focus of the audit, identifies areas for improvement, and details intended plans,
strategies and activities with respect to enhancement initiatives. After examining the portfolio, and
seeking further information if necessary, the Audit Panel conducts interviews in an Audit Visit to the
university to seek verification of materials read, and to inform an audit report which is structured in
accordance with the framework for the conduct of Cycle 3 audits as set down in the Unit's 2002 Academic
audit manual.3 The report commends good practice and makes recommendations intended to assist the
university in its own programme of continuous improvement of quality and added value in the activities
identified by the Unit as the focus of Cycle 3 audits.
Soon after the publication of the audit report, the Unit discusses with the university the preferred
procedures to be used in the follow-up to audit and the monitoring of follow-up activities.

University of Waikato academic audit
The University of Waikato agreed to an academic audit visit in late September 2005, requiring the
submission of the self-review portfolio by the end of May 2005. The panel appointed to carry out the
academic audit of the University met in Wellington on 29 June 2005 for a Preliminary Meeting at which it
evaluated the material it had received, and determined further materials required. The Chair of the panel
and the Director of the Unit undertook a Planning Visit to the University on 19 July 2005 to discuss the
supply of the further materials requested as well as arrangements for the Audit Visit; as well, they visited
the University of Waikato at Tauranga on 11 August 2005 to inspect facilities and to conduct interviews.

1
   See Appendix 2 for the Unit's complete terms of reference, its vision and its objective with respect to academic
audit.
2
   See Appendix 3 for the framework for Cycle 3 academic audits.
3
   John M. Jennings (compiler), Academic audit manual for use by the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit
Unit, December 2002, Wellington, the Unit, 2002.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                                             iii
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

The four-day Audit Visit to the University took place on 26-29 September 2005, hosted by the Vice-
Chancellor, Professor Roy Crawford. During the visit, the panel interviewed 150 members of staff,
students and stakeholders.
After the Preliminary Meeting, the panel commented to the University that most of the proposed
initiatives identified by the University arising from the self-review were worded as activities the
University would consider, rather than as activities the University would actually carry out. In response,
the University advised the panel that the initiatives would require the approval of the Academic
Programmes Committee and would require prior discussion at Board of Studies in each School and in
committees and groups such as the Teaching Quality Advisory Committee. In its consideration of the
portfolio, the panel has regarded the initiatives as statements of intent.
The findings of the panel as expressed in this report are based on the written information supplied by the
University and on the information gained through interviews conducted during the site visit.

John M. Jennings
Director
January 2006

iv                                                                   New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Contents

Preface                                                               iii

Summary                                                               vii

Commendations and recommendations                                     xi

1        General
1.1      Context                                                       1
1.2      The University commitment to teaching and learning            2
1.3      The University and Schools                                    3
1.4      Quality assurance                                             5
1.5      Treaty of Waitangi                                            6

2        Teaching quality
2.1      Objectives                                                    9
2.2      Staff probation and induction                                10
2.3      Staff workload                                               10
2.4      Staff development                                            11
2.5      Quality of teaching                                          12
2.6      Evaluation of teaching and feedback                          13

3        Programme delivery
3.1      Objectives                                                   15
3.2      Programme design and review                                  17
3.3      Student diversity                                            18
3.4      International students                                       19
3.5      Student services                                             20
3.6      Graduate and postgraduate students                           23
3.7      Research-teaching nexus                                      24
3.8      Foundation and bridging courses                              25
3.9      The University of Waikato at Tauranga                        25
3.10     Partnerships and offshore teaching                           26
3.11     Evaluation of papers and feedback                            27

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa    v
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

4         The achievement of learning outcomes
4.1       Objectives                                                                                          31
4.2       Graduate profiles and learning outcomes                                                             31
4.3       Assessment                                                                                          32
4.4       Grade profiles                                                                                      33
4.5       Stakeholders and community                                                                          34
4.6       Benchmarking                                                                                        34

          Acknowledgements                                                                                    36
          Audit Panel                                                                                         36

Appendices

1         University of Waikato                                                                               37
2         New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit                                                        38
3         Cycle 3 focus                                                                                       39

vi                                                                   New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Summary

                                            Summary

General
• The University is a devolved institution which may facilitate decision-making more directly related to
  the culture and needs of staff and students. The tendency towards School-based responsibility,
  however, gives rise to inconsistencies of practice and duplication of effort. There is insufficient
  oversight of progress of the whole institution towards achieving its stated objectives.
• Quality assurance drivers operate at the School level and it is difficult to establish how the University,
  as an integrated institution, can assure itself of the institution-wide application of policy and practice.
  A comprehensive institutional quality assurance system is required.
• There is much to commend in the ways the University meets its obligations under the Treaty of
  Waitangi, with a high percentage overall of enrolments by Māori, a commitment to increasing
  enrolments in areas of need to Māori, active links with iwi providing advice to inform University
  academic decisions, and considerable effort to develop a culture of support for Māori.

