Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quality control

You may have seen the comment regarding ‘quality control’ posted in response to my previous Blog – Leaps and Bounds.

Firstly, CQUniversity is a medium size university and secondly, you ask a very good question – how do we ensure quality control with such a rapid expansion?

These new programs have not just appeared overnight. A huge amount of effort by a large number of staff has gone into making these new programs a reality.

The establishment of positions such as the DVC(Development), PVC(Learning & Teaching) and Deans of School have been introduced over the past 12 months or so to drive the development and quality of these – and indeed all – of our programs. All programs undergo official CQUniversity academic approval processes and in a lot of cases, external professional body accreditation.

Most of our new programs are developed in consultation with peak industry bodies – for example, the Bachelor of Paramedic Science was developed in consultation with Queensland Ambulance and will include clinical placements with the ambulance service. We are not doing this alone – research supports the need for new health and medical science programs in regional Queensland.

The AUQA Audit report released earlier this year acknowledged the actions taken by CQUniversity to improve the quality of teaching by addressing the functioning of academic governance structures, establishing the role of Dean of School with greater accountability, and setting up an Office of Learning and Teaching to centralise and coordinate learning and teaching functions under the leadership of the PVC(L&T).

I am proud to say that following last year’s audit, CQUniversity has been invited to submit four new entries into the AUQA Good Practice Database – which will make 10 entries in total – which is a collection of systems and activities that are relevant to quality assurance and good outcomes in Australasian higher education.

Professor Rob Reed, PVC (L&T) has also been leading a revised approach to student evaluation of courses and work related learning at CQUniversity as part of our on-going reflection and improvement on current practice.

CQUniversity’s new Learning and Teaching Quality policy will be presented at VCAC early next month and I look forward to sharing that will staff in the near future.

I admit there is some work yet to do in fostering a culture of reflective practice and enhancing a culture of continuous quality improvement – but we are definitely getting there.

I make no apology for moving quickly on ambitious reforms and a growth agenda. Today CQUniversity is one of the fastest growing Universities in Queensland. CQUniversity remains one of the top three Australian Universities operating in the International Student market and later this year CQUniversity will become Queensland’s first Dual-Sector University. As I said, I am immensely proud of the progress CQUniversity has made in recent times – I hope you are too.


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