Maintaining Academic Standards: the Roles of Faculty/Heads/Deans/IPO Director
Academic standards may be defined as the level of achievement that a student has to reach to gain an award that reflects the acquisition of knowledge, the development of capability and the exercise of intellectual skills, and derives from the level of academic challenge set for the achievement of the intended learning outcomes (ILOs).
The primary responsibility for maintaining internationally comparable academic standards rests with the faculty and teaching staff who design, deliver and co-ordinate courses, who set and mark assessments and who assign course grades that reflect students’ achievement of course intended learning outcomes. Although some courses involve teaching teams that include other staff, e.g. instructors and teaching assistants, who assist with course delivery and the marking of student work, the faculty member responsible for the course has overall responsibility for recommending grades to the Head of the department.
While faculty recommend grades for their courses, Heads of Department/Division have a key role in the maintenance of academic standards through monitoring and approving course grades and ensuring that faculty and other instructors involved with assessing students understand and apply the University’s policies and procedures.
Degree classification is linked directly to course grades. School Deans and the Director, Interdisciplinary Programs Office (IPO), who recommend degree classification and the award of taught postgraduate awards, also have a role in confirming that appropriate grading standards are being maintained.