Teaching quality
• The University is addressing the need for the implementation of a workload model for academic staff
  that should identify and minimise variables and inequities.
• The Teaching and Learning Development Unit has a reputation for quality and service among staff and
  students, but the ability of the Unit to continue to fulfil its staff development responsibilities is
  hampered by present levels of understaffing. If the Unit is to remain as the University’s agency for the
  enhancement of the quality of teaching and learning, then the University must determine the strategic
  role of the Unit in the realisation of its strategic goals and objectives in this area, provide the resource
  and specialist staff most appropriate, and monitor the work of the Unit to ensure it meets the needs of
  staff and students in an ever-changing teaching and learning environment.
• A new Professional Goal Setting policy is being implemented and it will be important that both
  institution-wide compliance and follow-through to accountability is developed, closely monitored and
  assured.
• The main source of institutional data on teaching quality is the student evaluation for teaching. Given
  that the requirement that teaching evaluations be submitted as part of promotion applications, it is
  important that normative data and commentary are produced to allow promotion panels to judge how
  to interpret a particular score in terms of University and School-wide data.

Programme delivery
• The University needs to implement a recurring cycle of reviews of all academic programmes that
  include external reference and benchmarking of content, delivery modes and standards of attainment
  with appropriate national and international degree programmes. The University also needs to develop
  and implement a process of comprehensive review of academic units (departments); the reviews of
  academic programmes must be accommodated within academic unit reviews.
• The University is commended for undergraduate scholarship initiatives, especially those that provide
  both financial and mentoring support.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                                       vii
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

• Pacific Island students are only a small percentage of the student enrolment at present. The University
  should develop and implement a strategy to facilitate and manage possible growth in numbers arising
  from the University’s position and to fulfil its Charter commitment to building and enhancing the
  Pacific dimension of the University’s special character.
• International students are a significant percentage of the student enrolment. The International Centre
  takes a holistic approach to the range of support services it provides. The University is commended
  for the initiatives taken to achieve a greater integration of cross-cultural understanding among different
  ethnic student groups.
• The University offers a comprehensive package of student services. The University needs to
  benchmark its student services with student services in other universities and tertiary institutions, and
  to give priority to the administration of a generic survey of student learning experience, experience of
  support services and global university experience, with additional focussed questions for specific
  services. The University must then use the data gathered to effect improvement and to address student
  concerns raised in such surveys
• The University is commended for the development of an ethos of a ‘learning community’ in the halls
  of residence.
• Schools determine the nature of research areas and research training undertaken through postgraduate
  research degrees. The performance, supervision quality and degree completion time are monitored
  centrally. Generally there is a positive postgraduate student experience. The University could benefit
  from the holding of regular University-wide research forums for research students and staff.
• The responsibility for ensuring the realisation of the research-teaching nexus lies with Departments.
  There appears not to be a clear conceptualisation or common understanding of the research-teaching
  nexus. A process to gauge the current state of the nexus across the University and comparison of the
  current state with other institutions should be considered by the University.
• The University operates a small campus at Tauranga which is successful because of the considerable
  co-operation and assistance of the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. The presence in Tauranga facilitates
  access to the University for students in the Bay of Plenty. The University is actively involved in the
  SmartGrowth project which is aimed at developing and implementing a plan for managing growth in
  the Western Bay of Plenty. The University’s intention to take a more strategic approach to paper
  offerings at Tauranga is supported.
• The University has active partnering relationships with two universities in China, through which
  students who have successfully completed two years study in particular degree papers can complete
  their degrees as international students at the University in Hamilton. The University is committed to
  ensuring that the procedures under development to monitor the quality of teaching in China and the
  implementation of a forthcoming complete University degree to be offered in Vietnam are rigorous.
• The Teaching and Learning Development Unit conducts the student evaluation of papers. The student
  response rate to evaluations needs to be improved. The results of evaluations should be more widely
  available and there is a need for normative comparative data to be considered by the Schools and the
  University. The University needs to improve feedback to students, using various means to provide
  feedback that engages directly with students.

Achievement of learning outcomes
• There is evidence of good practice associated with assessment. The University needs to ensure that
  assessment is being applied that is at appropriate levels commensurate with the workload associated
  with papers and linked to the learning outcomes of papers, and that communication to students is clear
  and feedback on assessment is useful and timely.

viii                                                                 New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Summary

• There is a pronounced divergence of views with respect to the formalising or standardising of grade
  distribution across the University. There needs to be more University-wide attention given to this, as
  well as to student academic progress, retention and attrition rates. A grading of papers policy and
  grading guidelines are needed to facilitate consistency in grade allocation, and to ensure fairness and
  comparability across the University.
• There are good informal links with stakeholders and the community, but stakeholders would like to
  see more formal processes that would facilitate them giving information and advice on academic
  matters to the University.
• There is a heavy reliance on accreditation of professional qualifications for institutional benchmarking.
  Much more benchmarking activity across the University is needed if the University is to be able to
  provide the evidence to demonstrate it is a ‘world-class university’ and one that delivers a ‘world-class
  education’ as is declared in the University’s new Vision. The University needs to develop and
  implement benchmarking instruments and apply the findings to enhancement activities in teaching and
  learning.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                                     ix
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

x                                                                    New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Commendations and recommendations

          Commendations and recommendations
                              Key: C = Commendations        R = Recommendations

NOTE: The words ‘the University’ in each recommendation is intended to refer to the agency within the University
of Waikato that the University itself deems to be the one most appropriate to address and progress the
recommendation.

General
The University and schools
R1       The panel recommends that the University:
[p.5]
             (i)     ensures the alignment of School strategic teaching and learning plans to deliver the
                     University strategic objectives and plans in these areas,
             (ii)    develops high-level institution-wide indicators of quality in teaching and learning,
             (iii)   regularly reports data related to those indicators to Council and the Senior
                     Management Group to track trends in teaching and learning.
Quality assurance
R2       The panel recommends that the University implements an institutional quality assurance system
[p.6]    that includes planning, monitoring, review and improvement, and that feeds back into professional
         development and enhancement.
Treaty of Waitangi
C1       The panel commends the University for its initiative in planning new programmes designed
[p.6]    specifically to meet the needs of Māori.
C2       The panel commends the University for:
[p.7]
             (i)     The Māori website Te Puna Tautoko [The source of support], which is a good example
                     of a website targeted to the needs of a specific group of students,
             (ii)    the University of Waikato initiative in providing a national celebration of all New
                     Zealand PhD graduates who identify as Māori.
R3       The panel recommends that the University exercises a more strategic approach to the development
[p.7]    of relationships with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Teaching quality
Staff probation and induction
R4       The panel recommends that the University ensures that there is compulsory staff induction and
[p.10]   that all teaching and tutoring staff receive, or have when appointed, adequate training in tertiary
         teaching.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                                          xi
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

Staff development
C3       The University is commended for the reputation of the Teaching and Learning Development Unit
[p.11]   for the quality and relevance of its professional development work.

R5       The panel recommends that the University gives priority to:
[p.12]
             (i)     the determination of the strategic role of the Teaching and Learning Development Unit
                     in the realisation of the University’s strategic goals and objectives with respect to
                     quality teaching and learning,
             (ii)    the provision of the resource and specialist staff most appropriate for the Unit to assist
                     the University in providing the most effective professional development for staff as well
                     as learning support for students,
             (iii)   the monitoring of the work of the Unit to ensure it continues to meet the needs of staff
                     and students in an ever-changing teaching and learning environment.
Evaluation of teaching and feedback
R6       The panel recommends that the University gives priority to developing and promulgating the
[p.14]   guidelines related to peer appraisal of teaching as well as formal and informal appraisal of
         teaching and papers as was stated in the report of the Working Party on the appraisal of papers
         and teaching: final report (May 2002).

Programme delivery
Programme design and review
R7       The panel recommends that the University, as a matter of priority, and to realise proposed
[p.18]   initiative 401, implements a recurring cycle of reviews of all academic programmes that:
             (i)     in the case of all programmes, include external reference and benchmarking of
                     curriculum content, delivery modes and standards of attainment with appropriate
                     national and international degree programmes,
             (ii)    in the case of academic programmes subject to external moderation and approval by
                     professional accreditation bodies:
                     (a)    are designed and timetabled to accommodate the accreditation process so as to
                            avoid duplication of effort,
                     (b)    are supplemented by reference to the strategic goals and intentions of the
                            University.
R8       The panel recommends that the University:
[p.18]
             (i)     develops and implements a process of review of academic units (Departments) in
                     support of teaching and learning,
             (ii)    ensures such reviews consider the curriculum, curriculum delivery and standards
                     within the wider context of each academic unit’s research, research training, research-
                     teaching links, community engagement, quality assurance and enhancement
                     mechanisms, organisational structure and risk management.

xii                                                                  New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Commendations and recommendations

Student diversity
C4       The panel commends the University for support initiatives for deserving students, such as the
[p.19]   Hillary Scholarships which provide both financial assistance and mentoring support.
R9       The panel recommends that the University develops and implements a strategy to facilitate and
[p.19]   manage possible growth in numbers of Pacific Island and Pasifika students if the University is to
         fulfil its Charter commitment to build and enhance the Pacific dimension of the University’s
         special character.
International students
C5       The panel commends the University for encouraging activities that will achieve a greater
[p.20]   integration of cross-cultural understanding among different ethnic student groups.
Student services
R 10     The panel recommends that the University benchmarks its student services with student services in
[p.21]   other universities and tertiary institutions, and uses the data gained to develop strategies to
         provide the most appropriate level of service in support of the enhancement of the student learning
         experience.
C6       The panel commends the University for the development of an ethos of a ‘learning community’ in
[p.22]   the halls of residence, and the provision of a kaupapa floor and Pacific Island floor in the halls.
R 11     The panel recommends that the University:
[p.23]
              (i)   gives priority to the administration of a generic survey of student learning experience,
                    experience of support services and global university experience with additional
                    focussed questions for specific services,
              (ii) designs the items and scales of the instrument (or instruments) to allow comparisons
                   and benchmarking with national and international data,
               (iii) ensures management accountability for effecting improvement to address the concerns
                     of students raised in the survey(s).

The achievement of learning outcomes
Assessment
R 12     The panel recommends that, in support of proposed initiatives 501 and 403, the University
[p.32]   develops and implements policies that ensure and monitor:
             (i)    that assessment is being applied that is at appropriate levels commensurate with the
                    workload associated with papers and linked to the learning outcomes of papers,
             (ii)   that the communication of assessment requirements is clear and the feedback to
                    students is quality assured to be both useful and supplied in time for students to be able
                    to apply the results.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                                      xiii
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

Grade profiles
R 13     The panel recommends that the University:
[p.33]
             (i)     develops a grading of papers policy and grading guidelines which lead consistently to
                     fair and comparable grade allocation across the University,
             (ii)    requires the appropriate University agency to monitor the implementation of the policy
                     and guidelines to ensure fairness and comparability across the University.
Benchmarking
R 14     The panel recommends that the University, in support of its new Vision, is proactive in:
[p.35]
             (i)     the development and implementation of benchmarking instruments,
             (ii)    the identification of institutions which would be appropriate to benchmark against,
             (iii)   the appropriate interaction with such institutions,
             (iv)    the application of findings from such benchmarking activities into enhancement
                     activities in teaching and learning including the assignment of clear management
                     responsibility for this.

xiv                                                                  New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
General

                                                   1
                                                General
1.1       Context
The main centre for teaching and learning at the University of Waikato is the University’s
campus in Hamilton. A small campus at Tauranga caters for less than 3 percent of the
University’s Equivalent Full-time Students, and they are drawn from Tauranga and the Bay of
Plenty. Administratively, the University is a comparatively devolved institution, comprising
seven Schools4 - the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, the School of Education,
the School of Law, the School of Māori and Pacific Development, the School of Science and
Engineering, the Waikato Management School, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Each School is headed by a Dean. The Senior Management Group comprises the Vice-
Chancellor, two Deputy Vice-Chancellors – Academic, and Research – four Pro Vice-
Chancellors – International, Māori, Public Affairs, Resources (who also administers the
University of Waikato at Tauranga campus) – Deans of all Schools, as well as the Chief
Operating Officer and two Directors – Student and Academic Services, and Human Resources
Management Division.
The University conducted a self-review in preparation for this audit, using the Cycle 3
framework of teaching quality, programme delivery, and achievement of learning outcomes.5
The University developed an Academic quality framework modelled on the Cycle 3 framework
as well as a Teaching and learning framework 2005-2006 designed to establish a framework for
ensuring the ongoing quality of design and delivery of education programmes and support
services across the University. From the findings of the self-review, the University prepared a
portfolio text, tables and appendices presented to the Unit at the end of May 2005, and supplied
further information at the request of the panel. All materials provided were well-presented
which facilitated the work of the panel.
In January 2005, a new Vice-Chancellor took office, and in May 2005, the University Council
adopted a new Vision and way forward. The new Vision commits the University to delivering a
‘world-class education’ and a research portfolio, both of which are relevant to its regional
economy, distinctive within the New Zealand tertiary education sector, complement the profiles
of other tertiary education providers both within its region and nationally, and aligned with the
government’s Tertiary Education Strategy. The University’s education portfolio will be shaped
by its research strengths, by student demand and by the needs of industry, employers and the
community. The University will provide a full and dynamic university experience that is
distinctive in character, promoting the concept of a full university experience which is more than
just the accumulation of knowledge. The University is determined to be ‘student-centred’.
Following the release of the Vision, the Vice-Chancellor signalled a restructuring of senior
management.
At the time of the audit visit by the panel, it was not clear as to how the academic quality and the
teaching and learning frameworks would map on to the new Vision; it was also unknown who
would have the primary leadership role with specific responsibility for teaching and learning
throughout the University. The panel evaluated the information in the self-review portfolio, the
4
   Strictly, the University comprises six Schools and one Faculty. The word ‘Schools’ in this report refers to all
seven units.
5
   See Appendix 3 of this report for the framework for Cycle 3 academic audits.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                                                  1
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

supplementary materials provided by the University, and the interviews conducted at both the
Hamilton and Tauranga campuses. The panel arrived at the recommendations contained in this
report without knowing the nature of the infrastructure that will be responsible for progressing
the Vision of the University and addressing the recommendations in this report. The panel
expects, however, that the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit will be told of the
details of the infrastructure to be put in place, as part of the normal post-audit follow-up
reporting process.

1.2 The University commitment to teaching and learning
The University Charter 2005 states that the University is defined by:
      •      a genuinely diverse, participative and free-thinking learning environment, which
             inspires and affirms academic excellence,
      •      a readiness to push back conventional boundaries and develop new approaches to
             familiar issues,
      •      a commitment to sustainable and inclusive social, economic and environmental
             development,
      •      an ability to create New Zealand ideas through the University’s global networks and
             connections,
      •      a capacity to use science and technology in innovative ways that benefit the nation
             and ensure environmental sustainability in New Zealand,
      •      a commitment to partnerships with Māori, as intended by the Treaty of Waitangi,
      •      a commitment to kaupapa and tikanga Māori within the campus environment and
             community,
      •      a commitment to build and enhance the Pacific dimension of the University’s special
             character in the interests of both New Zealand-born and Island-born Pacific people,
      •      commitment to academic freedom and to public accountability for the exercise of
             that freedom,
      •      a respect for staff and students and a commitment to their wellbeing,
      •      a commitment to equity of access as a true expression of respect for the inherent
             importance of higher education in the personal and professional lives of people
             individually and collectively.
The panel received copies of the University’s Interim profile 2004-2006 and the Profile 2005-
2007. With respect to general matters such as planning, reporting, inter-institutional
relationships and the Treaty of Waitangi, the Interim profile 2004-2006 contains the following
objectives.
      •      Development and implementation processes for reporting by the Academic Board to
             Council on all aspects of its terms of reference, including student academic
             performance.
      •      Build on the University’s substantial and distinctive contribution to Māori
             scholarship and Māori development, and to supporting the Māori students and staff
             of the University’s community.

2                                                                    New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
General

      •     Continue to develop closer relationships with other tertiary institutions in the region.
Profile 2005-2007 contains the following objectives with respect to the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Māori development aspirations
      •     Increase levels of participation, retention and achievement by Māori students.
      •     Actively contribute to regional and national Māori development initiatives in
            accordance with iwi aspirations
These documents also contain objectives which are more closely focussed on the three major
aspects of this academic audit - teaching quality, programme delivery and the achievement of
learning outcomes – and those objectives are stated at the head of the appropriate sections of this
report.

1.3 The University and Schools
The University is a devolved institution, with Schools developing and administering their own
systems and quality activities. The panel recognises that devolution acts as a filter between
central management and Departments, that decision-making by Schools can be directly related to
the culture and needs of staff and students, that devolution need not obviate co-operation among
schools, and that academics can concentrate on research and teaching. Schools have varying
degrees of diversity in their student populations and devolution allows Schools to develop
programmes best suited to the needs of their students. There is a strong reliance on Schools for
initiatives in teaching and learning.
In his Foreword to the University’s self-review portfolio, the Vice-Chancellor notes that
      much of the responsibility for the maintenance of teaching and learning quality [is] vested
      in the Deans of the Schools and Faculty. Nevertheless, procedures developed by the
      Schools and Faculty are expected to be consistent with over-arching policies and
      frameworks adopted by the University for implementation across the institution. The
      academic audit . . . provides a structured opportunity to assess this consistency. . .
The panel is of the view that the University is relatively late in moving toward institution-wide
systems and accountabilities.      From the interviews with a wide range of people in the
University, the panel was struck by the tendency towards School-based responsibility, and the
inconsistencies this occasioned, rather than towards institution-wide approaches to matters of
institution-wide importance. The panel read and heard of many examples where practices differ
from School to School, where the effective implementation of policy differs from School to
School, and where there exists an inconsistency of systems and of good practice. In some cases
of good practice that could be useful to other Schools, the School ‘ownership’ of such practice
mitigated against access from other schools to good practices and teaching enhancement
initiatives. The panel is of the view that the Academic Board, rather than individual Schools
only, should be the prime guardian of excellence in teaching and learning.
The devolution of responsibility places the quality of standards close to the disciplines, but
devolution also leads to duplication of effort in areas such as recruitment, advertising at School
and University levels, workload, evaluation and monitoring. The panel was told the Academic
Programmes Committee monitors completions, whereas retention is monitored by the Schools.
The panel was unable to find clear accountability or University-wide monitoring of teaching and
learning quality, notwithstanding the introduction of the Teaching Quality Advisory Committee.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                                3
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

An example of the relative independence of the Schools is reflected in the history of the
Teaching and learning framework. The panel was interested in the attempt by the University
during 2004 to work towards the development of a University Teaching and learning plan to
provide a means for successful and innovative teaching practices to be both recognised and
shared more widely, for the implementation of consistent practice where that is appropriate, and
for the affirmation of diversity of practice where that is necessary for the discipline or
enhancement of student learning. The panel heard how this initiative had stimulated discussions
and reflection on teaching. The panel noted, however, that discussion led to the abandonment of
a University plan in favour of the development of an institutional Teaching and learning
framework which then informed the development of plans for each School so that Schools could
have the flexibility to develop their own methodologies and strategies within University-wide
guidelines.
The new Vision for the University adopted in May 2005 states:
       [The University’s] distinctive identity will be institution-wide. While particular areas of
       the University may be unique in terms of their specific roles, cultures and aspirations, they
       will reflect the identity of the whole, and all the elements will be complementary. The
       strategic decisions and directions of the component parts will be directly aligned with the
       overall Vision and University-level strategies.
The panel was told by Council that it supports this Vision, recognises the desirability of a clear
institutional strategy and reporting against key performance indicators, and favours greater
centrality in line responsibility and accountability with a corresponding sharpening of reporting
from the Academic Board. The University recognises that forecasting is difficult and that it
needs to be better at planning and that it needs an improved system of university-wide
monitoring. The University acknowledges that the Schools have much more information about
themselves than does the central University administration.
The panel is of the view that the implementation and monitoring of central policies are devolved
and lacking in consistency, with insufficient oversight of progress of the whole institution
towards achieving its stated objectives. The panel was told that access to data depends on having
to request reports from the Management Information Unit and that the Unit may not have the
capacity to deal with more flexible data access. The panel is of the view that appropriate
authorised officers within the University should have the ability to access directly data held by
the Management Information Unit, and should be able to manipulate the data for their own
purposes. In some areas, the panel heard that duplicate systems of information management
were being established because of lack of ease of access to information.
The panel could not help but notice how the report of the 2000 cycle 2 academic audit presented
a similar view of the University. This is reflected most strongly in the overview comment on the
University’s planning processes.
       The University’s current [2000] series of plans are not well integrated, and only rarely are
       the plans cross-referenced with each other. Attention will be required to ensure that the
       integration of the various University plans is made more explicit. At the time of the last
       academic audit in June 1997, it was noted that the University had made a good start on
       establishing its planning processes, but that further work was required particularly ‘in the
       identification of specific actions, timelines, indicators, monitoring processes that produce
       data on which action is needed, and accountability for action’. The lack of these features

4                                                                    New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
General

      in several of the University’s current plans requires attention and specific
      recommendations related to these issues are made in subsequent sections of this report.
Recommendation
R1    The panel recommends that the University:
           (i)     ensures the alignment of School strategic teaching and learning plans to
                   deliver the University strategic objectives and plans in these areas,
           (ii)    develops high-level institution-wide indicators of quality in teaching and
                   learning,
           (iii)   regularly reports data related to those indicators to Council and the Senior
                   Management Group to track trends in teaching and learning.

1.4 Quality assurance
Two central committees impact on the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of teaching
and learning throughout the University.
The Academic Programmes Committee – a sub-committee of the Academic Board – provides a
forum for the consideration of academic policy, regulations and planning at the interface between
the School-based Board of Studies and the Academic Board. It is concerned with regulatory
matters, makes recommendations to the Academic Board with respect to the introduction,
amendment or discontinuation of qualifications, and approves new paper prescriptions,
amendments or deletions of existing paper prescriptions.
The Teaching Quality Advisory Committee – an advisory committee to the Vice-Chancellor –
reports as appropriate to the Academic Programmes Committee and the Academic Board. This
Committee was established to bring together the implementation of the recommendations of the
2002 Teaching and learning development review, the final report of the Working Party on the
appraisal of papers and teaching, the implications for the University of the Tertiary Education
Commission’s emphasis on demonstrating effective systems for ensuring teaching quality, and
the preparation for this academic audit. It is intended that the work of the Committee will form a
significant contribution to the implementation of the wider Academic Quality Framework,
especially in the development of a mix of quality indicators at University, School and discipline
level that will assist the development of effective feedback loops. As an advisory committee, it
has no authority or responsibility in respect of policy or monitoring, but as a result of its
activities, new initiatives may be suggested and policies developed.              The approval,
implementation and monitoring of such policies is seen to be the responsibility of the Academic
Programmes Committee which operates under delegated authority of the Academic Board. The
Committee can have aims to disseminate good practice but it requires other agencies or events –
such as a Vice-Chancellors’ Symposium – to facilitate the process. It is important that there be
buy-in at the School level through engagement with ideas and examples of good practice by
those close to teaching and learning.
At present, the quality assurance drivers operate at the School level. There are School-level
good practices – some of which were identified in the University’s self-review portfolio – to be
found in certain Schools, and a few Schools dominated discussions of good practice exemplars
during the audit visit. The University recognises that there has been a lack of an infrastructure at
institutional level to ensure institutional quality assurance and to facilitate institutional quality
enhancement. This Cycle 3 academic audit provided the University with the opportunity to use

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                                5
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

the audit framework as a framework for ongoing quality assurance of teaching and learning
throughout the University.
The responsibility for quality assurance is at School level and there is a lack of institutional-level
monitoring and review. Thus the panel found it difficult to establish how the University as an
integrated institution could assure itself of institution-wide and excellent application of policy
and practice. While each School demonstrates distinctive characteristics, and each makes
distinctive and varied contributions to the teaching and learning experience of its students, there
does not appear to be an agreed ‘approach to quality’ or ‘quality system’, or a clear definition of
the elements that may be considered important for developing a quality system involving (for
example) planning, acting, monitoring, review and improvement.
Recommendation
R 2 The panel recommends that the University implements an institutional quality
    assurance system that includes planning, monitoring, review and improvement, and
    that feeds back into professional development and enhancement.

1.5 Treaty of Waitangi
The University is serious in its commitment to developing a culture of support for Māori
students, to improving retention rates, and to increasing the flow of graduates into postgraduate
programmes. The Māori community has a say through Te Rōpu Manukura which is the body
responsible, along with Council, to give effect to the Treaty of Waitangi in the University. Te
Rōpu Manukura comprises ex-officio members from senior management and Māori groups, with
one nominee of each of the sixteen iwi authorities within the University catchment area, and a
student representative. Te Rōpu Manukura is an important part of University outreach. Council
would like to strengthen the relationship with Te Rōpu Manukura and the Chair of Te Rōpu
Manukura informed the panel that the University wishes to develop real connections with iwi
representatives.
The percentage of Māori enrolments across the University – about 23% of domestic enrolments -
testifies to the overall success of the University in attracting Māori students, in part by taking
successful Māori students to high schools with recruitment teams and having those students
speak of their experiences and success. The University is now committed to raising enrolments
across all Schools, especially in discipline areas of need to Māori which, at present, are lower
than the University average – especially Management, Computer Science and Mathematics,
Science and Engineering. Some carefully devised and managed strategic initiatives may be
needed to achieve increased enrolments of Māori students in these areas. One such strategic
initiative, applauded by the panel, is the present development within the Management School,
under the leadership of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori), of Te Koringa, a new Certificate in
Māori Sustainable Enterprise.
Commendation
C 1 The panel commends the University for its initiative in planning new programmes
    designed specifically to meet the needs of Māori.
The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) appears to have a strong monitoring process, and
is focussed on doing what iwi want from the University. The Office also carries a responsibility
to have Māori knowledge included into courses through the indigenisation of programmes
wherever that is possible and practicable. The Office is aware that students coming through from

6                                                                    New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
General

kura kaupapa Māori and whare kura (which are schools in which the principal language of
instruction is te reo Māori and the school curriculum is based on Māori values, philosophies,
principles and practices) are fluent in Māori and more demanding, requiring the inclusion of
Māori knowledge and learning alongside or within western academic models of learning.
The success of the University in attracting Māori students is placing demands on the University
in two areas in particular. First, a greater capacity in human resources is needed, especially with
respect to language capacity among staff in te reo Māori in dealing with both the number of
students who come from kura kaupapa Māori and whare kura and the demands created in
adequately addressing assessment submitted in te reo Māori. Second, a strategy is needed to
address the reported difficulty of Māori students accessing spaces for meetings and study. Māori
students reported there was not enough adequate dedicated Māori work and study spaces on
campus. Te Kohinga Mārama Marae is housed in proximity to the School of Education as it was
originally part of Hamilton Teachers’ College and became part of the University after
amalgamation of the College with the University. It is the University marae and is used by the
University community, although some people interviewed by the panel perceived the marae as an
‘Education’ rather than a ‘University’ space.
The panel read and was told about some negative experience on campus for some Māori, which
is not necessarily peculiar to the University of Waikato. While not wishing to underestimate the
impact of such experience, the panel is of the view that, overall, the University is making
considerable effort to develop a culture of support for Māori and that there is much to be positive
about. The University is in an ideal position in New Zealand to capitalise on the strength of the
Māori presence and influence in the Waikato and to show the way forward to other tertiary
institutions and the wider community.
The panel commends the University for two initiatives in particular.
Commendation
C 2 The panel commends the University for:
           (i)    The Māori website Te Puna Tautoko [The source of support], which is a
                  good example of a website targeted to the needs of a specific group of
                  students,
           (ii)   the University of Waikato initiative in providing a national celebration of
                  all New Zealand PhD graduates who identify as Māori.
The panel heard varying reports on the degree, level and nature of University engagement with
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the main campus of which is at Apakura, Te Awamutu, about 30
kilometres south of Hamilton. The Wānanga has been successful in attracting Māori into tertiary
education, and the panel was told of the University’s willingness to complement the work of the
Wānanga. The University has looked at the possibility of pathways and staircasing students into
degree programmes in the University from Wānanga certificates and diplomas. Staff from the
Wānanga have been enrolled in University degree programmes as part of the Wānanga’s
encouragement of staff to increase their skills and knowledge. The panel was told that the
University is always open to developing working relationships with the Wānanga.
Recommendation
R 3 The panel recommends that the University exercises a more strategic approach to the
    development of relationships with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                              7
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

8                                                                    New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Teaching quality

                                       2
                                Teaching quality

2.1 Objectives
The University’s draft Teaching and learning framework 2005-2006 contains the following
objectives with respect to teaching quality.
Quality teaching practices
      •     To encourage and provide opportunities for academic staff to maintain a high level
            of currency within their own discipline of professional knowledge and skills.
      •     To develop and implement workload models that attribute fairly the contribution of
            research supervision to teaching so as to recognise that supervision of graduate and
            postgraduate research is a component of the teaching workload of academic staff.
      •     To encourage academic staff to be aware of, and responsive to, ethical issues related
            to teaching.
      •     To encourage staff to utilise a range of teaching methods, learning outcomes and
            assessment practices that meet student needs.
      •     To increase awareness of learning and teaching approaches that are likely to
            increase the retention and performance of all Waikato students.
Professional development for staff
      •     To provide a range of teaching-related professional development opportunities
            appropriate to the diverse needs of academic staff and teaching and learning
            environments (including on-line teaching) within the University environments that
            they work in.
      •     To enable and encourage academic staff to participate in teaching-related
            professional development related to the University’s Professional Goal Setting
            Policy.
      •     To increase opportunities for supervisors of graduate and postgraduate research to
            consider different approaches to supervision and thereby increase the skill and
            knowledge set accessible to research students including a mentoring programme for
            new supervisors.
      •     To enable and encourage academic staff to use an extensive repertoire of teaching
            and assessment methods competently and flexibly which take account of the diversity
            of students’ needs and culture.
      •     To ensure teacher access to teaching approaches and practices that maximise the
            learning opportunities for all Waikato students.
Sharing effective practice in teaching
      •     To provide opportunities for the sharing of effective practice in teaching across the
            University and wider academic community that recognises and acknowledges the
            ways in which excellent teaching enhances student learning.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                              9
University of Waikato academic audit report, Cycle 3, January 2006

      •      To highlight highly effective practices in teaching and recognition of differences in
             learning needs and make these practices accessible to teaching staff.
      •      To encourage effective teaching practices that recognise differences in learning
             needs throughout the University by providing mechanisms to release staff to
             facilitate, document and support highly effective teaching practices across the
             University.
      •      To extend the programme of the Vice-Chancellors’ awards to highlight excellent
             teaching practice and reintroduce the Vice-Chancellors’ colloquium.
Evaluation of teaching and learning
      •      To develop and implement transparent and consistent methods for evaluating the
             quality of teaching which provides information for the purposes of probation and
             promotion, and the on-going teaching development of academic staff.
      •      To encourage academic staff to continuously and constructively review and develop
             their own teaching effectiveness.

2.2 Staff probation and induction
A probationary period and ‘confirmation’ path for academic staff is University-wide, with the
details of requirements of probation varying from School to School. The probationary period
normally includes goal setting, support and mentoring by more senior staff, and annual reviews
of performance. New staff attend compulsory induction courses conducted by the Teaching and
Learning Development Unit and these courses are described as excellent. Completion of the
Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching is not required as part of probation.
There is an apprenticeship model for training in research supervision, with staff required to have
experience on supervisory panels before becoming a chief supervisor. Sessional assistants and
tutors receive training and the panel was told that the work of the former is closely monitored.
Recommendation
R4     The panel recommends that the University ensures that there is compulsory staff
       induction and that all teaching and tutoring staff receive, or have when appointed,
       adequate training in tertiary teaching.

2.3 Staff workload
There is not at present an institutional workload model applied consistently across the University
even though the University recognises the need for academic staff to have sufficient time to
undertake research and properly deliver the papers they offer. Concerns over the wide variety of
models in place have given rise to a proposed initiative.
University proposed initiative 301
That the University considers the implementation [of] a workload model applicable to academic
staff across all departments and Schools. Each Department or School would need to establish its
own principles, but the comprehensive and quantitative approach of the School of Science and
Engineering model suggests that it might be an appropriate starting point for discussion.
The panel supports this initiative, and encourages the University to develop core institutional
principles.

10                                                                   New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit
Teaching quality

The implementation of workload models should identify variabilities and inequities and lead to
minimising them. The panel heard of different systems being trialled in Schools and of the
desire to ensure models are fair and owned by staff. The important element will be the balance
of research, teaching, administration and community engagement. The University recognises
that equitable distribution of teaching will not be enough if everyone is doing too much teaching,
and the self-review portfolio notes that it is important to ensure that the University offers only
the number of papers that can be taught and supported to a high standard.

2.4 Staff development
As outlined at the head of this section, the University has a raft of objectives related to the
professional development of staff. The main agency for professional development of academic
staff as teachers is the Teaching and Learning Development Unit which also supports student
learning (see section 3.5). For staff, the Unit offers workshops on topics related to teaching,
using its own staff or members of the University academic staff as well as visiting researchers
and practitioners. The Unit conducts the staff induction seminars and is the major contributor to
the teaching of the Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching which is a qualification offered
within the School of Education. The Unit is willing to conduct discipline-specific workshops
and to tailor teaching courses to suit the needs of teachers. It has also developed a web-based
support for staff. Collaboration with Schools has been uneven; it has depended mostly on the
willingness of Schools to engage with the Unit.
Academic staff who have used the range of services provided by the Unit in support of teaching
speak highly of the quality and relevance of the courses they conduct, the helpfulness of staff and
the usefulness of the Unit’s website. The Unit has been used by those who have received
teaching awards, and there is a heavy reliance by the University on the Unit to disseminate good
practice through the courses the Unit offers, getting individual teachers who are known to have
good practice to talk about and share their practice. There is a perception that there is ‘a
disconnect’ between staff who have received national teaching excellence awards and the
dissemination of the good practice demonstrated by those staff. The panel heard of forums for
the sharing of good practice within the School of Education. The Unit is now planning for a
University-wide Vice-Chancellor’s Symposium in 2006 to be led by staff who have received
national teaching excellence awards, so as to profile and share more widely examples of good
practice from across the University.
Commendation
C 3 The University is commended for the reputation of the Teaching and Learning
    Development Unit for the quality and relevance of its professional development work.
The Unit is now very small with recent loss of staff. The Unit is under-resourced at present to
provide adequate service to both the professional development of academic staff and the learning
support for students, and delays in the appointment of staff to vacant positions will further reduce
the Unit’s ability to contribute to the strategic positioning of the University. The Unit focuses on
people who come to it, and given students rather than academic staff come to the Unit for
assistance, student learning support becomes the priority. The staff of the Unit believe that they
are unable to do justice to both students and staff and that this places the professional
development of academic staff at risk.

Te Wahanga Tatari Kaute Tohungatanga o nga Whare Wananga o Aotearoa                               11
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